Theatre advocate

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:17 pm

When Mike Burzynski first subscribed to Next Act Theatre’s performance lineup 17 years ago, he was simply looking for a few good excuses to spend time with his wife, Ericka, away from the distractions of work and family.

“We wanted to have something that was all our own,” Mike Burzynski said.

Today, the devoted audience member has become one of Milwaukee’s most impassioned theater advocates with a push to engage the next generation of theatergoers in local productions.

Burzynski, a partner at Milwaukee-based Komisar Brady & Co., LLP, took over as board president of Milwaukee’s Next Act Theatre nonprofit organization on July 1 and has wasted no time in debuting a program aimed at exposing area professionals to Milwaukee’s theater scene.

Through the new Premier Professionals program, Burzynski hopes to infuse his own enthusiasm for Next Act Theatre performances into the city’s business community, particularly into younger audience members who are not as inclined to subscribe to full theater seasons and those who are “willing to try something a little bit different.”

“I think there’s still a good amount of people out there…who are just looking for something other than dinner and drinks or something other than a movie, and I think this is a perfect opportunity,” Burzynski said.

Premier Professionals membership costs $120, and participants are granted special access to Preview Night of each Next Act Theatre production during its 2013-14 season, starting this September.

While Burzynski and his wife have enjoyed theater productions and season subscriptions at a variety of troupes throughout Milwaukee, Burzynski has become a loyal Next Act Theatre fan for the company’s contemporary mix of drama and comedy, comfortable venue and commitment to featuring the same cast of actors.

“It’s always felt local to us,” he said. “We like to support local business.”

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