Tape by Stephen Belber

Now here is a project I have been looking forward to for a very long time: Tape by StephenBelber.

The play’s focus is controversial, intense, violent, and very exciting!  I’ll be playing Vince, a bad‐tempered, drug-dealing volunteer fireman – a very different character from anything I’ve played before.

Another aspect of this show is the unique, site-specific setting. Tape takes place in a hotel room, and Pink Banana Theatre has teamed up with the Best Western Inn Towne Hotel to produce the show in a room of the hotel.

The show is already intense, and having only 12 seats inside a small 12 x 15 ft. room, will definitely increase what the audience is feeling, to say the least!

Here’s some info from pinkbananatheatre.com:

Tape, set entirely in a hotel room in Milwaukee, brings together old high school friends Vince, a bad‐tempered volunteer fireman, and Jon, an up-and-coming filmmaker. After reminiscing over old times, the conversation – and their friendship – turn nasty.

Tape, By Stephen Belber
November 8 – 21, 2010
at the Best Western Inn Towne Hotel, Downtown Milwaukee
Reservations only; seating is extremely limited!

Directed by Juanita Schuelke and Fjosh Redbeard
Featuring Rob Maass, Matt Kemple and Gwen Zupan

We began rehearsals a few weeks ago, and the show is really coming together.  It’s a great script, and Stephen Belber’s writing is deep and profound – a real “actors play”.  There are so many levels of power and corruption that seep into the characters of Vince and Jon, it has truly been a joy to work on this show.


Starting A Non-Profit

Wow. Pink Banana Theatre Co is now officially a non-profit organization; recognized under section 501(c)3 of the IRS code.

I helped with the creation of PB about 6 years ago.  I was the Theatre Program Manager at Bucketworks, and part of my job was helping groups start and manage small theatre companies.  Flash forward a few years later after I had left Bucketworks, I received a phone call I got from Juanita, Pink Banana founder and producer.  She asked me to Co-Produce the theatre company with her, and one of the accomplishments on her to do list was obtaining non-profit status.  I took her up on the offer. Because I had worked on many PB productions, including the first show Pink Banana Theatre ever produced, I was familiar with the mission of the organization as well as the style of shows.

After about two and a half years of research, paperwork, drafts, edits, new drafts, more edits, the paperwork finally began to take shape into something presentable. The first step that began the paperwork nightmare was submitting a request for an Employer Idetification Number (EIN).  With this I could then file for our Articles of Incorporation as a Nonstock Corporation. I worked with the Board of Directors to adopt by-laws, a dissolution agreement, and the vision statement of the company.  Finally, everything was mailed along with all the official forms.

It was a huge undertaking, but I learned a great deal and certainly feel the satisfaction of accomplishment!

Time for an Upgrade

I thought it was about time I made some major changes to this web site. Not just in the way it looks, but what I want to actually accomplish with it. The last major update I made, content – not just the way it looks, was almost two years ago.  Pretty pathetic for a self-proclaimed geek.

Don’t get me wrong, I do plenty of web site updating: I am in charge of no fewer than 6 sites, and own almost a dozen different domains for one passion or another.  It gets to the point when your hobbies turn into work, so the last thing I wanted to do was maintain an active website for myself.  I finally decided to make it fun again.

Matt sits at a table.
Beer goes great with Creativity!

Normally, I would design and code a site from the ground up, designing and maintaining every element so it was just right.  This is good for big projects like my job and the Milwaukee Comedy scene, bad for something like “my life”. For this site, that means never finishing, only starting. Because of this, I have thrown out the old model for my personal website, and moved to what you see here.  A template based blog.

I never thought I would go this route, but it makes me happy so far.  The new look is up and running, and I can focus on getting into the habit of posting every few days. So if you’re still reading this, you either stumbled upon it in the archives somehow and are drunkenly laughing with your friends, or want to know what’s up, so here is what you can expect:

  • More updates than last major redesign – I think I updated the site 3 or 4 times in more than two years. If I can’t beat that, I shouldn’t have a web site. Seriously.
  • Add old stuff – Over the next few days, I’ll add some old postings to the archives. Not everything, but some fun pictures, projects and such from past web sites.
  • It’s not all about me – Part of the reason people visit a site is to find stuff they like. Most people really don’t give a shit about my resumé or how many shows I worked on (which was the original purpose of mattkemple.com way back in 2002), so I’ll be writing about stuff I think is cool: Comedy, gadgets, theatre and the arts, technology, happenings in the Milwaukee area and other stuff.
  • I’ve learned to share – I find a lot of crazy stuff I think is funny or interesting. I’ll post stuff and you can read it, or don’t. You find something you think I’ll like? Tell me about it.
  • Still totally about me – Deep down inside I have this site for me. Sometimes I see something that makes me laugh so hard I want to be able to click on it anytime I want. Also, I forget easily so It’s nice to find it right away.  I like to remember the projects and productions I’ve been involved in, because they are what help create today’s productions and projects.


Meet Matt

Well, I’ve had a great new job for a few months now.  It’s time I updated the website with a new bio:

Matt is a resident of Milwaukee, originally from Columbus, OH. He holds a degree in Communication, Media, and Theatre from St. Norbert College with extensive acting, directing, technical, and production experience.

He has aided in creating a dozen different theatre companies, as well as multiple programs and events with emphasis on new and emerging artists. Matt also has extensive construction experience including three stages, light & sound control booth, recording studio, library, dressing room, wood shop, coffee shop and a deck. He purchased a “fixer-upper” home with his wife, Dawn, and has been improving it by adding a master suite and gutting and remodeling much of it. During the summer of 2007, he was stage manager for “Project Non-Violence”, a program associated with the Greater Milwaukee Boys and Girls Club focusing on the theatre process with local inner-city youth.
Currently, Matt is the Marketing/PR Manager at Next Act Theatre, a compelling and intimate professional theatre; the Director and Founder of the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, a celebration focused on promoting sketch, improv and stand up comedy throughout the Greater Milwaukee area; and the Co-Producer of Pink Banana Theatre, encouraging new and emerging artists to focus on their artistic craft.

New Job!

It’s been a great week, take a look!

MEDIA RELEASE ——————————Next Act logo

February 5, 2008

CONTACT:            Matt Kemple, PR & Marketing Manager
414.278.7780 ● mkemple@nextact.org


After a month long search and over 60 applicants, Next Act Theatre has chosen theatre professional Matt Kemple as their new Marketing and Public Relations Manager. Matt joins the already first-rate staff of Next Act mid-way through their 18th season, bringing with him an extensive theatrical background and love for the arts.

Matt is a resident of Milwaukee, having been transplanted here from Columbus, Ohio almost four years ago. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Media, and Theatre from St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI with extensive acting, directing, technical, and production experience.

Previously, Matt was the Director of Theatre for three years at Bucketworks, a creative resource center located in downtown Milwaukee, as well as the Operations Manager at Mad Science of Waukesha County which focuses on providing science based learning activities for children.

Matt has aided in the creation of a dozen different theatre companies, groups and organizations across the Midwest, including multiple programs and events with emphasis on new and emerging local artists. During the summer of 2007, Matt worked as stage manager for former Theatre X Artistic Director John Schneider’s “Project Non-Violence”, a program associated with the Greater Milwaukee Boys and Girls Club focusing on the theatre process with local inner-city youth. He is currently the director and founder of the Milwaukee Sketch & Improv Festival, a celebration focused on promoting sketch and improv comedy throughout the Greater Milwaukee area.

Matt has extensive design and construction experience as well, including three theatre spaces, recording studio, library, wood shop, coffee shop, and deck.

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