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Skylight Music Theatre Presents Documentary Screenings of "Midsummer in Newtown"

Award-winning film showing the healing power of performing arts following

the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy 

Talkback features Skylight Artistic Director Michael Unger

co-founder of theatre company featured in film

Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Milwaukee, Wis. (January 29, 2020) — Skylight Music Theatre announced two free screenings of Midsummer in Newtown, an award-winning documentary about the power of the performing arts to heal the children and community of Newtown, CT following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. The screenings are free and open to the general public. Those who work in education and the arts community are especially encouraged to attend.

Midsummer in Newtown will be presented on Saturday, February 29 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Midsummer in Newtown follows the production of a rock and roll version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which Skylight Music Theatre Artistic Director Michael Unger conceived, adapted, and directed for NewArts, a non-profit organization in Newtown co-founded by Unger and Newtown dad Michael Baroody M.D. The film captures first auditions to closing night as viewed through the eyes of several Sandy Hook Elementary School students involved in the production. The film also follows a family who lost their daughter in the school shooting and how the arts helped them process their grief.

Parents who are thinking of bringing children to the screening should know that there is discussion and news footage about the tragedy – although the film does not contain any graphic images.

“I am profoundly honored to share this film with Milwaukee audiences. Upon arriving at Skylight just over four months ago, I was thrilled to see how much this community values exposing young people to the arts in every discipline from theatre, to opera, to ballet, to classical music, to fine art, etc. I would hope that in addition to our general audience, we can get many arts organization administrators and educators to attend. This film is irrefutable proof that the arts can not only aid in healing but can also be a huge confidence-builder in young people and offer them tools for the future. I hope that by coming together to celebrate education in the arts by way of this unfortunately extreme example, we can be uplifted in reminding ourselves of the eminently high value of what we do in the arts.”

In addition to his role at Skylight Music Theatre, Unger serves as Producing Artistic Director of NewArts, which was founded to utilize the performing arts as a vehicle to heal and promote creativity, collaboration, and confidence for the children in Newtown, CT. Unger will lead a talk back following the film.

About the Film

When Newtown, Connecticut, was devastated by the loss of 20 first graders and six adults at the hands of a shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, the world looked on in horror, unable to fathom such a tragedy. In the emotionally powerful and uplifting documentary Midsummer in Newtown, filmmaker Lloyd Kramer gains intimate access to families who find hope in the transformative power of the arts.

Anchoring the film is the story of two Sandy Hook Elementary School students, who join an exuberant cast of Newtown children — bringing healing to their young lives and to their community by staging a freewheeling musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Kramer follows the indomitable cast from pre-audition jitters to the triumphant opening night, where the children’s unwavering spirit steals the show. On a parallel track, the film also explores the world of Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez, grieving parents determined to honor their beloved 6-year-old daughter Ana who was killed in the 2012 school shooting. While Nelba focuses on helping children, Jimmy — a Grammy®-nominated jazz saxophonist — channels his grief into music he writes and performs.

Midsummer in Newtown is produced by Vulcan Productions, Participant Media, Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning producer Tom Yellin, Braden Bergen, and Jo Budzilowicz and is directed by Lloyd Kramer.

To watch the Midsummer in Newtown trailer, visit https://youtu.be/5X5QyAsO5V0.

Box Office Information

The free screenings of Midsummer in Newtown will take place on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Cabot Theatre, Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee. Admission is free but reservations are required here: https://bit.ly/2U1B0vQ

Seating is general admission. For more information call the Box Office (414) 291-7800. Box Office hours are noon - 6 p.m. Please let the Box Office know if accessible seating is needed, or if patrons will have a wheelchair or walker.  

Skylight Bar & Bistro

Skylight Bar & Bistro is located on the second floor of The Broadway Theatre Center and will be open for bar service and snacks 30 minutes prior to each screening.

Parking Vouchers

Purchase $5 discounted parking vouchers from the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office for use in the Historic Third Ward parking garage at 212 N. Milwaukee Street (one block east and one block north). Vouchers are valid between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. for evening performances. Matinee vouchers are valid 12-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday. Not valid for Wednesday matinees. Voucher sales stop 30 minutes before showtime and are not available during intermission. No refunds.

About Skylight Music Theatre

Skylight Music Theatre celebrates its 60th anniversary during the 2019-2020 season. Skylight’s mission since 1959: To bring the full spectrum of music theatre works to a wide and diverse audience in celebration of the musical and theatrical arts and their reflection of the human condition. The beautiful, intimate Cabot Theatre allows audiences to feel close to the powerful emotions on stage.


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