Erna Rousseau Education Scholarship Celebrates 20 Years of Giving to Area Young Adults

The scholarship is in the memory of Erna Rousseau, a lifelong piano teacher and accompanist from Wabeno. Erna was a large presence in the community when it came to the arts and supporting these programs and the youth involved with them. It’s awarded annually to a student from Wabeno, Crandon, and Laona. The scholarships are awarded to students who have been involved in the arts in high school and plan on pursuing a college degree in education, art, graphic arts, music, dance, theater or TV/broadcast journalism. Scholarships are also awarded to current high school students to attend visual and performing arts camp and clinics. Since 1997 the fund has thus far given over $6000 in scholarships to area young adults.
The Erna Rousseau Scholarship Committee in cooperation with Wabeno Area Players has announced that the Goodman/Armstrong Creek School District will now be added to the scholarship. This makes students from this school district eligible to apply and receive the scholarships.

Postsecondary Scholarship
This postsecondary scholarship is designed to recognize area students who have demonstrated academic success, community service and involvement in the performing and/or visual arts. The amount of the scholarship is $500. This will be awarded to the recipient in the spring semester of his/her second year of college. The scholarship is open to applicants who will be enrolled in an institution of higher learning as an education, music, art, graphic arts, theater, dance or TV/broadcast journalism. The student must carry at least 12 credits a semester and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. A letter of recommendation from a teacher or administrator must be submitted to the scholarship committee. Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered by April 1. The Scholarship Committee’s decision will be announced on class night or graduation day. The decision of the committee will be final.

High School Fine Arts Camps, Clinics and Workshop Scholarships
These scholarships are designed to recognize area students who have demonstrated success and talent in the performing and/or visual arts. The amount of the scholarship is $250. Two scholarships may be awarded per year. The scholarship is open to students in the school districts of Crandon, Laona, Wabeno and Goodman/Armstrong Creek who are freshmen, sophomores, or juniors at the time of the application. The scholarship is open to applicants who wish to attend a fine arts workshop, clinic or camp (music, art, theater, forensics, etc…), and who agree to attend the entire camp. Applicants must include a camp brochure or information from the camp/clinic/workshop. A letter of recommendation must be included with the application. This should be written by a teacher, administrator, or fine arts extra-curricular coach and should stress the student’s dedication to their art, academic strength, and good attendance record. Applications must be received no later than April 1 and scholarships will be awarded on or before May 1. The decision of the
committee will be final.
The school districts of Crandon, Laona, Wabeno and Goodman/Armstrong Creek have received the scholarship information. If anyone is interested in the scholarships they should see the school administration, counselor, fine arts teachers or extra-curricular coaches. For additional information please see the Wabeno Area Players Website at and look for the Erna Rousseau Scholarship tab. Questions may also be directed to Laura Bobbe 715-674-6705, Carol Bartlein 715-473-5466 or Jackie Enders 715-674-4061. Correspondence can be sent to: Erna Rousseau Scholarship, C/O Laura Bobbe, 5775 West Shore Lane, Laona, WI 54541.

This is the only local scholarship designed to give to students that participate and excel in the arts. Wabeno Area Players is the financial fiduciary of the Erna Rousseau Scholarship. This 501c3 organization raises funds throughout the year for the scholarship. If you are interested in learning more about the Wabeno Area Players and would like to give to the Erna Rousseau Scholarship, please use the contact information below. All donations are tax deductible.

Wabeno Area Players
P.O. Box 325
Wabeno, WI 54566
(715) 889-1606
(715) 473-5466
Facebook @wabenoraeaplayers

The Hallelujah Girls

The performances will take place at 7:00 p.m. February 9-11 and at 2 p.m. February 12.  The venue for this production is the Madonna Hall located behind St. Ambrose Catholic Church.  Tickets are $15.00 per person and include the show a Southern Dessert.  Adult beverages will be served at the cash bar.  You must call ahead for reservations (715) 889-1606 or (715) 473-5466.

The action takes place in Spa-Dee-Dah, an abandoned church-turned-day-spa in Eden Falls, Ga., where Sugar Lee and her feisty friends congregate.  After the loss of a dear friend, the women realize time is precious and if they’re going to make the most of their lives, now is the time. The comic tension mounts after Sugar Lee’s charming ex-fiancé unexpectedly arrives at the spa and her longtime nemesis vows to take over the church building and destroy Spa-Dee-Dah.

Written by Jesse Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten (of TV’s “The Golden Girls”), the play’s characters are Sugar Lee Thompkins, the vivacious, smart Southern woman owner of the Spa-Dee-Dah health resort; Carlene Travis, a no-nonsense gal with dry wit who’s given up on romance after three husbands; and Nita Mooney, a sweet, simple country woman who lives vicariously through romance novels.

Also, Mavis Flowers, a wise-cracking matron who enjoys partying more than being with her indifferent husband; Crystal Hart, a daffy, loveable lady who sings her own lyrics to popular Christmas songs; and Bunny Sutherland, an upbeat seemingly pleasant person who is amusingly judgmental and passive aggressive.

Other characters include Bobby Dwayne Dillahunt, a rugged, good looking man with a self-depreciating sense of humor and charming manner, and Porter Padgett, a good hearted, gregarious blowhard who doesn’t know when to shut up and tends to talk louder than most people.

One drama critic notes that “with an uncanny ear for Southern comedy, the authors produce intelligent and thoughtful writing that elegantly portrays the dignity of Southern folk.”

The Wabeno Area Players originated over 25 years ago under the direction of Nancy Volk.  Since that time the organization has presented many productions, such as Steel Magnolias, Nunsense, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, Nunsense A Country Jamboree, Two by Two, original plays, revues and other productions. Since 2014, the troupe has been performing an extended calendar of productions.

“The Hallelujah Girls” marks the company’s first production of the 2017 Season. For more information, email or call (715) 889-1606 or (715) 473-5466.

“Songs Under the Mistletoe”

Wabeno Area Players Present Scholarship Fundraiser for Area Students

“Songs Under the Mistletoe”

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 15-18, Wabeno Area Players will be presenting “Songs Under the Mistletoe.”  It will be held in the beautiful atmosphere of The Big Easel.  The meal will include a Savory French Dip, au Jus, a salad brimming with fruit and nuts….and Dessert.  This annual event will include a mix of traditional, contemporary and classical music selections of the holiday season and also promises visits from a few special guests.  It will be an evening of warmth and good cheer!

Donations from each performance will go to the Erna Rousseau Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is in the memory of Erna Rousseau, a lifelong piano teacher and accompanist from Wabeno.  It’s awarded annually to a student from the area schools.  The scholarship is awarded to students who have been involved in the arts in high school and plan on pursuing a college degree in education, art, music, dance, or theater.  Scholarships are now being awarded to current high school student to attend summer camps.

A Holiday Dinner served from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., show at 7:00 p.m the evenings of the 15th-17th.   A Holiday Brunch will be served from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m on the 18th.  All performances are held at The Big Easel in Wabeno located at 1784 Maple Ave.  Space is limited to 40 guests each night please call (715) 889-1179 to reserve seating.  More information is available on our website or our Facebook page @wabenoareaplayers.


Open Auditions for The Hallelujah Girls


Written by Jessie Jones * Nicholas Hope * Jamie Wooten

Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 2 p.m.

Monday, December 5, 2016 at 6 p.m.

Wabeno Town Hall, 4473 N. Branch St., Wabeno.

General Audition Guidelines:

Auditions are open to everyone.

No appointments are necessary; auditions are conducted on a first-come, first served basis.

You need only attend one audition date. You will be notified if your presence is required at a call-back audition.

Auditioners will be asked to read from the play.

This is a Southern comedy and although accents will be used, we invite you to tread lightly in audition. In particular, we do not want to offer up a parody of these Southern characters and instead portray them as real women and men telling their story. The writing lends itself naturally to a “Southern accent,” so don’t worry, there’s no need to overdo it. As the writers of the play say it: “The characters that populate Eden Falls, GA should be portrayed as real people, not Southern caricatures.”

Please review CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS below and the REHEARSAL SCHEDULE. Bring any conflicts to note on your audition form.  Any Questions? Please contact us at (715) 889-1606 or email:

Rehearsal Schedule:

Please arrive with a calendar containing all possible conflicts for dates between January 2, 2017 and February 20, 2017. Rehearsals begin in earnest on January 2nd.

Current rehearsal schedule*:

January 2, 6:00pm Read-Thru

January 3-5, 6:00pm

January 8, 2:00pm

January 9-12, 6:00pm

January 16-19, 6:00pm

January 23-26, 6:00pm

January 29, 2:00pm

January 30 & 31, 6:00pm

February 1 & 2, 6:00pm

February 5, 12:00pm

February 6 & 7, 6:00pm

February 8, 6:00pm Dress Rehearsal

February 9-11, 7:00pm Performance

February 12, 2:00pm Performance

February 15, 6:00pm Rehearsal (TENTATIVE)

February 17, Afternoon Rehearsal (TENTATIVE)

February 18, Performance (TENTATIVE)

*subject to change – after casting, final rehearsal schedule will be made.

Synopsis:  Hilarity abounds when the feisty females of Eden Falls, Georgia, decide to shake up their lives. The action in this rollicking Southern comedy takes place in SPA-DEE-DAH!, the abandoned church-turned day spa where this group of friends gathers every Friday afternoon. After the loss of a dear friend, the women realize time is precious and if they’re going to change their lives and achieve their dreams they have to get on it now. But Sugar Lee, their high-spirited, determined leader, has her hands full keeping the women motivated. Carlene’s given up on romance, having buried three husbands. Nita’s a nervous wreck from running interference between her problematic son and his probation officer. Mavis’ marriage is so stagnant she’s wondering how she can fake her own death to get out of it. And sweet, simple Crystal entertains them all, singing Christmas carols with her own, hilarious lyrics. The comic tension mounts when a sexy, ex-boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, a marriage proposal comes from an unlikely suitor and Sugar Lee’s arch rival, Bunny, vows she’ll stop at nothing to steal the spa away from her. By the time the women rally together to overcome these obstacles and launch their new, improved lives, you’ve got a side-splitting, joyful comedy that will make you laugh out loud and shout “Hallelujah!”

Auditions will consist of readings from the script.

Character Descriptions:

CARLENE TRAVIS: (30’s to 60’s) A no-nonsense gal with dry wit. Married three times, Carlene says she’s been branded the “Black Widow of Eden Falls, GA” and that her “romantic life is history.” She’s convinced by Sugar Lee to take a chance on Porter. Carlene is Crystal’s sister.

NITA MOONEY: (30’s to 60’s) A very sweet, simple country woman. Nita works for the county, but really lives vicariously through romance novels and their storylines (which she has memorized.) She has a freeloading, lawbreaking son. Nita is a glass MORE than half full kind of person.

MAVIS FLOWERS: (30’s to 60’s) Has been married over forty years to a husband who is oblivious to her and anything else he is not personally interested in. A kind-hearted woman that longs for more romance and attention in her marriage.

CRYSTAL HART: (30’s to 60’s) Daffy and loveable. Very creative, extroverted, and undaunted. Crystal regularly dresses in costume and sings her own lyrics to popular Christmas songs. Crystal is Carlene’s sister. Actress playing this role must be able to sing confidently, but not necessarily perfectly. (simple piano playing a plus but not a prerequisite)

SUGAR LEE THOMPKINS: (30’s to 60’s) The ideal of a Southern woman. Dramatically attired in an explosion of color, Sugar Lee is vivacious, strong, and smart. It is her idea to turn the old church into a day spa – as she says, “a place where women can come and shed their worries, refocus their lives, and walk out feeling like they’re on top of the world.” Sugar Lee doesn’t comprehend that her past may be the one obstacle that she cannot overcome to save her small business, but when she realizes it, she leans on her long-time friends and allows her past to heal her future.

BUNNY SUTHERLAND: (30’s to 60’s) Upbeat and seemingly pleasant, Bunny wears an ever ready sunny smile all the while being deliciously judgmental and passive aggressive. The self-proclaimed social arbiter of Eden Falls, Bunny feels status is all important. She wants to take the church from Sugar Lee to open a museum in her name, even though the town already has a Bunny Sutherland Tennis Court, Dog Park and Azala Maze.

BOBBY DWAYNE DILLAHUNT: (30’s to 60’s) Unaware of his rugged good looks, Bobby Dwayne has a self-depreciating sense of humor and a charming manner. He dated Sugar Lee in high school and wanted to marry her. Since then, he describes his life as a “couple of failed marriages, couple of failed businesses, and a couple of knee operations.” Bobby Dwayne is now in construction and Sugar Lee reluctantly hires him.

PORTER PADGETT: (30’s to 60’s) A good hearted, gregarious blowhard. Porter doesn’t know when to shut up and tends to talk louder than most people. He really enjoys his own humor and has a big “horsey laugh.” Porter works for the post office and lives with his mother.

Get Your Tickets For “The Cemetery Club”


November 17-20, 2016

“The Cemetery Club”

By Ivan Menchell

*Reservations Requested

The Cemetery Club. It is the story of three widows in Forest Hills, Queens. They are the surviving half of three sets of long time best friends. Each of whom is in a different stage of healing and moving on with her life. Once a month the three women – Doris, Ida and Lucille – meet to pay their respects to their husbands, who are all buried in the same cemetery.

Doris is content to have loved her husband well and seeks nothing more than simply to go on remembering him. Lucille appears to quickly have dismissed the loss of her late husband and hungrily searches for a new man. She flaunts the men on her arm with hopes that her philandering late husband sees that she has moved on without him. No doubt Doris would contentedly visit the cemetery every day, but Lucille declares “I refuse to continue to be a part of a club where half the members are dead!” Ida is in the middle of these two opposites. She recounts how her husband always loved coming home to her home cooked meals, and how she spent the first few months after his death numbly cooking elaborate meals for the husband that would never come home to her again.

When Ida spends time with a widower named Sam, she wonders if she may be ready to open her heart to a second chance at love. The two find a connection that is soon torn asunder by Ida’s meddling friends. Though meaning well, Lucille and Doris decide that Ida is not ready for this budding relationship. They warn off Sam, who respectfully retreats without telling Ida why. When Sam appears at the wedding of a mutual friend with a glamorous and slightly younger widow named Mildred, sparks fly. Ida is hurt, and Lucille and Doris confess their interference. After a mild cat fight, complete with drinks thrown in faces, Ida, Lucille and Doris each more intently view their journey as single women.

After the wedding, we learn that Lucille, despite her bravado, has not been able to be sexually intimate with another man since her husband. His unfaithful adventures have left a part of her doubting that she was “good enough.” The women are bound together by their hurt, their healing and the discovery that they are more alike than they believed. Though Ida regains her chance at love with Sam, she losses her dear friend Doris, who unexpectedly passes away the day after the wedding. For those remaining, life goes on. It is a story of emotional strength and endurance.

The Cemetery Club has been compared by many to the play Steel Magnolias.

17th-19th Shows are at 7:00pm

20th Show is at 2:00pm

Cocktail Hour Starts at 1:00pm/6:00pm

All performances are at Madonna Hall located 1793 Elm Ave., Wabeno, WI located behind St. Ambrose Catholic Church.  For reservations please call (715) 889-1606 or (715) 473-5466.