On Tuesday, April 25, 1978 The Fireside opened its inaugural production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC for a ten-week run. That was the beginning of our glorious run of over 200 productions! SOUTH PACIFIC was also presented in 1983, 2004, and 2017. It’s so fun to see how far our production values have climbed from our more humble beginnings. Ed Flesch was already a talented director when he was hired to run the theatre back in 1978 and today he is easily among the country’s best – arguably the very best at staging in-the-round.
Over the course of the last 41 years we have presented most of the great American musicals including other Rodgers & Hammerstein hits OKLAHOMA!, THE KING AND I, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and CINDERELLA and Disney hits BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, NEWSIES, and THE LITTLE MERMAID. We have presented original musical revues themed for Rock and Roll, Irish Dance, Ballet Folklorico, and Country Music, as well as our nine famous Hawaiian revues and 21 editions of A FIRESIDE CHRISTMAS. Ed Flesch has produced and directed most shows as well as having written most of the original revues. Each season he holds auditions in New York and Chicago seeing over 1,000 performers to cast about 100 roles, choosing only the best to bring to Fort Atkinson. Here they rehearse for only two weeks before beginning a seven to eight week run.
The decision of what shows to present is among the hardest and most important decisions the Klopcic Family makes each year as we strive to offer an excellent variety of the best shows available. Something for everyone, you might say. Even though we’re only in show three of seven for 2019, guests are already starting to ask when we’ll have next year’s season. Rest assured it’s in the works, but all good things take time. We’ll be sharing that news with you as soon as its available!