Fundraiser held to bring back third show of Summersound

Senior Hoops plans event as part of BFA degree

Summeround Theatre has been a tradition in Whitewater for over 30 years.  Last year, because of budget cuts, UW-Whitewater’s Theatre / Dance Department has been forced to cut the number of summer shows from three to two.

“I think it’s tremendously important [to have that third show],” professor James Butchart said. “We serve a niche that just isn’t around here in the summer. We serve an area of residents within the town. We have no other choice without driving to Milwaukee and Madison to find theatre within the summer.”

Senior M’Lyssa Hoops, in collaboration with the UW-Whitewater’s Theatre/Dance Department and the Whitewater Arts Alliance, organized a staged-reading of Dear Liar and silent auction to raise funds for to get that third show back. The fundraiser will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 21 and 4:30 p.m. May 22 downtown at the Whitewater Cultural Arts Center.

Hoops said community involvement along with student experience are the two biggest reasons for Summeround Theatre. Hoops agreed there is no other cultural events going on in Whitewater during the summer and added that the summer theatre is great experience for the students.

“In the summer because there is three shows in three months you only have a few weeks [to prepare],” Hoops said.

Hoops

“It gives you a better idea of what working in real world theatre is like because when you’re working in the real world you only have a couple of weeks to put a show together.”

Hoops coordinated the fundraiser as part of a requirement for her BFA degree. She has been working on it since December and said it feels good to see it all come together.

“I’m really excited because I really like to help people,” Hoops said. “I think to be able to go and make it my own was really important because it’s a culmination of everything I learned at school.”

Butchart said he was pleased with Hoops performance.

“She’s doing great. I’m real happy with what’s going on,” Butchart said.

The staged-reading “Dear Liar” is based on the intriguing relationship between playwright, George Bernard Shaw and actress, Mrs. Patrick Campbell that spanned over 40 years. Professor James Butchart said the staged-reading presents an inside look at the captivating letters they exchanged.

“They met and fell in love. [It was] a very strange sort of love affair. Platonic we think. Completely Platonic,” Butchart said. “As a matter of fact many people surmised that George Bernard Shaw, although he was married most of his life, was probably gay.”

Never the less the two fell in love. Butchart and his wife Leslie Fitzwater, a professional actress, will perform the readings.  Butchart said this won’t be their first performance together.

“I met my wife 30 years ago, we both did a production of a show where I actually played her father. Now we’re married and have three kids,” Butchart said. “We’ve worked together a lot. That’s how we met and we’ve done quite a few things over the years.”

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