Theater achieves the ultimate ruse.
The art form uses scripted words to tell a story, facades to suggest location and costumes to transform actors into characters; all of which conspire to take the audience member to another time and place, to experience something outside of the banal. It’s a deception that culminates with applause.
It takes a team to accomplish this charade and at the top of it all is a master illusionist, the director.
Since 1982, Kenn Miller has dazzled audiences as head of the Nicolet Theater Department. He has acted not only as director of multiple yearly productions, but also as educator, faculty member, mentor, friend and "father figure" to the family of thespians he has nurtured.
Seeing as theater is his trade, Miller was a hard guy to pull one over on. He’s the king of orchestrating every detail, so when the Nicolet High School Administration and Performing Arts Committee plotted to surprise Miller with a tribute to honor his retirement following the curtain call of his final staging of a "Midsummer Night’s Dream" on Saturday, May 10, the challenge was steep.
Keeping the surprise under wraps became a whole other "production" since it was to include a ceremony, a scrapbook (put together by current student Sarah Rosenthal), a video (edited by former student Maury Loeb) and the announcement of the Kenn Miller Performing Arts Chair, a program that will bring guest artists in to do "Master Classes" intended to give students "real world" understanding of working in the performing arts.
Planning was top secret and according to Ferne Hecker, assistant to Dr. Robert Kobylski, Superintendent of the Nicolet UHS District, there was much comedy involved in keeping the lid on the surprise.
Miller, who is notorious for staying out of the spotlight, is so deeply involved in every aspect of a production’s details that much effort had to be made to prevent him from discovering the big reveal.
She said, "Some of the things (that went…Read more...