AACTFest 2009

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AACTFest 2009


Another State Festival is History

The weekend of February 27 to March 1 was the weekend to remember for Wisconsin Community Theatre enthusiasts.  The Sauk Prairie Theatre Guild played host to the 2009 Wisconsin AACTFest at the beautiful River Arts Center. 

Friday was a day filled with rehearsals and tech meetings, ending with a welcome party at the Holiday Inn.  It was a time to catch up with old friends and make new ones.  With everyone sharing their supplies of snacks and libations as the wheels of “networking” turned until the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday began early with workshops on a number of different topics followed by lunch.  The festival then continued with the five festival performances.





Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa

The Adventures of Captain Neato-Man

Verona Area Community Theatre

Nunsense II:  The Second Coming

Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

Redbud Players

A Body of Water

Kettle Moraine Players

Lovers:  Winners -- Losers

But the end of the performances didn’t mean the fun was over yet.  While the adjudicators were deliberating and deciding, people were picking up the items they’d won at the WACT silent auction.  Then it was off to the Holiday Inn for the post show celebration.  Once again there was sharing of snacks and libations.

Sunday morning the River Arts Center stage was the site of the awards brunch and the WACT annual meeting.  After decimating the buffet and the annual meeting was concluded, it was on to the awards portion of the brunch.  Selected to proceed to the Region III festival were Kettle Moraine Players' production of Lovers:  Winners -- Losers and the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).  Chosen as alternate was Nunsense II: The Second Coming by the Verona Area Community Theater.

Wisconsin AACTFest 2007 Awards

Backstage Award

Beaver Dam Community Theatre – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)


Excellence in Instrumental Ensemble

Verona Area Community Theater -- Nunsense II:  The Second Coming


Excellence in Costumes & Properties

Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa – The Adventures of Captain Neato-Man


Excellence in Ensemble

Verona Area Community Theater -- Nunsense II:  The Second Coming


Excellence in Set & Lighting Design

John Brandl -- Lovers:  Winners – Losers


Excellence in Lighting

Mark Holten – Nunsense II:  The Second Coming


Excellence in Youth Acting

Molly Connell – Lovers:  Winners – Losers


Excellence in Youth Acting

Tamar Brooks – A Body of Water


Excellence in Youth Acting

Mason Salm – Lovers:  Winners – Losers


Excellence in Acting  

James Steffen – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)


Excellence in Acting  

Ricardo Ramirez -- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)


Excellence in Direction

Carla Woebbeking -- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)




2009 Wisconsin AACTFest Adjudicators
Bonnie Daniels Ross Daniels Allen Ebert

Bonnie Daniels has been active in Army Entertainment since 1976 when she directed the award-winning production of “Damn Yankees” for Yongsan Theatre in Korea.  She and her husband, Ross Daniels, spent 16 years as directors at Fort Knox with Army Community Theatre and 8 years with Soldiers’ Theatre in Vicenza, Italy.  In 2006, the U.S. Army presented Bonnie with the “James T. Martin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement”.


Bonnie has directed over 110 major productions and workshops.  She directed the Army’s inaugural Theatre Bravo production of “Play Ball” in 2000 and subsequent world-tour Bravo productions.  Her productions have received awards at State, Regional, National, and International Festivals.  She directed “Do Not Go Gentle” which was the Army’s first competitive entry and award-winner at the National AACT Fest ‘99 in Memphis, TN.


Bonnie has been an advocate for developing Arts-In-Education programming for the military community and has served on various state and national arts-education committees.  Bonnie holds a BA in Speech Communications from Southern Illinois University and MA in Theatre from Arizona State University.  She is a past board member of AACT.


Ross Daniels recently retired from the Federal Government after 25 years as Technical, Managing, and Producing Director of U.S. Army Entertainment Programs at Fort Knox, Kentucky and Vicenza, Italy.  In 2001, the U.S. Army presented Ross with the “James T. Martin Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement”.


While at Fort Knox, Ross and his wife Bonnie established ACT (Army Community Theatre) and built one of the Army’s most decorated programs.  He produced and directed plays that took top awards at state, regional, and national AACT festivals and were honored at International Theatre Festivals in Aruba, Texas, England and Germany.  Ross served as Kentucky Community Theatre Chair from 1995-97 and hosted the state theatre festival at Fort Knox in 1996.


Ross has produced and directed over 100 plays, musicals, and workshops.  He has adapted many scripts from their literary sources including “A Christmas Carol”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and “Hamlet”.  His original compiled scripts include material centered on Shakespeare: “Billy Ball”, African American Literature: “Umbhiyozo”, and the golden entertainment age: “The Day of Vaudeville/A Night In Burlesque”.


Allen Ebert is the Operations Director of the Wisconsin Film Festival, presented by the University of Wisconsin – Madison Arts Institute.  Until recently he was the Executive Director of La Crosse Community Theatre where he directed The Women of Lockerbie, which represented Region III at the 2007 national AACTFest in Charlotte, North Carolina.  In July 2006 he directed a production of The Tolstoy Story Play which represented the USA at the AACT International Theatre Festival in Midland, Texas.  In the past few years he has adjudicated the Wisconsin, Ohio and New Mexico State Festivals. He has conducted Annual Summer Theatre Workshops for all ages, produced a ten-hour Entertainment Fest including such performers as the Washington Redskin Cheerleaders and Joan Jett, and directed many highly acclaimed productions including I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, The Sound of Music and Selkie


Allen received his undergraduate Theatre Degree at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  He has enjoyed being a director and an acting instructor with the following companies: The National High School Theatre Institute at Northwestern University, Sun Prairie Civic Theatre, Menomonee Falls Patio Players, US Army Kaiserslautern Community Theatre - Germany, CTM Madison Family Theatre Company, La Crosse Community Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre and Center Stage, New York.



River Arts Center

Holiday Inn Madison West



Sauk Prairie Theatre Guild

2009 AACTFest Rules

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