The Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, located on the UW-Green Bay campus, is celebrating its 25th anniversary season in 2018-2019. Executive and Artistic Director Kelli Strickland says that this season is “something to pause for, reflect on the history and to look towards the future. It’s also to express gratitude to the people who have been integral in supporting the center.”
This is also a milestone season for Strickland personally as this was her first season to organize. After being executive director for The Hypocrites Theatre and Raven Theatre in Chicago, she started working for the Weidner Center in October 2017. “There was some added pressure to program the 25th season for a community I didn’t particularly know yet,” Strickland says, “but I had great, great help from the very able and smart staff.”
When planning events, the Weidner Center staff considers both the city of Green Bay and the UW-Green Bay communities. It focuses on events that can appeal to both these communities, not only touring titles.
To celebrate the season, the 25th Season Anniversary Symphony Orchestra Concert will be held on September 22 at 7:30 p.m. This concert features Wayne Lin, a Green Bay native who is returning to the Weidner Center after performing the violin in 1993 when he was just 11 years old. He is now the associate concertmaster of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
This season is also historical because for the first time in Weidner Center history, the Center will show its first self-production. As a tribute to the Green Bay Packers’ 100th season, the play is called “Lombardi” and is based on the book “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi” written by David Maraniss. The play will run from February 22 to March 10.
In the future, the Weidner Center hopes to include more self-productions. Strickland says the Center will also continue “embracing our university identity and cracking open the definition of what art and culture mean to our community.”
To view the 2018-2019 season’s full lineup, go to weidnercenter.com/events/ for more information.