Bonnie North

Lake Effect Producer / Co-host

Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.

Bonnie spent over twenty years working as a director, technician and stage manager in professional, educational, and community theaters. She comes from a family of musicians and artists and grew up playing all kinds of music. But her interest in and love of the arts is not limited to performance. She enjoys other art expressions as well, including painting, sculpture, photography, textiles, and writing.

Bonnie's introduction to Public Broadcasting came at Vermont Public Radio (VPR) in 1992. She spent 7 years there in various positions, including hosting classical and jazz shows and as a production associate and operations manager.

Just prior to joining WUWM, Bonnie worked in the defense industry. She spent two years in the Balkans, first in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where she managed a group of linguists that provided Serbo-Croatian interpreting and translation services for the US and NATO stabilization forces. She then went to Kosovo to manage the overall linguist program for Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Bonnie holds a bachelors degree in English Literature/Drama Studies from Purchase College-State University of New York.

Ways to Connect

This week, the Milwaukee Rep opens Brookfield native Ayad Akhtar’s play, The Who and the What. It’s the third of four plays of the Pulitzer Prize winner to be staged at the Rep, and it explores complex familial relationships as they relate to life, religion, and the pursuit of happiness. May Adrales directs, and she's also the newest associate artistic director at the Milwaukee Rep.

berolino / Wikimedia

There are many stories of bravery and survival from the second world war - from soldiers risking everything to save their comrades to everyday people helping others escape. But one story of survival is perhaps not as well known - and that may be because Charlotte von Mahlsdorf hid herself in plain sight during the Nazi regime.

Born Lothar Berfelde in 1928, von Mahlsdorf was a self-described transvestite. She survived both the war and life in East Germany as openly transgender and was a beacon of hope to other European LGBTQ people throughout her life.

photo courtesty of Morning Star Productions

In the world of organ transplants, one person could potentially save eight lives. Each donor has two lungs and two kidneys, as well as a heart, liver, pancreas, and intestine. When you count non-lifesaving organs, like eyes or skin, even more people could be helped by a complete body donation.

Many of us have the orange donor dot on our drivers’ licenses, but that alone isn't quite enough to ensure your wishes are carried out.

Will Durst is back home this weekend. The political writer and comedian from Milwaukee lives in the Bay Area today, but has shows this Friday and Saturday at Comedy Sportz in Walker’s Point.

His show, Durst Case Scenario, explores America in the time of President Trump.  Normally, Durst says, the year after an election is a time when people are ready for a break from political comedy.  But not this year, he says. 

Mark Peate / Flickr

The days have been getting shorter since mid-June - the Summer Solstice, but now things start to get serious. As we near the Autumn Equinox, the point at which night is a larger part of our lives than day, our days will continue to get shorter. 

"The sun is going to rise due east and it’s going to set due west. That doesn’t happen on any other day, except the two equinoxes," says Lake Effect astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton. 

Michael Brosilow

Whether it’s “Luck Be a Lady Tonight”, “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck”, or “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” you probably know at least one song from the score of Frank Loesser’s 1950 show Guys and Dolls, the iconic American musical about a bunch of lovable gamblers and the women who love them. 

photo courtesty of the Veterans Administration

Like most Veteran’s Administration hospitals and clinics around the country, the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee sees a majority of male patients. Women make up just a little over 15 percent of current active and reserve military members across all services and about 10 percent of the total US veteran population. But especially now that women can and do serve in combat, it’s crucial that the VA respond appropriately.

Bonnie North

For three adventurous decades, Milwaukee's Wild Space Dance Company has taken audiences on journeys that confound the accepted ideas of what dance can be. From performances in expected venues like a theater, to those in decidedly unexpected venues like the Menomonee Valley’s Three Bridges Park, Wild Space continually redefines modern dance for both performers and audiences.

Photo courtesy of Sam Moore/MV Times

An exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art showcases the clothes of six generations of an upper-middle class, Marshfield family -- The Roddis family.

Kat Schleicher / Milwaukee Magazine

Every year, Milwaukee Magazine dedicates much of its September issue to showcase some of the arts events happening in the fall, when many artistic institutions put out their season offerings. 

People hoping to go to new museum shows or theater productions will find a myriad of options this season, with a mix new shows and fresh takes on old classics. 

Renaissance Theaterworks / Facebook

Renaissance Theaterworks began a quarter of a century ago as a way to both produce good work and also promote women in theatre, both onstage and behind the scenes. In those 25 years, the company has mounted 66 full productions and 40 staged-readings. Nine of those productions were original works by Wisconsin playwrights and seven were World Premieres.

angelo.gi / Fotolia

Each month, cellist Robert Cohen joins Lake Effect to talk about the life of a professional classical musician. Our On That Note series has tackled everything from traveling with an extremely rare and valuable instrument too large for the overhead bin to what it’s like to perform with musicians who were once your students.

All In Productions

For the next two weekends, audiences in Milwaukee can enjoy a production of the Pulitzer and Tony award winning musical Next to Normal. The show tells the story of a superficially average American family - dad, mom, daughter, and son. But in the midst of their seemingly easy-going lives lies a hidden truth - the mom’s challenges with bipolar disorder. The musical's rock-pop score and subject matter has made the show a hit since it first opened on Broadway in 2008.

Back in January, we featured an interview with the leaders of an ambitious effort to improve the health of people living in Dodge County (see below).  The Blue Zones Project takes a page from the examples set by people who live in places with the longest life expectancy and looks at how those practices can be put into place.

Andrey / Fotolia

Milwaukee has a proud blue collar heritage. For decades, people here worked in factories of all kinds, making everything from engines to padlocks. In Detroit, the factories tended to be automotive. And in 1998, actor and playwright Tim Campos found himself working the line at a Ford plant while trying to keep his theatre dream alive.

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