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Engaging with Our Community

Using musical theatre as a means of engagement, our goal is to create a strong organization which provides a consistent, high quality experience for everyone involved onstage, backstage, in the audience, and in the community. For ten years we've worked in the Madison community - bringing musical theatre to audiences across the city, partnering with other organizations, and providing valuable learning opportunities for performers and technicians.

Beyond the Page Library Concerts

Coming soon to a library near you!

What stories led to the creation of Fiddler on the Roof? The short stories of Yiddish folklorist Sholem-Aleichem were the genesis of the musical, but there are other stories of the creative process, too. In this program, the audience will learn how the creative team—made up of composer Jerry Bock, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, playwright Joseph Stein, director Jerome Robbins, and producer Hal Prince—brought these tales to life on the Broadway stage.

This hour-long program features a quartet of some of the best local singers bringing you the stories and songs of Fiddler, such as “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “Tradition,” and “Sunrise, Sunset.” This program is produced by Four Seasons Theatre as an outreach component of its 2016–2017 season and draws on the work of Alisa Solomon, author of Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof. For those in the audience who like to sing, there will be an opportunity to join the performers in singing a familiar Fiddler tune.

This program is produced with support from the Beyond the Page program, a joint effort of the Dane County Library Service and the Madison Community Foundation to create a permanent endowment that will support expanded humanities programming in all 28 public libraries in Dane County. The Beyond the Page program is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Madison Community Foundation.

This family-friendly, free program will be performed in the following local libraries:

Mount Horeb Public Library on Monday, January 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Waunakee Public Library on Tuesday, January 31 at 6:30 p.m.

DeForest Public Library on Wednesday, February 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Oregon Area Senior Center on Monday, February 6 at6:30 p.m.

Sun Prairie Public Library on Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m.

McFarland Public Library on Wednesday, February 8 at 6:30 p.m

Fitchburg Community Center on Friday, February 10 at 1:00 p.m.

Madison Public Library, Hawthorne Branch on Monday, February 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Verona Public Library on Tuesday, February 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Middleton Public Library on Wednesday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m.

 

Outreach Concerts

As part of our continuing commitment to community outreach and audience engagement, Four Seasons Theatre is proud to present a series of outreach concerts throughout the season.

Program venues have included service organizations (Madison Breakfast Rotary Club), retirement communities (Oakwood West, Capitol Lakes & Attic Angels), and local concert series events (First Unitarian Society's Noon Musicale Series & the Rural Musicians Forum Unity Chapel Concert Series), among others.

"The Best of Broadway: Fiddler and Friends"

We continue our "Best of Broadway" outreach series with a program focusing on the classic Broadway musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. You'll learn about the Sholem-Aleichem stories that inspired the production, and enjoy much-loved songs like “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” all brought to you FST's talented singers. In addition, we’ll feature songs from shows that were competing with the long-running FIDDLER for ticket-buyers—shows like HELLO DOLLY, CABARET, and SWEET CHARITY. This 45-minute program is scalable to fit different venues, and is a great option for audiences such as community groups, schools, senior centers, assisted living facilities, or retirement communities.

We'd love to present our outreach program for your next function! Please contact us for information about program scheduling and costs.

Backstage Arts Internships

The Last Five Years, November 2006.Our internship program provides exposure to technical theatre careers as students learn about the production process from design to final product. Supervised student interns work with theatre professionals who serve as both educational mentors and production staff for FST. Internship areas include Stage Management, Wardrobe and Hair/Makeup Crew, Lighting, Set Construction, Sound Design, and Props.

 

Lecture Series

In August 2005 Four Seasons Theatre presented the Ragtime Lecture Series which helped give context and meaning to a socially relevant show through discussions led by our featured speakers Professor Sandra Adell, Professor Michael Leckrone, and Professor Diane Lindstrom.

In August 2006 the Sweeney Todd Lecture Series featured "Sweeney Todd: Musical or Opera" with FST Artistic Director Andrew Abrams and Madison Opera General Director Allan Naplan and "The Music of Sondheim" with Jim Tucker, Director of Opera at Northern Illinois University.

In March 2007 FST Artistic Director Andrew Abrams and Madison Opera General Director Allan Naplan spoke about the history of the story of Madame Butterfly and how this served as the basis for Miss Saigon

In August 2007 Maestro John DeMain, who conducted the 1980 Broadway revival of West Side Story spoke about his own experience and working with Leonard Bernstein.

In February 2009 Maestro John DeMain offered an entertaining history of Candide.

In August 2009, Professor Glen Close spoke about "Eva Peron: A Revolutionary Icon," an exploration of her celebrity and rise to fame in a preshow lecture for Evita.

In August 2010, FST partnered with the Wisconsin Veterans Museum for a special presentation on military life in the South Pacific during WWII.  In addition to viewing and learning about artifacts from the war, Tim Hamilton presented an overview of life on the home front and in the military and staff from the Museum facilitated a discussion with WWII veterans in attendance.

In August 2011, FST offered two lectures in conjunction with our production of A Little Night Music: one which provided historical context for the show (presented by Bethany Wood, PhD) and "Victorians' Secrets," a history of undergarments in the Victorian era (presented by Leslie Ballies, textiles curator for the Wisconsin Historical Society.)

In December 2012, we offered a glimpse into the history of cosmetics marketing and sales in the 1920s and 1930s as part of our preshow lecture for She Loves Me (presented by Bethany Wood, PhD).

 

Behind The Scenes Workshops

In December 2005 veteran actor and teacher Michael Bofshever presented "The Journey of a Working Actor," sharing insights from his extensive career in television, film and on stage.

In March 2006 Telly Leung, whose Broadway credits include Pacific Overtures and Flower Drum Song, led a musical theatre masterclass, working with four singers from the UW-Madison and the community. Following the workshop, Mr. Leung, who starred as Tobias in FST's August 2006 production of Sweeney Todd, participated in an audience talkback.

In February 2008, multiple Tony nominee Tom Wopat spoke about his path from Lodi High School to Broadway.

In January 2009, Broadway veteran Caitlin Hopkins and actor/songwriter James Price worked with nine community members in an acting in musical theatre workshop at Capitol Lakes.

In February 2010, Broadway veterans Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley worked with three local singers as part of a musical theatre masterclass.