Producing Artistic Director
The 2012-2013 season marks David's 35th year as a theatre professional, having debuted with the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis as a journeyman actor in 1978. During his twenty-four year Milwaukee residency, he has acted with most of its professional companies and also has extensive credits as a nine year veteran of American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI. He has proudly served as Producing Artistic Director for Milwaukee's Next Act Theatre for 18 years. David has directed many of the productions for Next Act; favorites among these are THE PAVILION, THE DRESSER, THE REAL THING, BETWEEN EAST AND WEST, ROOM SERVICE and SIDE MAN. David's most memorable Next Act acting assignments include Vince Lombardi in LOMBARDI: THE ONLY THING, Ben in LAST OF THE BOYS, Eddie in FOOL FOR LOVE, Al in ON THE OPEN ROAD, Ezra Pound in INCOMMUNICADO, "all the gang" in BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR and Max Prince in LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR. Behind the scenes, David is a sound designer, having created effects for over 50 professional productions. He is also an experienced stage fight choreographer and swordsman.
This marks Charles' 21st season with Next Act. After spending three years in the Marine Corps, Charles worked for Pizza Hut Corporation as a restaurant manager from 1979 to 1985 in Kansas City, and various cities in Wisconsin. Moving to Milwaukee in 1985, he has experienced the inner working of its arts and entertainment industries, from rock and pop music promotions at the Riverside Theater and Alpine Valley to marketing for the Milwaukee Ballet. Along the way he received a BSBA from Cardinal Stritch University.
Heidi graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota, and has since pursued a dual career as a performer and arts administrator, having worked in Marketing and Recruiting at the Milwaukee Children’s Choir and in Development at Skylight Opera Theatre and Florentine Opera before coming to Next Act. She is thrilled to be a member of the Next Act team.
Heidi is currently a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Milwaukee Choral Artists, and will appear in productions at Skylight Music Theatre and Milwaukee Opera Theatre this year. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband Joel and their cat Isis.
Helming Next Act’s marketing since June of 2012 is returning Milwaukee area native, Becky Moder. She graduated from Three Lakes High School as valedictorian and continued on to UW-Stevens Point to earn a degree in Arts Management with a Business Administration minor. After four years with the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, and ending her time there as Marketing Director, a position created exclusively for her, Becky decided it was time to move on. Her experience wearing many hats and adapting to new tasks has given her a comprehensive tool-set of marketing skills. Above all, she believes that building relationships will always be the key to success. She is now looking forward to putting her skills and talent to work at Next Act, and we are too.
Mike Van Dreser
Resident Technical Director
This is Mike Van Dreser's seventh season with Next Act Theatre and the first year as Technical Director. Mike was previously the resident Master Electrician and Light Board Operator for NAT. Over the last six seasons, Mike has worked as Lighting Designer for NEXT ACTORS SUMMER THEATRE FOR TEENS, PANIC EXPRESS, and THE ENCOUNTER, WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS, KISS ME KATE at Greendale High School, Next Act summer production of FAITH HEALER, WINTER TALES, PAUL ROBESON IN CONCERT, VALUE OF NAMES, and BIG BOYS. Mike has had the good fortune of working with and learning from renowned Lighting Designers Jason Fassl and Andrew Meyers and knows their guidance and continuing education will help make him successful. Mike looks forward to many more productive years with Next Act Theatre and any new opportunities that may come his way.