It’s my honor as Director of the Next Actors to brag about our first Sue Krause Next Actor Memorial Scholarship recipient, Isabelle (Bee) Rashkin (they/ them). Bee is a 2016 alum of Next Actors, in which they performed, wrote lyrics, and composed music on the ukulele as part of that summer’s show. After their year at Next Actors, they studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, and then went on to UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts to study Musical Theatre. Bee returned to Next Actors for the 2020 online year of Next Actors to assist in writing and editing. During the pandemic, they collaborated with a few UWM students to direct and produce their own musical composed entirely from music Bee had written. Bee says their life goal is to “create theatre that changes the pedagogy of the musical theatre landscape,” and we’re happy to help them do just that. This scholarship will allow Bee to pay off student loans before they graduate this year, providing them stability as they launch into a musical theatre career that focuses on creating equitable theater spaces. Go forth and change the world, Bee!
“My best memory from Next Actors would have to be touring. Being able to take an original production all around Milwaukee was something that was really special in not only my artistic development but my development as a person: to see the arts and how they affect everybody. Also learning to adapt to venues, that’s fun. If it wasn’t for Next Act, I wouldn’t have been so comfortable with the many different, amazing theater communities Milwaukee has to offer. Next Act gave me a new level of education that helped me become a more aware artist by becoming a better, well-rounded person.”-Bee Rashkin