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BITh 2024

BITh 2024
Photo Highlights

Bizarre Intrusive Thoughts (BITh) RETURNS!

Join Pink Umbrella Theater once again as we watch Dee battles the challenges of OCD and the resulting anxiety. It's a journey of discovery and friendships with others and with the self.

From it's sold-out show as a staged reading as a part of World Premiere Wisconsin, we are thrilled to imagine BITh in full, play format.

About BITh

Bizarre Intrusive Thoughts (BITh) is a play for five adults of varying ages and genders. The audience is invited into Dee's home while Dee and three intrusive thoughts detail the physical, mental and emotional challenges of OCD and the resulting anxiety. As Dee's inner life tangles with the external, Dee fears for the relationship with their neighbor, O.  

Weaving heady issues with playful language, BITh uses music, storytelling, and shadow puppetry to navigate Dee's changing world and mind--and a battle with something known as The Shadowman.

Performance Information

We are thrilled to be able to take BITh from a staged reading to a full-fledged play. BITh details the physical, mental, and emotional challenges of an undiagnosed anxiety disorder.

CONTENT WARNING: Bizarre Intrusive Thoughts' topics include OCD, depression, anxiety and intrusive thoughts about self harm. We would be happy to share these portions of the script with you prior to attending. Please reach out to admin@pinkumbrellatheater.org to discuss further.

This event is recommended for preteen to adult audiences due to aforementioned subject matter. 

All performances take place at The Brick House in Milwaukee. Performances are limited to 45 audience members each due to space. Please click the link associated with the performance you wish to see to purchase tickets.

Performance Dates:

Friday, May 3rd at 7 PM: SOLD OUT

Saturday, May 4th at 2 PM: SOLD OUT

Sunday, May 5th at 2 PM: SOLD OUT

Run time is 75 minutes

Additional Performance Information:

Want to watch Bizarre Intrusive Thoughts from the comfort of your own home? Snag tickets to our virtual show!

The show will become available after May 15th, and tickets are "pay what you choose". ASL, captions, and audio description versions will be available.

Meet the Cast

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Understudy

AJ Aarons

AJ Aarons is excited for her Pink Umbrella Debut. She is a recent graduate from University of Wisconsin Eau Claire’s Musical Theatre Program. She was most recently in UW Eau Claire’s Productions of HEAD OVER HEELS. THREE PENNY OPERA, DISRUPTIONS: ILLUSION/REALITY A SHAKESPEARE EXPERIMENT and OUT OF MY DREAMS A REVUE. She has also been seen in E Dance Company’s original production of TUMULT. She wants to thank her directors for this opportunity and her friends and family for their support!

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Dee

Alayna Perry

Alayna is so grateful to be back at Pink -- she was last seen as apart of the WI World Premiere reading for BITh!  She has worked at regional theaters including Milwaukee Rep, First Stage, Milwaukee Chamber, Door Shakespeare, and Advice to the Players.  Training: UW-Milwaukee, Shakespeare & Company. "Make People Touch and Taste and KNOW.  Make People FEEL! FEEL! FEEL!" - Octavia Butler.

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Intrusion 3

Caitlyn Nettesheim

Caitlyn Nettesheim is an actor, director, choreographer, and theater educator based in Southeast Wisconsin. Her favorite credits include Peter and the Starcatcher (Lord Leonard Aster) at Lake Country Playhouse and Urinetown (Choreographer) with LCP's Performing Arts Academy, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever The Musical (Betty U/S) at First Stage and Spring Awakening  (Director/Choreographer) with First Stage's Theater Academy, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Movement Director) at Whitefish Bay High School. This is her first show with Pink Umbrella Theater Company. She would like to thank her friends for their love.

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Intrusion 2

Kendra Krouth

Kendra is so excited to share this wonderfully powerful piece of theatre with audiences! They are a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where they got there BFA in Musical Theatre and minor in Dance Performance. Some of their recent works are playing Jamie in “Bullies and Bonobos” with Kohl’s Wild Theatre, Understudying Grace Bradley in First Stage’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and Schwoopsie in Hi-Five Art’s first ever production, “Firebringer”! They are forever grateful for their loved ones support and kindness.

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Intrusion 1

Nate Press

Nate Press is enthusiastic to make his Pink Umbrella Theater Company debut. He has worked as an actor, director, and theatre educator in Milwaukee over the years. Some of his favorite past roles include Tim in The Good Father, Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, Nial Lynch in Moment, Horst in Bent, CB in Dog Sees God, and Ned/Walker Janeway in Three Days of Rain. Nate is originally from Milwaukee, WI and away from the stage he assists his wife, Amanda, with fostering homeless cats through the Urban Cat Coalition. Adopt your next housemate at www.urbancats.org

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Understudy

Noah Stone

Noah Stone has worked with Pink Umbrella in a variety of roles such as presenter, effects manager, and founder of the Sunshade community group. Yet, this will mark the first time that he has found himself as an actor on the Pink Umbrella stage! Besides partaking in acting, Noah is a fan of photography, graphic novels, and history. He is excited and honored to be a part of this production!

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O

Patti Meadors

Patti Meadors (she/they) is thrilled to join the Pink Umbrella Team for BIZARRE INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS as O! Select theatrical credits include Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL 2022 & 2023 and understudy for BEEHIVE and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Additional theatre: Claire in ORDINARY DAYS and Mrs. Wormwood in MATILDA. Originally from the Chicagoland area suburbs, Patti is a recent transplant to Milwaukee and has hit the ground running performing, as well as choreographing and vocal and acting coaching. Thanks to her family, friends, partner and dogs for their love and support! IG: @patti.meadors www.pattimeadors.com

Meet the Crew

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Playwright

John Van Slyke

John Van Slyke has had more than 50 plays produced by several Milwaukee-area theaters. playwright, 1992-2001. He wrote two plays for the, 2007 and 2008. His plays have also been performed for audiences of the Bunny Gumbo Theatre, Inertia Ensemble, Milwaukee Children’s Theater Company, Unusual Suspects, and many others. Van Slyke is an award-winning movie director and writes video scripts for his day job. In 2019, after taking 20 years to ready himself for the leap, Van Slyke began performing stand-up comedy.

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Director

Katie Cummings

Katie Cummings has dedicated over twenty years as a theater artist, educator and advocate for inclusion and diversity in theater. A Wisconsin native, Katie graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with a BA in Theater and Business.  Her resume includes First Stage, Bunny Gumbo, UW-Milwaukee, Chamber Theater and St. Joseph High School.  Katie believes that theater has the power to develop empathy, create meaningful connections and engage communities.

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Assistant Director & OCD Consultant

Maureen Henderson

Maureen is very excited to be involved in BITh as the Assistant Director and OCD Consultant. She was last seen in “All in Your Head” in the lead role as Emily. Maureen would like to thank Pink Umbrella for this wonderful opportunity and she hopes you enjoy the show.

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Director

Reva Fox

Reva is delighted to be co-directing her first production for Pink Umbrella. Recent directing incudes: BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS-Summer Stage at Delafield; MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING -Bard & Bourbon; THE SMELL OF THE KILL, SAVIOR’S GRACE - Renaissance Theaterworks. Favorite roles include: Bard & Bourbon- Polonius, Horatio, HAMLET; Beatrice, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING; Renaissance Theaterworks -Br!ink-Ellen, THE ENDURANCE OF LIGHT; Gladys, PARTS OF SPEECH; Luminous Theatre-Penelope, THE PENELOPIAD. Reva is the Arts & Culture Director at the JCC in Milwaukee.  Thanks always to Abe & Nathaniel for your love, patience and humor!

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Sound Designer

Alan Piotrowicz

Alan Piotrowicz makes his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he has designed for several companies including All In Productions, Cooperative Performance, Danceworks, In Tandem Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Next Act Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Theatre Gigante, Theater RED, and Windfall Theatre. He’s excited to finally add Pink Umbrella to this list! Work outside Wisconsin includes TITAN Theatre Company in New York City, Hope Repertory Theatre in Holland, MI, and The Ivoryton Playhouse and Brief Cameo Productions in Ivoryton, CT. He received his training at UW-Madison and The Santa Fe Opera. Proud Board Member and Associate Producer for Brief Cameo Productions. Much love to Jason. www.alanpiotrowicz.com

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Costume Designer

Kristina Van Slyke

Kristina L. Van Slyke is proud of the work she has been able to do with Pink over the last few years and this production is especially near and dear. She has designed costumes for Scavengers, Shine!, Bigger Top, and Kaleidoscope with Pink Umbrella Theater Company. Kristina has designed in the Milwaukee Area for 20+ years, working with First Stage Children's Theater, Bialystock & Bloom, Chamber Theater, and Cardinal Stritch University. She thanks her family and extended family for the support and Katie for filling her soul with love and light. 

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Stage Manager

Orly Boland

Orly is beyond excited to begin her adventure stage managing at Pink Umbrella. She has worked as a stage manager for Nicolet theater in 12 productions over the past 3 years. Beyond theater, Orly loves photography and journalism, which she will be studying at UW Madison next fall. Orly is thankful for her loved ones' support and is proud to be in this production!

Not Pictured:

Set Designer: Katie Lindgren

Light Designer: Maaz Ahmed

Stage Manager: Nick Flanary

Accessibility Manager: Shaqita Crockett

Cast & Crew Audio Descriptions

Want to learn about the Cast & Crew in advance? Click on the photo of the cast or crew member to listen to their audio descriptions of themselves.

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O, played by Patti M

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Dee, played by Alayna P

AJ A - Understudy

Intrusion 1, played by Nate P

Intrusion 2, played by Kendra K
**audio description coming soon!**

John VS - Playwright

Intrusion 3, played by Caitlyn N

Noah S - Understudy

Maureen H - Assistant Director

Event Resources

Read through the event's Social Narrative to know what to expect

Check out the Visual Agenda for a short overview of the event

In the News

Check out these two short stories by Mike Fischer, World Premiere Wisconsin Festival Journalist, about our original, staged reading of BITh and other exciting shows that happened the same weekend!

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