12th Night for 12th Night

12th Night for 12th Night
January 7, 2020

Doors Open at 6pm | Show Starts at 7pm

No Cover Charge!

The newly formed Shakespeare From the Ground theater ensemble in La Crosse announces their first production in partnership with Pearl Street Brewery. They will be bringing Twelfth Night to life in a unique way Tuesday, January 7th, 2020. The group is modeled after the premise developed by Chicago’s The Back Room Shakespeare Project of performing one of Shakespeare’s plays in the spirit in which it was written.

In Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night', a sister and brother are shipwrecked and separated, and they find their way into new friends, love interests, and a case of mistaken identity. Come and find out what happens when a group of dedicated actors who understand their work take one of Shakespeare's plays, eliminate the director, and are willing to step into the chaos. Your part? Drink and enjoy!


Chuck Charbeneau
[ Antonio ]

Charbeneau, who has degrees in computer science and theater, has been teaching improv for over two decades, and has acted in several local theater productions. "I had the opportunity to see The Back Room Shakespeare Project - (BRSP) in Chicago, picked up Samuel Taylor's book 'My Life with the Shakespeare Cult,' and fell in love with the idea." Said Chuck.

Whitney Graham
[ Fabian ]

Whitney Graham is a second-year student at University of Wisconsin-Madison who is currently double-majoring in Film and Creative Writing. She hasn't done theatre in awhile due to an unflexible work schedule, but she hopes to get back into it next year after she becomes an RA. Graham has done improv for almost five years with Coulee Region Unscripted and previously appeared in Calendar Girls at LCT. This is the first Shakespeare play she's ever done, and first trouser role ever except for Santa in eighth grade. In her free time, she likes to watch art film on The Criterion Channel and listen to Chapo Trap House

Rick Gramlich
[ Priest ]

My name is Rick Gramlich. For the last three years I've been doing improv under the tutelage of Chuck Charbaneau. My stage experience prior to that was back in high school. I performed in three spring productions. They were Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up, Triple Play, and Grease. I took this on, because I've wanted to be part of a Shakespeare production. Call it checking something off of my performer's bucket list.

Megan Gunderson
[ Maria ]

Megan Gunderson is thrilled to have one more opportunity to perform before running away at the end of January to work at The Happiest Place on Earth (Disney)! Seen previously on various stages in La Crosse, including those at Aquinas High School, Viterbo University, and UWL, Megan can't wait to present Shakespeare in a fun, new way. She has also lurked in the shadows as stage manager, designer, and stagehand.

Lisa K. Adams
[ First Officer ]

By day, Lisa is an Area Marketing Manager for a hospitality company out of Chicagoland, but by night .... she is also working on marketing for Shakespeare from the Ground! She has been involved in theater her whole life, but her only Shakepeare credits are Kate in Taming of the Shrew and Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet. She is excited to step outside her scripted comfort zone for a little fun with a group of brave and wonderful theater people!

Jacob Kaiser
[ Sebastian ]

Jacob Kaiser is a senior at Aquinas High School in La Crosse. Some of his favorite roles include The Man in the Yellow Suit in Tuck Everlasting and singing “We Beseech Thee” in Godspell both at Aquinas as well as Aladdin in Aladdin Jr at La Crosse Community Theater.

Josh Kaiser
[ Curio ]
[ Valentine ]
[ Second Officer ]

Josh is involved in theatre at La Crosse Community Theater and Aquinas. He most recently played Mordred in Camelot and fulfilled his lifelong dream of being a Newsie!

Greg Parmeter
[ Sir Toby Belch ]

Greg teaches performance at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse specializing in voice, movement, and styles. He earned his Master's in Acting from the University of Nebraska. He has appeared with the Nebraska Repertory Theatre, the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, and was the artistic director of La Crosse Community Theatre for nine years. He is thrilled to be performing Shakespeare again after several years away. The best part of this whole project is the opportunity to share the stage with so many actors he adores and respects.

Sara Pillatzki Warzeha
[ Malvolio/Malvolia ]

Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha is a Twin Cities-based professional director and theatre educator and an occasional actor, as well as a full-time PhD student in theatre historiography at the University of Minnesota. She has taught at UMN Morris, Northern State University, and was the Education Director at LCT. She also collaborates frequently with such companies as Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Stages Theatre Company, and Black Dirt Theatre. Sara last visited Twelfth Night during her MFA program where she played the saucy Maria, and is thrilled to dive into the oft-vilified Malviolia and act with her dear friend Greg again.

Devin Simko
[ Feste ]

Devin Simko is both excited and nervous to be back in the limelight performing Shakespeare again. "I mean who even knows what this guy is saying?" Devin recently said to reporters in his last interview with the Washington post. You may recognize him from shows on the Webber Center stage such as Peter and the Starcatcher, Fools, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). When Devin isn't working on a show you can find him living a quiet and simple life of a carpenter (Rosenow Construction) and bartender (The Mirage). Mr. Simko would like to thank everyone who supports him and remind everyone to tip their bartenders.

Matt Springer
[ Orsino ]

Bio coming soon. Photo credit: Theresa Smerud.

Kelsey Taunt
[ Sir Andrew Aguecheek ]

A La Crosse native, Kelsey has a B.A. in Theater with an emphasis in Acting and Design from UW-Oshkosh, however her love of Shakespeare started at a young age watching Shakespeare movies. She currently works in the area as a freelance director, designer, and theatre teacher. Kelsey is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this production, and would like to thank her friends, family for their never ending love and support.

Emily Ware
[ Olivia ]

Emily was born and raised in Milwaukee and discovered a love for Shakespeare at a young age. Having interned at The Milwaukee Shakespeare Company and assisted with the production of Titus Andronicus, she is grateful for the opportunity to reawaken her passion for the classics by bringing a dream role to life. She'd like to thank her friends and family for their support, enjoy the show!

Jim Warskinske
[ Sea Captain ]
[ Olivia's Servent ]

Hi, I'm Jim from Sign Pro! Yes, that's how I usually introduce myself. I've done various roles for the local community theatre groups for over 2 decades and really enjoyed working with the La Crosse Community Theatre and UW-L Summer Stage. In the last few years, I've performed improvisation with the Webernauts and the Reservoir Frogs out the Minneapolis. Most recently, I have mainly performed the role of Husband and Step Father with Amanda, Tessa, and Nolan. I've also quite often reprised the roles of Jumps Out and Scares You Guy, Will Finish the Food on Your Plate Man, and Captain Does the Dishes. I hope you enjoy my performance of Does Passably as Long as You Are Drinking.

Sam White
[ Viola ]

Sam White is a junior at UWL. She also serves/bartends/lives in the Blues Lounge at Piggy’s so be sure to stop in and say hey. She is returning to the stage after a 3-year hiatus, because... yknow... work… and school. She is excited/terrified to be trying her hand at Shakespeare for the first time and wants to thank Chuck for making this possible. She would also like to thank her cats, Mimi and Mojo, for being attentive listeners while she practiced her lines, and of course all of her family and friends.




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Pearl Street Brewery | 1401 St Andrew Street | La Crosse, WI 54603