First Stage Hosts 25th Anniversary Gala Tonight, 6/9
First Stage will culminate its quarter-century milestone with its 25th Anniversary Gala tonight, June 9, 2012 at Pier Wisconsin, located at 500 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee.
The evening is a celebration of First Stage’s accomplishments and an occasion to recognize Founding Artistic Director Rob Goodman for the impact he has had on First Stage and the Milwaukee community throughout his 25-year tenure. Under Goodman’s leadership, First Stage has grown to become one of the nation’s most acclaimed professional children’s theaters, serving over 3.1 million young people and families through its performances since its inaugural season in 1987. First Stage Theater Academy, the nation’s largest theater training program of its kind, fosters life skills through stage skills and serves over 3,000 enrollments each year. First Stage is also Wisconsin’s leader in arts-in-education programming, using theater to enrich literacy skills and enhance learning across the entire curriculum to over 20,000 students each year in schools.
“Rob Goodman is a man of incredible vision and energy who has brought his personal drive to the development of First Stage over the past 25 years,” said Harry Stratton, First Stage Board Member and Honorary Gala Chair. “Initially his focus was artistic, resulting in quality, professional theater for young people in the Milwaukee community. Later he successfully brought his innate leadership and organization skills to bear as Managing Director, consistently brought innovative ideas and a team-oriented management style to the company, taking it in new directions with its education programs while continuing to encourage the artistic growth and development of its staff, students and audiences,” Stratton continued. “First Stage is a local and National Treasure because of Rob’s leadership.”
The black tie affair will begin at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at Pier Wisconsin, followed by a gourmet dinner catered by Bartolotta Catering Company and Events. The evening’s program will feature inspiring stories from current First Stage young performers, students and alumni highlighting the transformational power of First Stage. The evening will continue with dancing and music by Milwaukee big band Swing Nouveau.
Sponsors of the 25th Anniversary Gala include: Actuant Corporation, Fiserv, Rexnord Corporation, and Weyco Group, Inc. (Goodman Sponsors); Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Kohl’s Department Stores, OKANJO, Robert W. Baird & Co., and Wisconsin Energy Foundation (Broadway Sponsors); BMO Harris Bank, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Foley & Lardner LLP, Ann and Dick Gallagher, KPMG LLP, Laughlin Constable, Elizabeth Meyer & Sam Hope III and George L.N. Meyer Family Foundation, Susan and Bob Mikulay, MGIC Investment Corporation, Northwestern Mutual and PNC (West End Sponsors).
All proceeds from this event support First Stage’s continuing mission of transforming lives through theater.
The Honorary Chairs of the 25th Anniversary Gala are Cathy & Mario Costantini (Milwaukee), Ann & Dick Gallagher (Milwaukee), Barb & Harry Stratton (Milwaukee), and Carlene & Andy Ziegler (Mequon). The 25th Anniversary Gala Committee includes: Liza Perry (Milwaukee), Erin Peschel (Milwaukee), Sharon Rise (Wauwatosa), Jami Ross (River Hills), Kristin Severson (Milwaukee), Kristin Sheehan (Milwaukee), Mary Sprague (Milwaukee), and Chad Tessmer (Milwaukee). Susan and Bob Mikulay (Whitefish Bay) serve as corporate sponsor chairs.
Tickets for the 25th Anniversary Gala are $350 per adult.