The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Book by Peter Parnell, Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film

Directed by Mark E. Schuster
October 27 to November 12, 2017

Read the Reviews: Waukesha Freeman, Shepherd Express

Click on a photo to see a larger image

Photos By Carroll Studios Of Photography

Sponsored In Part By

WCT projects are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.


Dom Claude Frollo

Brant Allen


Ryan Peter Dziuba


Andrea Ehlinger

Phoebus de Martin

Kevin J. Gadzalinski


Matthew Northey


Elizabeth Bagley
Jonathan Bartos (St. Aphrodisius)
Todd Herdt
Barb Lancelle
Carl Liden (Fr. Dupin)
Noah Maguire (King Louis XI)
Shannon Messplay
Megan Miller
Shawn Schmidt
Danny Slattery (Frederic)
Ashley Sprangers (Florika)
Phil Stepanksi (Jehan)
Gwen TerHaar (Madame)
Adam Williams


Justin Almquist
Renee Bartos
Noelle Budde
Beckie Cavanaugh
Michelle DeLaMatter
Anthony Desidero
Marshall Dove
Jon Eiche
Lydia Rose Eiche (section leader)
Lauren Heinen
Thomas Hess
Keleous Lange
Sarah Leuwerke (section leader)
Clayton Mortl
Travis Ottelien
Kendall TerHaar
Amy Teutenberg
Julie Vollmar
Patty Wilson
Megan Zuber

Production Staff 


Mark E. Schuster

Music Director

Yeng Thao

Orchestra Director

Josh Parman

Master Carpenter / Scenic Designer

Michael Talaska

Dance Choreographer 

Teresa Alioto

Fight Choreographer

Christopher Elst

Stage Manager

Kristin Raduenz

Assistant Stage Manager

Debbie Volden

Costume Designer

Sharon Sohner

Assistant Costume Designer

Harmonie Baker

Sound Designer

Keith Handy

Lighting Designer

Chris Meissner

Properties Designer

Derek Castor

Hair & Makeup Consultant

Gemma Fitzsimmons


Flute, Saxophone

Lucas Detwiler

Clarinet, Alto Saxophone

Heather Gandre

Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophone

Olivia Dobbs


Sarah Pulfer


Adam Fisher


Matthew Makeever


Russ Borchardt


Bob Troemel


Bradley Hartney


Paul Sekulski


Jared Judge


Yeng Thao


Julie Johnson


Josh Parman

Waukesha Civic’s full-throated ‘Hunchback’ produces mega impact

By JULIE MCHALE - TimeOut Theater Critic
Nov. 2, 2017

After witnessing Waukesha Civic Theatre’s spectacular “Les Miserables” two years ago, I didn’t think I’d ever see another musical based on a story by Victor Hugo that could ever even come close to matching it. I was wrong.

Waukesha Civic Theatre has gathered together a wealth of talent in this astounding musical version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Counting the tech artisans (25), the full orchestra (14) and the cast of almost 40 actors, a committed assemblage of nearly 80 people worked on this show. What beautiful support for a community theater and what a glorious outcome.

As the lights come up, we view the bell tower of Notre Dame with its infamous bells and rose window. A large choir of 19 in surplices are situated above the stage, where its members remain for the play. After the choir starts its first piece, 14 more singers dressed in monk’s robes come down the aisles, joining the choir in a beautiful prologue to the story. It is powerful music and sets the tone of what is to follow.

Then we meet the main characters — Dom Claude Frollo, a self-rightous archdeacon played by Brant Allen with regal self-importance, and his more worldly brother, Jehan (Phil Stepanski), who tries to lure him into joining the gypsies in their annual Feast of Fools revelry in the Town Square. Frollo passes on the invitation. About a year later, a gypsy comes by and hands over a baby who belongs to Jehan, his now-deceased brother. Frollo reluctantly agrees to raise the child, but because he is misshapen, Frollo confines him in the bell tower to keep him out of sight. We meet Quasimodo when he is grown and is fulfilling his duties as the official bell ringer of the grand cathedral.

Quasimodo (Ryan Peter Dziuba) is lonely and bored in the tower and longs to experience the larger world down below. He is warned by Frollo that he will be treated poorly, but Quasimodo, portrayed convincingly through effective body language, descends anyway to observe the gypsies’ rollicking revels. He is soon spotted and labeled the ugliest human and is ridiculed mercilessly.

Enter the beautiful and compassionate Esmeralda (Andrea Ehlinger), who rescues him from the bullies. Of course, he immediately falls in love with her; he is not accustomed to kindness.

Two other important characters, Phoebus (Kevin J. Gadzalinski) and Clopin (Matthew Northey) play major parts in the story. Phoebus is a soldier assigned to guard the cathedral, and Clopin is king of the gypsies. The gypsies are regarded as decadent by the holier-than-thou Claude Frollo, but the supreme irony in the play is that he, too, falls in love with Esmeralda.

Amid the chases, the searches, the hidings, the betrayals and the violence, few people escape unscathed in this harrowing tale, but we are enthralled nonetheless by the drama and the music. The team of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz composed almost 30 songs for this musical. They are not as arresting as some of the songs from “Les Miserables,” but when the whole ensemble gets involved, it sends shivers down our spines. The main characters are all impressive actors and vocalists.

The orchestra under Josh Parman is melodious and grand. Music director Yeng Thao also deserves mention as does Mark E. Schuster for his overall direction of all the complex facets. This is one that deserves a full house for every performance.

'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' at Waukesha Civic Theatre

Posted: OCTOBER 31, 2017

At the same time Waukesha nightclubs were filled with costumed gypsies and scary monsters dancing together to celebrate Halloween, another cast of costumed revelers was singing and dancing in unison to the beat of “Topsy-Turvy”—one of many songs in The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Waukesha Civic Theatre. A large cast of players, not to mention a full choir and more than a dozen musicians, managed to fit comfortably on the theater’s wide stage.

The show begins with a solemn procession of monks, softly chanting in Latin as they purposefully stream down the aisles. It is the first of many heart-stopping moments in this musical, which is based on the Victor Hugo novel and contains songs from the 1996 Disney animated film. The stage version was written by Peter Parnell, with music by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked).

Given such a stellar combination of history and showmanship, the musical quickly soars to the lofty spires of Notre Dame. The cast, choir and musicians (led by director Mark E. Shuster and music director Yeng Thao) blend engagingly to tell the story of Quasimodo (convincingly played by Ryan Peter Dziuba). Frollo (Brant Allen), a prelate, treats Quasimodo more as a servant than a nephew. Frollo often reminds Quasimodo that his deformities would draw scorn if seen by the Parisians, although Quasimodo longs to join the people walking far below (“Top of the World”).

Frollo scoffs at the king’s annual tradition of letting gypsies frolic through town during a rollicking festival. Although he warns Quasimodo to stay away from “the vermin,” as he refers to the gypsies, Quasimodo is drawn to their circus tricks, their humor and, most of all, their joy of life. Hiding in the shadows, he is entranced by a lovely dancing girl name Esmerelda (a pitch-perfect Andrea Ehlinger). Allen and Ehlinger make a credible pair as Quasimodo and Esmerelda as they exuberantly sing while gazing at the city far below. Quasimodo pledges to keep Esmerelda out of harm’s way for the rest of his life.

Many of the show’s themes resonate today. When the gypsies yearn to be accepted by the Parisians (“God Help the Outcasts”), it bears a resemblance to the current plight of immigrants in the U.S. The musical also touches on the need for kindness, understanding and sympathy. Somewhat more subtly, it suggests the notion of elevating the status of women within the patriarchal confines of the church.

These messages are beautifully played out within set designer Michael Talaska’s impressive re-creation of Notre Dame. Seemingly endless variations of church railings and staircases give the cast numerous places to create their scenes. The famous rose window gleams with many colors, depending on the mood of the moment.

Review Title

By Reviewer Name - WaukeshaNOW Theater Critic
Month 12, 2017

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Student rate is available for children and any patron with a current student ID. Senior rate applies to all patrons 60 years or older. Military rate is available for any patron with a valid current Military ID.

For our "Pay What You Can" performances, patrons can buy tickets for that show on the day of the performance at whatever price their budget will allow.

Subscriber rate is available to any subscriber for unlimited additional tickets outside their package.

10 ticket minimum per performance required. When purchasing online, please be sure to choose the Adult ticket type. The group discount will then be applied automatically to orders of 10 or more tickets.

Educational Group Rate is only available for all educational groups and Boy and Girl Scout troops. 10 ticket minimum per performance required.

Volunteer of the Production - Some Guy

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.