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La Crosse Community Theatre adds to its Hall of Fame



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For many years, the La Crosse Community Theatre used to have its own awards ceremony, much like the Oscars, where audiences would vote for their favorite actors of the season.

It stopped doing those awards about 20 years ago, but now, the La Crosse Community Theatre has a Hall of Fame.

A past director of the theatre and five volunteers were honored for 2018 this weekend, including one couple.

Scott and Mary Rathgaber were recognized for their volunteer work. Scott, the CEO at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, has acted in some shows, while Mary has worked off stage.

“It gets you out and you meet people you wouldn’t be able to meet, otherwise,” Mary said.

Of the six inducted, the oldest was actor Dick Sartz, who’s nearly 100. He made his stage debut in 1973 at in ‘The Cherry Orchard.

“I was 54 years old and I’d never been on stage before, except a young kid in high school, which didn’t amount to anything, so that was my first time,” Sartz said.

As for learning of being named to the HOF, Sartz said, “I didn’t get up and dance around. I don’t do that but I guess I’m proud.”

Scott acted in shows before becoming CEO of Gundersen and suggests that he’s probably retired from the stage.

“Well, it sure was a lot lot of fun when I did it,” he said, “but, that this point, I think the quality has gotten so high that I think it’s gotten beyond me.”

Also recognized for their contributions on and offstage at were Sharon Markee, Kathleen Pantzer and former artistic director Tim McNamara.

McNamar was a former LCT director that ran the theatre in the 1980s. He was the first director to enter the theatre in regional play contests.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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