Skylight Opera Theatre Presents Dames at Sea 9/17-10/3

Dames at Sea is a musical parody of the grand and glorious Busby Berkeley movie musicals of the 1930s. Calamity strikes when a group of performers, preparing for their upcoming show, needs to find a new venue because their theater is demolished. The show's songwriter, Dick, happens to be a sailor who offers up his boat after being persuaded by leading lady and diva, Mona. Ruby, a sweet small-town girl with plans to make it big on Broadway, is the chorus girl who saves the day. Dames at Sea charms and delights with comedy, love songs and rollicking tap numbers. It's the perfect beginning to Skylight's 51st season.

"I first saw Dames at Sea several years ago when Pam Kriger directed it in Madison and loved it. It is a very funny and lighthearted piece filled with great songs and no shortage of dancing. I can't wait to see what hilarity will ensue with Pam and Bill teaming up to direct this delightful show. " -Amy Jensen, Managing Director

"I thought it would be nice to begin this season with a musical that was charming, funny and tuneful.....just a purely joyous way to kick of the 2010/2011 season. And I think that Dames at Sea is the perfect fit for the Cabot Theatre....." - Bill Theisen, Artistic Director
Who's Who

Bill Theisen (Stage Director/Choreographer) - Bill Theisen made his professional theatre debut as a performer at Skylight Opera Theatre in 1981 and began his tenure as Artistic Director in 2004. He has directed over 100 productions for theatre and opera companies from coast to coast. Recent directing credits include The Pirates of Penzance for Santa Fe Opera, Showboat with Gateway Playhouse, H.M.S. Pinafore at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sweeney Todd with Cleveland Opera, The Fourth Wall at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, The Magic Flute for Virginia Opera, A Little Night Music with Seaside Music Theater, The Mikado with Opera Carolina, Seussical at First Stage Children's Theatre and Into The Woods at the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts.

Skylight Directing credits include The Figaro Story, La Boheme, Souvenir, South Pacific, The Tragedy of Carmen, Animal Crackers, The Spitfire Grill, La Cenerentola, The Mikado, Patience, The Pirates of Penzance, and the world premiere of Over the Moon with Gilbert and Sullivan. Mr. Theisen works frequently on the university level as a Guest Director and Lecturer. He served as Director of Opera at the University of Iowa and has continued that relationship for the past 12 years. Other university credits include Carnegie Mellon University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Florida State University, Portland State University, Manhattan School of Music, Utah State University, Northwestern University, NYU and St. Ambrose University where he also serves on the advisory committee to the theatre department. Bill was the Artistic Director of the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts in upstate New York and is an adjudicator for arts programming on PBS.

Pam Kriger (Stage Director/Choreographer) - Pam returns to Skylight after serving as Stage Director for last season's A Day in Hollywood/Night in Ukraine. Other Skylight stage director/choreographer credits include White Christmas, Tintypes, Lady Be Good, The All Night Strut, Little Shop of Horrors and Once on This Island. She has choreographed a multitude of Skylight shows since 1980 including Oh, Lady Lady!, Cabaret, The King & I and Animal Crackers. She is a member of the theater faculty at Cardinal Stritch University where she recently directed Urinetown and Zombies From The Beyond. Pam works extensively throughout the region as a director and choreographer. Recent credits include Cheeseheads, The Musical for American Folklore Theatre, Muskie Love for Madison Rep., Curtains for Nicolet High School and Into The Woods for University Theatre at UW-Madison.

Gregory W. Slawko (Costume Design) - Greg is very pleased to return to Skylight! His previous Skylight credits include Hello Dolly and Anything Goes. Recent opera credits include The Merry Widow, Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro and The Consul at Northwestern University and Chatauqua Opera in New York. As past resident designer at The Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago, he designed over thirty shows during his eight year tenure. While there, his designs included premiere pieces for the Joffrey Ballet, Gus Giordano, Trinity Irish Dancers, Joel Hall Dance Chicago and the former Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre. He has also done extensive work in wardrobe construction for many major motion pictures including Public Enemies, The Unborn, Roll Bounce, A League of Their Own, The Babe, Natural Born Killers, Hero, Dennis the Menace, Baby's Day Out and The Hudsucker Proxy. Greg has taught at Northwestern University, Loyola University, Roosevelt University, Columbia University in Chicago and Illinois State University.

Kurt Schnabel (Lighting Design) - Kurt is happy to return to Skylight after designing last season's The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. Favorite Skylight designs include Lucia Di Lamermoor, Romeo and Juliet and The Midnight Angel. Kurt's work has been seen throughout Milwaukee with companies such as First Stage Children's Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Shakespeare, KO THI Dance Company and Next Act Theatre. Kurt is the Production Manager with ACME Production Resources, where he designs and oversees production on projects ranging from architectural lighting installations and custom exhibits to dance competitions, film shoots and corporate meetings for clients including Kohl's Department Stores, Oshkosh Truck, EAA, Aurora Healthcare, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, Boston Store, Marquette University, Discovery World and the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

Jeff Schaetzke (Music Director) - Jeff is thrilled to be joining Skylight again, having last been seen in An Evening With Gilbert & Sullivan. Recent credits include the premiere of The Daly News at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at First Stage Children's Theatre. Other credits include two seasons at American Players Theatre, directing and music directing at Marquette University, Carroll College and Sunset Playhouse. He currently runs the theater department at Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay, where he has directed over 25 productions, including favorites such as Les Miserables, Pirates of Penzance, Metamorphoses, State Fair, Ragtime, Cats, Aida and many others.

Rick A. Rasmussen (Set Design) - Rick has been working with Skylight Opera Theatre since 1991, when he designed the scenery, props and costumes for its production of Dames at Sea in the old Skylight Theatre. He was honored to be the scenic designer for its first season in the Cabot Theatre, designing 110 in the Shade. Rick resides in Seattle, but works extensively in Milwaukee and other parts of the Midwest. Area theatrical credits include, Duet For One at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, La Boheme at Skylight Opera Theatre, High School Musical at the Fireside, Seven Stories at Next Act Theatre, A Christmas Story at First Stage Children's Theatre and Syncopation at Renaissance Theaterworks.

Gary Ellis (Sound Design) - Gary Ellis is serving in his fourth year as Skylight's audio visual supervisor and has been an audio engineer in theatre for over 15 years. He began his career as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, but got hooked on theater after years of watching performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He was so happy to be part of Skylight's production of RENT last year. Other shows he has mixed include White Christmas, The Spitfire Grill, The Producers, Blues in the Night, Sunday In The Park With George, Sideshow and Violet. Gary studied technical theatre at San Francisco State University. Previously, he worked at the Santa Fe Opera, Theatreworks in Palo Alto, California and Summer Repertory Theatre in Santa Rosa, California.
Kimberly Ann McCann (Stage Manager) - Kimberly is delighted to be making her Skylight debut as stage manager for Dames at Sea. She has previously worked on Broadway on Curtains. Off-Broadway credits include Bill W. and Dr. Bob, How to Save the World and John Ferguson. Regionally, she worked in Chicago, on Million Dollar Quartet. Touring credits include Fish Face, Amber Brown is Not a Crayon, Lily's Crossing and Salem Justice with ArtsPower National Touring Theatre. Other credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, in San Francisco, Door Shakespeare's The Rivals and Much Ado About Nothing, Illinois Shakespeare Festival's Titus Andronicus, and The Winter's Tail, Romeo & Juliet, Around the World in 80 Days and All's Well That Ends Well, at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. At the Juilliard School, credits include The Listener, Edward II, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Miss Lonely Hearts. Kimberly is a graduate of Illinois State University and is a proud member of Actors' Equity.

Christy Morton (Mona) - Christy comes directly from North Carolina Theatre where she playEd Grace Farrell in Annie, starring Andrea McArdle as Miss Hannigan. She appeared in the 1st national tours of Dr. Doolittle as Emma (understudy) and as the Queen (understudy) in Cinderella, starring Eartha Kitt. Off Broadway, she appeared as Laura in the York Theatre production of A Fine and Private Place. Favorite regional credits include The Visit, with Chita Rivera and George Hearn at the Signature Theatre, as Hope in Anything Goes at Sacramento Music Circus, as Eliza in My Fair Lady at the Fulton Opera House, as Belle in Little Me at North Shore and as Mrs. Claus in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Chicago.

Samantha Sostarich (Joan) - Samantha is a 2007 graduate of UW-Madison, where she received her BA as a Theatre Acting Specialist and is delighted to be returning to Skylight! Previous Skylight appearances include Isabel in Pirates of Penzance, Usherette/Ulla Understudy in The Producers and Rhoda in White Christmas. Other favorite performances include Miss Peretti and Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre in Putnam County Spelling Bee, Ensamble in Jesus Christ Super Star, Maid in My Fair Lady, Woman Two in Side By Side By Sondheim, Soupy Sue in Urinetown, Ida in Die Fledermaus, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Betty in Three Penny Opera and Marty in Grease.
Mark David Kaplan (Captain/Hennesey) - Mark David Kaplan returns to Skylight where he has previously appeared in Animal Crackers, The Coconuts, Into The Woods and as Dick in Dames at Sea. Recent credits include The Emperor's New Clothes, Willy Wonka, How Can You Run With a Shell on Your Back? and The Wizard of Oz, at Chicago Shakespeare, Tateh in Ragtime, Oscar Shapiro in Curtains at Drury Lane Oakbrook, Panch in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Drury Lane Water Tower, Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Noble Fool Theatricals and Snoopy in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown at the Marriot Theatre. Mr. Kaplan also appeared in Forbidden Broadway Dances with the Stars at Royal George Theater, which received a Jeff Award. Favorite regional credits include Amadeus and Enter the Guardsman at Indiana Repertory Theatre and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, at Theatre Virginia. Off Broadway, Mr. Kaplan appeared in Forbidden Broadway Cleans Up Its Act, hailed as one of the Year's 10 Best by Time Magazine. National tours include countless versions of Forbidden Broadway Cleans Up Its Act and three years with The Lion King.

Meghan Deese (Ruby) - Meghan is thrilled to return to Skylight in this fantastic production of Dames at Sea and equally thrilled to revisit one of her favorite characters, Ruby. Skylight audiences may remember her from ensemble roles in White Christmas and The Producers. Other notable credits include Hope in Urinetown, Hippolita in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, the Barker in The Water Engine at UW-Madison, Sarah in Muskie Love at Madison Rep and Belle in A Christmas Carol at Children's Theatre of Madison.

Chad Broskey (Dick) - Chad is thrilled to be making his Skylight debut in Dames at Sea. He graduated from YPAS with a Musical Theater degree and has since been living in Los Angeles. He has worked with Selena Gomez, Judy Greer, Brooke Burns and Ashton Kutcher on ABC, NBC, Disney and MGM. Chad's film and television credits include The Suite Life as Gavin, Shane on Miss Guided, Rod on Scrubs, Marco Vega on Read it and Weep and Justin Whitley in Legally Blondes. Theatre credits include Hairspray as Link Larkin, Bert in Mary Poppins, Marius in Les Miserables, Oscar in Sweet Charity and Cowardly Lion in Wizard of Oz.

Scott Stratton (Lucky) - This is Scott's sixth production with Skylight and he is thrilled to return for Dames at Sea. Previous Skylight credits include Man of LaMancha, South Pacific, Patience, White Christmas and as Smudge in last season's Plaid Tidings. Other credits include Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, A Wonderful Life, Crazy for You and Footloose at Theatre at the Center, in Munster, Indiana.
Kelly Sina (Trixie) - Kelly feels so blessed to be returning to Skylight as Trixie! She was last see at Skylight in The Producers. Kelly recently finished playing the title character in Roger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella at Derby Dinner Playhouse. Other regional credits include SUDS, Little Women, Godspell, and Oliver! at Hope Summer Rep. She holds a BA from Hope College. Now residing in New York City, Kelly is excited to be back home in Wisconsin.
Conductor/Keyboard: Jeff Schaetzke
Keyboard II: Mark Carlstein
Drums/Percussion: Michael Lorenz

Song List
Act I
Wall Street........................Mona, Joan, Trixie
It's You.............................Dick, Ruby
Broadway Baby..................Dick
That Mister Man of Mine........Mona and Company
Choo-Choo Honeymoon........Joan, Lucky
The Sailor of my Dreams...... Ruby
Good Times are Here to Stay...Joan and Company
Act II
Dames at Sea.....................Company
The Beguine.......................Mona, Captain
Raining in My Heart..............Ruby and Company
There's Something About You...Dick and Ruby
Raining in My heart (Reprise)......Ruby
The Echo Waltz......................Mona, Joan, Ruby, Trixie and Company
Star Tar..............................Ruby and Company
Let's Have a Simple Wedding.....Company

Music by Jim Wise
Book and Lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller

September 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30; October 1, 2, 3

Good to Know Before the Show
Following all Friday and Saturday evening performances in the Skylight Bar & Bistro. There is not a cabaret performance on opening night.
Food and Drink... Skylight Bar & Bistro by Kafevino, located on the second floor of the Broadway Theatre Center, is a full-service bar open two hours before performances, at intermission and after performances with the exception of Sunday evenings. For reservations, call (414) 224-4900.

Skylight Insights...Join us for an opportunity to learn more about Skylight Opera Theatre productions. Associate Artistic Director Ray Jivoff will lead pre-performance talks one hour before curtain for every Wednesday and Sunday performance.

Box Office Information
Skylight Opera Theatre's Box Office is located in the Broadway Theatre Center at 158 North Broadway, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202. Phone: (414) 291-7800

Monday through Saturday, noon to 6:00 p.m. and two hours prior to all performances. Skylight tickets are available for purchase online at, 24 hours a day/7 days a week!

Ticket Prices...There are four price levels in the Cabot Theatre. Prices range from $22.50 to $65.00.


Skylight Opera Theatre is a nationally recognized producer of the full-spectrum of Music Theatre.

The Skylight is proud to be a cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), which provides major annual financial support. Through community support of the United Performing Arts Fund, UPAF Member and Affiliate Groups are able to provide education and outreach to over 400,000 children, provide over 2,000 live performances and reach over 1,000,000 people every year. When everyone supports the arts through UPAF, they help our local economy, improving education and strengthening outreach programs to the disabled and elderly- all while adding culture to their own life. Support of UPAF is critical to UPAF Member Groups' ability to continue to offer exceptional live performances, award-winning education and outreach programming and substantial economic impact to our region. To learn more about UPAF or to donate, go to

The Skylight is supported in part by grants from the NEA, Wisconsin Arts Board, the City of Milwaukee Arts Board, and CAMPAC. The Skylight is a member of OPERA America; Visit Milwaukee; Historic Third Ward Association; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin; Theatre Wisconsin; Cultural Alliance and a cultural partner of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education (ACE) Program. This theater is an equal opportunity employer. Except in plays where race itself is an issue, casting is decided based on ability, not race.


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