Next Act mourns loss of director Charles Kakuk

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Next Act Theatre’s veteran managing director, Charles Kakuk, died on Saturday, according to a letter the theatre’s staff posted on its Facebook page on Monday.

Kakuk, who devoted 22 years of his career to shaping Milwaukee-based Next Act Theatre, battled tongue cancer for four years, according to the theatre. After Kakuk’s initial diagnosis in 2010, he went into remission but was diagnosed with tongue cancer again in 2012.

He passed away Saturday morning in the palliative care unit of the VA Hospital.

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The theatre remembers Kakuk as a highly determined fighter and passionate leader. According to the letter on the venue’s Facebook page, he continued working at his desk through mid-April to oversee “the complex and highly effective business systems that he put in place that have provided stability and integrity to the company for many years.”

Next Act Theatre plans to honor Kakuk’s legacy with a “beer and brats on blacktop” memorial on Monday, Sept. 8. The event will include a picnic and ceremonial gathering to honor his memory. The theatre will release more event details in the coming months.

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