About Us

Treehouse Theater (THT) offers year-round theater education classes, specialty workshops, and performance opportunities EXCLUSIVELY  for youth, ages of 5-18.  THT seeks to inspire youth to explore their individuality, creativity, and self-confidence while developing responsibility and a strong work ethic.

Formed in 2012, THT is a 501c3 federal nonprofit organization ~ EIN #45-5119877 ~ operating by the grace of multi-talented Board members, limited Staff, and countless volunteers.  Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. 

 

 

MISSION

To enrich the lives of children and their families by providing quality theater arts education and performance opportunities

2022-23 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President - Doug Odell                          Vice President - Eric Nycz

Secretary - Richard Ladwig                    Treasurer - John Iannitello

                             Past President - Martin Schaller

Susan Bown, Jeff Brandenburg, Denise Kitzerow, Jonathan Medendorp, Ginger Snyder-Van Ells

2022-23 COMMITTEES

 

EDUCATION 

Chair:  Erin Nycz

Board Members:  Jeff Brandenburg, Jonathan Medendorp

Adults:  Madde Gilmore, Lisa Heili, Margaret Iannitello, Katie Jo Shimulunas, Deanne Stokes

EXECUTIVE / FINANCE 

Chair:  Doug Odell

Board Members:  John Iannitello, Richard Ladwig, Eric Nycz, Martin Schaller

FACILITY

Chair:  Jeff Brandenburg

Board Members:  John Iannitello, Richard Ladwig

FUNDRAISING EVENTS 

Chair:  Karen Rohrer

Board Members:  Susan Bown, Denise Kitzerow, Ginger Snyder-Van Ells

Adults:  Danielle Frahm, Madde Gilmore

PRODUCTION 

Chair:  Karen Rohrer

Board Members:  Ginger Snyder-Van Ells

Youth: Mazie Frahm, Ethan Stokes

Adults:  Betsie Auchter, Danielle Frahm, Madde Gilmore, Shannon Meulbroek, Erin Nycz, Deanne Stokes

 

OUR STORY

Strengthened by community partnership, Treehouse Theater (THT) has been supporting youth education and development through quality performing arts programming since 2012.  THT instruction with the guiding principles of respect, trust, leading by example, healthy communication, and teamwork produces students that can then strengthen the casts of area arts organizations and their own public or private school theater programs.

 

To date, THT has produced 26 high-quality local musical productions, won awards at eight of the past nine Junior Theater Festival national competitions, designed and built their first rehearsal studio on Franklin St, launched theater education classes, hosted several specialty arts workshops, worked numerous fundraising events, and purchased the building at 910 Washington St to create their own rehearsal studio and small-scale performance venue.  Once limited to the lakeshore, families now come from Sheboygan, Brillion, Green Bay, and beyond to participate in programming and join in the audiences.

Year-round operations are guided by the Board of Directors. Staff members include founder of the organization and Executive Director KAREN ROHRER, Education Director ERIN NYCZ, and Office Manager/Costume Rental Coordinator DANIELLE FRAHM.  Believing that youth will thrive from the opportunity to work with a variety of area arts enthusiasts, THT secures a fresh directing team for each musical.  Interested students can choose to audition for the opportunity to appear onstage as cast members, apply as Jr. production team members, or volunteer to assist as members of the stage or technical crews.  Each cast is a blend of new and returning student actors, all of whom are encouraged to explore their artistic individuality, be creative and responsible, improve their listening skills, and gain self-confidence while making new friends.  Each cast and crew works together to develop a high-quality music theater production for sharing with the local community and/or showcasing at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta.

THT offers the student leadership development program and all hours served qualify for area high school's community service requirement.  When accepted as Jr. production team members, students between ages 14-18 can observe the organizational process and grow to appreciate the many challenges encountered during each production. Under the guidance of an adult mentor, some of these students have later stepped forward to lead one aspect of a THT summer KIDS musical.  The two sessions of the 2022 summer productions of The Jungle Book KIDS were led by students in the positions of Director, Music Director, Choreographer, Stage Manager, Tech Design, Make up Design, and Hair Design.

Each THT educational class and performance opportunity serves to strengthen the extended community by attracting students from multiple public and private schools as well as from home school settings.  The April 2022 production of The Lion King Jr  will featured 55 student actors who attend 24 different schools or are home schooled.  THT takes great pride in exceeding the commonly low expectations for youth theater and audiences are repeatedly impressed by the high-quality sets, costumes, lighting, sound, and talent level of the student performers.

 

BRANCHING OUT

THT purchased the building located at 910 Washington St in downtown Manitowoc in the summer of 2019.  Thanks to 5,000 hours of volunteer labor, generous sub-contractors, and financial supporters of the capital campaign, THT now operates within this 11,000 sq. ft. facility on two floors, plus a full basement for storage.  The Executive Director designed a floor plan that focused on expanding future income streams, including a Community Room and Kitchenette that are available for rent, four one-on-one vocal and instrumental instruction rooms, and a huge room for storing and packaging all of our fabulous costume sets that are available for rent (www.TreehouseTheaterCostumes.com).

Progress photos of the building's transformation can be found on our Facebook page.