Nonprofit Profile

Phoenix Players rise for their first show

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Contributed photo Tara Huebner plays the piano for her son, Zeke Fietsch, as Brandon Byng watches at a rehearsal of the Phoenix Players for their first production, “Christmas … On The Air.“

The newly formed Phoenix Players are planning their first production, “Christmas … On The Air.” Mary Beth Kuester, of Clintonville, along with Abrams resident Brandon Byng, got the group started.

“I’ve done a lot of work with the Mielke (Arts Center),” Kuester said.

Other Clintonville residents often were involved at the Shawano venue throughout the years. That is what made Kuester and Byng go forward with their new group.

“We have people who would like to have a place in Clintonville,” Kuester said.

The family-friendly Christmas musical will be at the handicapped accessible auditorium at Clintonville’s old high school. It is often referred to as the 1918 building, which is attached to the Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School.

Kuester often used it when the Mielke was being renovated and expanded. That made her ask the question, “Why can’t we always have a Christmas show here?”

So they are.

Byng is the creator and director of the show. He has been involved in theater since he was 15 years old either acting, directing or both. He was in “Nunsense: The Musical” that was in Clintonville a few years ago, playing Mother Superior. Byng both starred in and directed the show.

“This is going to be a quality production,” Kuester said.

“Christmas … On the Air” will have 26 cast members of all ages. Kuester said all of their productions will be family friendly.

Kuester is looking forward to getting a grant to become a non profit group to further their ability to put on shows. Right now, they are looking for the next one.

“We’re just thrilled,” Kuester said.

Other organizers of the group are Tara and Ben Huber, and Lowell Easley. “Christmas … On the Air” is set in a 1940s radio station featuring live music of original and classic songs. Kuester said the auditorium is perfect for the show.

The Clintonville Lions are sponsoring the show so a portion of the earnings will be shared with them for their community service projects.


WHAT: “Christmas … On The Air”

WHERE: Auditorium, Rexford-Longfellow Elementary School, 105 S. Clinton Ave., Clintonville

WHEN: 7 p.m. Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-9, 2 p.m. Dec. 3 and Dec. 10

TICKETS: $10, $5 12 and under. available at B&H Fashionwear, Steve and Mary’s Main Street Restaurant and Charlie’s County Market.