Theatre and Fine Arts Group Announces its 2020 Season (and it’s a doozie!)

There are many things that make Forest County unique. While some are well known far and wide, some are hidden gems. Wabeno Area Players (WAP) is one of the brightest gems you’ll find in these parts.

Founded almost 40 years ago, WAP’s main mission was to bring the arts to our community by way of theatre, music and song.And for all those years, that’s just what it’s done. But hold on to your hats, folks, because the 2020 season will see WAP in overdrive!

For the first time ever, WAP is presenting 12 events over the course of every month in 2020 but December. If the sheer number of special events doesn’t impress you, the variety and high quality of them certainly will!

There’s not enough space to provide a complete list and description of the entire season, but rest assured, there’s a little something for everyone: history, music, song, comedy, and yes, even climate change. To sweeten the pot, one doesn’t have to drive far or pay big city prices for quality entertainment, and it’s right here in our own backyard!

A brief list of the season is included here, but to get the complete skinny on everything from an overview of the production andvenue to dates and ticket prices, please visit wabenoareaplayers.org, or visit WAP on Facebook at facebook.com/wabenoareaplayers.

• January: Saving Snow Documentary Viewing (Fine Arts Series)

• February: The MadHatters A Cappella (Fine Arts Series)

• March: Play On (WAP Mainstage Production)

• March: Wisconsin Association of Community Theatre Conference

• April: Wisconsin Singers (Fine Arts Series)

• May: Huisman Honors Recital (Fine Arts Series)

• June: A Night AT The Museum (Fine Arts Series)

• July: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (WAP Mainstage Production)

•August: A Night At The Old School House

• September: The Outrageous Adventures of Sheldon & Mrs. Levine (WAP Mainstage Production)

• October: The Special Consensus (Fine Arts Series)

• November: Four Old Broads (WAP Mainstage Production)

WAP exists to entertain, to inspire, to educate, and to impact in a positive way, and we hope you’ll join us in 2020! Be sure to stay tuned as more information is released each month on upcoming performances.

FOREST COUNTY POTAWATOMI AND POTAWATOMI CARTER CASINO HOTEL RECOGNIZED

At a recent Wabeno Area Players Fine Arts Series Concert, the Forest County Potawatomi and the Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel, were recognized for their support of the new fine arts series initiative and supporting the arts in our area.

“Without the support of the of these two entities, we would not have been able to offer the wide range of performances and visiting artists to our schools and community,” stated Jameson, President and Artistic Director of the Players. “This past year we had music professionals work with our students during the day and perform for the community in evening concerts at the Nancy Volk Auditorium.”

Representing the Forest County Potawatomi Community and the Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel is Casino General Manager, Stacey White (Center). Presenting Stacey with the plaques are Robert Brown (left), WAP Treasurer and Carol Bartlein (right), WAP Vice-President.

The players are soon releasing the 2020 Season and are just now starting their 2020 Pledge Drive. For more information about supporting the players and all their initiatives, please call (715) 889-1606, email wabenoareaplayers@gmail.com.

Flowers from the Heart and Wabeno Area Players Team Up for Murder Mystery Scholarship Fundraiser “A Mafia Murder Christmas Party”

On Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7:00pm the Wabeno Area Players will be presenting “A Mafia Murder Christmas Party.” It will be held in the beautiful atmosphere of Flowers from the Heart, in Crandon.

This is an audience participation murder mystery show.  Only 50 tickets will be available.  You can only purchase the tickets in person at Flowers from the Heart.  No telephone or email purchases will be available.  The cost per ticket is $25.00 which includes hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages.  

You get to be part of the show!  All attendees must come wearing 1920’s fashions and ready to solve the crime of murder.  This will be the event of the season and all proceeds go towards a great cause.  During the night you will be entertained by characters and music of the holiday season. 

Not only will you have fun and enjoy an evening of good cheer, you will be able to purchase store items at a discount.  Door prize giveaways and raffles will be held throughout the night.

This event will take the place of Flowers from the Heart’s annual “Night of Elegance.”  Flowers from the Heart and Owner Bruce Walentowski have been major supporters of the Erna Rousseau Scholarship and Wabeno Area Players.  Bruce wanted to do something different this year and give back to the communities his business has served for 32 years.  Flowers from the Heart opened its doors in December of 1987.  Almost to the date of this special fundraising event. 

Proceeds and donations from this evening 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. Erna always made time for students from the area and supported the arts fully.  It’s awarded annually to a student from Crandon, Goodman/Armstrong Creek, White Lake, Elcho, Phelps, Pembine, Florence, Three Lakes, Laona and Wabeno 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 students to attend summer camps.  Since 1997 the scholarship has awarded over $10,000 to 34 area students.  It’s the only scholarship of it’s kind for the youth in our area.  Wabeno Area Players is the only community focused arts organization in our area as well.  Both entities rely on the generous support of the community we live in.  All donations are tax deductible.  If you are interested in donating to the scholarship or Wabeno Area Players, please contact (715) 889-1606.  You can also email us at wabenoareaplayers@gmail.com or send donations directly to:

      Wabeno Area Players

      P.O. Box 325

      Wabeno, WI 54566


The festivities will begin at 7:00pm the evenings of the 14th.  The doors will open at 6:30pm and close at 7:00pm sharp.  The Murder/Mystery will last until 10:00pm.  The party will continue after 10 and guests can shop, visit with the cast and Bruce.  Flowers from the Heart is located at 117 North Lake Avenue in Crandon.  Space is limited to 50 guests.  For more information please call (715) 889-1606 or (715) 478-3710. More information is available on Facebook@wabenoareaplayers.

Wabeno Area Players Present… Farce of Habit

November 21-23 at 7:00 p.m.

November 23 & 24 at 1:00 p.m.

Madonna Hall, Wabeno, WI

Don’t miss a chance to enjoy a hilarious night or afternoon out!  This show is non-stop laughter from beginning to end.  It will be in the intimate setting of Madonna Hall.  Drink and beverage table service will be available.  This is the last production of the Players 2019 Season!

Comic fireworks explode in “FARCE OF HABIT,” a Southern-fried romp that takes us back to a fishing lodge in the Ozarks. Proprietor D. Gene Wilburn is looking forward to a peaceful weekend, but there are only two chances of that happening: slim and none.  Why has his wife picked these three days to begin caffeine withdrawal?  Why is his son’s marriage falling apart so fast?  How on earth would D. Gene’s sister get caught up in such a bizarre undercover police assignment? If this isn’t enough to thwart D. Gene’s weekend plans, he’s got a gaggle of nuns who’ve converged on the Inn for a nature retreat. Add to this a nationally known relationship guru whose colossal ego threatens everyone’s sanity; a shy retiree anxious to cut loose and embrace his “inner caveman” and a couple of wild women who may or may not be who they claim to be.  Throw in a storm of the century, and D. Gene has no prayer of baiting a hook any time soon. Oh, and did we mention there’s an axe murderer on the loose? If you love hilarity, then laughing your way through this comedy is one habit you’ll never want to break!

Tickets for the event are $15 for Adults and $10 for Students. Seating is limited for each performance, please purchase tickets ahead of time. 

The venue for the event is the Madonna Hall (1793 Elm Ave., Wabeno, WI 54566). For Tickets Call (800) 838-3006 or order online at wabenoareaplayers.brownpapertickets.com. If seating is still available, the doors will open 6:30pm for ticket sales.

Cast of Farce of Habit (L-R) Carol Bartlein, Dan Bobbe, Sue Ferguson, Linda Harter, Time Derfus, Boyd Monte and Maline Enders. Not pictured Elizabeth Couillard and Bob Brown.

UW-Oshkosh Jazz Ensemble to Perform in Wabeno Area Players Fine Arts Series

The UW Oshkosh Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. Marty Robinson, is the premiere jazz group at the university. In addition, the jazz ensemble travels to national jazz festivals and often tours regionally to high schools around Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. The ensemble plays a wide variety of jazz big-band music, from the early swing era to classic 60s jazz to 80s jazz fusion to modern jazz, including everything in between, and prides itself on the ability to switch gears musically and present a rich and wide array of great jazz music, often featuring new composers and arrangers as well.

During the day of the performance a clinic will be held with the UW-Oshkosh Jazz Ensemble and area school students.  Any schools wishing to participate should call (715) 889-1606 or email wabenoareaplayers@gmail.com.


The Rebel Boys Basketball Team will host a Spaghetti Dinner before the concert starting at 5:00 p.m.  They are raising money for the Rebel Boys Basketball Team to Play Crivitz December 14th at the FiServ Forum (Milwaukee Bucks Stadium). The dinner will be $6.00 per person.  Come out and enjoy a dinner and show!  Show your support for the Rebel Basketball Team and the Wabeno Area Players Fine Arts Series.

Tickets for the event are $10 for Adults and $5 for Students.  The venue for the event is the Nancy Volk Auditorium (Wabeno High School, 4325 Branch St., Wabeno, WI 54566).  For Tickets Call (800) 838-3006 or order online at uw-oshkoshjazz.brownpapertickets.com.Tickets will be available at the door starting at 6:00pm.