The St. Agnes Drama Company, open to members of the Butler parish and community members of all ages, and slated to stage “The Life and Times of Fr. Mark Brandl” in March, is one of two St. Agnes drama ministries.
The other, headed by parish Christian Formation director Gerard Wolf, puts on musicals involving sixth- through eighth-grade St. Agnes School pupils and Christian Formation participants. It is known as the St. Agnes Drama Club.
In an email to your Catholic Herald, St. Agnes parishioner Jim Santilli noted that he and parish director of liturgy and music Mark Mauer founded the St. Agnes Drama Club 15 years ago, “as a way of introducing the theater arts as a ministry.”
The drama company soon followed and, between the two groups, “over 25 shows have been staged, with over 600 parishioners and members of the community participating. Some of our stage alumni have gone on and participated in the theater arts at various high schools and colleges, First Stage Theater and other local theater groups including Soulstice Theatre, The Academy of Kids and Kids From Wisconsin. Currently, the Drama Club concentrates on musicals such as ‘The Music Man Jr.’; ‘Fiddler on the Roof Jr.’; and ‘Beauty and the Beast.’”
Santilli, a pharmacist by profession, noted that both drama ministries “have an outreach mission by taking shows on the road to Children’s Hospital (and the Elm Grove convent housing retired) School Sisters of Notre Dame, as well as participating in numerous parades and benefits.” While the St. Agnes Drama Company typically stages a spring show, the drama club normally performs in autumn.