About Susannah Brooks

I'm a Wisconsin Public Television publicist as well as the editor of Airwaves, WPT's monthly program guide. When I'm not communing with my computer, I'm reading a book a day on my Kindle app, battling my fellow trivia geeks, dabbling in odd crafts and wrangling one very determined small person. Drop me a line at susannah.brooks@wpt.org.

 

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Q&A: John DeMain leads A Madison Symphony Christmas

The Madison Symphony Orchestra‘s holiday concerts are always its most popular events of the year. For the first time. Wisconsin Public Television brings this festive celebration into homes across the state, filmed live at Madison’s Overture Hall.

A Madison Symphony Christmas premieres 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17. Or tune in for an encore broadcast Christmas night: 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25.

John DeMain“Our annual Christmas concert has become a very meaningful experience for everyone involved,” says Music Director John DeMain. “One cannot help but leave the Hall with a feeling that the holiday season has begun. And hopefully, you will have a big glow in your heart.”

Read on for our exclusive Q&A with Maestro DeMain to learn about how this inaugural broadcast came together.

Continue reading Q&A: John DeMain leads A Madison Symphony Christmas

Q&A: Behind the scenes with Wisconsin Water From the Air’s Laurie Gorman

Wisconsin Public Television’s Laurie Gorman has led production for all three of WPT’s aerial documentaries: Wisconsin From the Air in 2014; Wisconsin Winter From the Air in 2016 (both viewable with WPT Passport); and the latest installment in the series, premiering this week.

Wisconsin Water From the Air premieres 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26.

Read on for an exclusive look into these groundbreaking productions, and see what’s in store!  Continue reading Q&A: Behind the scenes with Wisconsin Water From the Air’s Laurie Gorman

Around the Farm Table returns!

A Note From Inga…Inga Witscher, host of Around the Farm Table

Has it really been six years since we started this quirky little show we call Around the Farm Table? My father Rick (producer, director, and the guy that irons my shirt) and I are absolutely humbled to help tell the stories of the hard working and inspiring farmers here in the great state of Wisconsin.

Read more to find out where we’re headed this season on Around the Farm Table – and join us for our new episodes airing Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television!

Continue reading Around the Farm Table returns!

American Experience producer Sharon Grimberg discusses “The Circus”

Aerialist La NormaStep right up! American Experience: The Circus is a four-hour, two-part documentary airing 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8-9 on WPT. Exploring the colorful history of this distinctly American entertainment, this fascinating film includes extensive historical material from and about Wisconsin, the home of the famed Ringling Bros. and other major acts.

In our exclusive Q&A, writer/producer/director Sharon Grimberg shares her thoughts on the film’s production, as well as the circus itself.

Continue reading American Experience producer Sharon Grimberg discusses “The Circus”

The Great American Read: Kathleen Ernst shares her picks

The Great American Read is back, with weekly explorations each Tuesday night of why America’s best-loved books and characters make such lasting impressions in our lives.

Kathleen Ernst headshot, by Geri GerroldWe’ve enjoyed hearing about Wisconsin authors’ own picks, both on and off TGAR‘s list. Next in our series is Kathleen Ernst, a multitalented author who describes her work as “writing at the intersection of people, places and the past.”

If you enjoy history, mystery or any combination thereof, read on for some of Ernst’s inspiring picks!

Continue reading The Great American Read: Kathleen Ernst shares her picks

The Great American Read: Michael Perry shares his picks

It’s here! Tune in 7 p.m. tonight for the fall kickoff episode of The Great American ReadThere’s plenty of action to come, both on TV and in our continuing series of Wisconsin authors.

Author Michael Perry smiles and wears a plaid shirt.Today we present WPT/WPR favorite and The New York Times bestselling essayist Michael Perry, of New Auburn. The paperback of his latest book, Montaigne in Barn Boots, will be released by HarperPerennial in November while he is on tour with his band the Long Beds.

Read more to find out which books have encouraged Perry to question his assumptions about writing and life.

Continue reading The Great American Read: Michael Perry shares his picks

Week 9 Patisserie Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Ça va, mes amis? Here we are in the semifinal week, and as much as Mel, Sue and your humble recapper might like to lighten the mood with French that is, how you say, pas mal, the mood is tense. So let’s get right to it, non?

Our four remaining bakers delved into the precision of French-style patisserie this week. Brendan, Danny, James and John faced their last elimination week before the final with just as much finesse as they have displayed all season.

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Patisserie challenges.

So let’s follow the neither-French-nor-British Chairman Kaga, and allez cuisine!

All Season 5 contestants pose in front of the tent

Continue reading Week 9 Patisserie Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Quilt Expo celebrates Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the 14th annual Quilt Expo, held at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall in Madison. (Get your discount advance tickets here – or consider volunteering!)

Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman pose together at Quilt ExpoThis year, as every year, attendees will enjoy several special exhibits beyond the 10-category Quilt Contest. One of these exhibits honors the legacy of two women who have been central to quilting in Wisconsin and beyond: Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell. 

Read on for more examples of their beautiful landscape quilt collaborations!

Continue reading Quilt Expo celebrates Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

What We Watch: Garry Denny

Bringing Wisconsin Public Television’s delightful mix of programming together takes a lot more work than most of us realize. Beyond PBS itself, WPT previews and purchases programs from American Public Television, the BBC, our own local production teams and multiple other independent sources.

Garry Denny

In our latest installment of What We Watch, we chat with Garry Denny, WPT’s director of programming. A member of our staff since 1986, he’s the one who brings it all together: acquisition, scheduling and delivery of programming services on WPT’s six-station network.

Read more to find out what Garry is most looking forward to in WPT’s fall schedule!
Continue reading What We Watch: Garry Denny

The Great American Read: Jerry Apps shares his picks

We’re getting closer to the Fall Kick Off episode of The Great American Read: airing 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.  11. Have you voted on the list yet? If you’re stuck – as we are! – why not check out some more picks by Wisconsin writers?

Today we bring you the prolific, the folksy, the one and only Jerry Apps. He’s a WPT favorite for good reason: adept at memoir writing, storytelling, history, teaching and more, he keeps readers busy turning out new and sometimes unexpected stories at a blistering pace.

A person stares into a frozen wave of water.His latest, Cold as Thunder, is a dystopian novel set in a frozen wasteland where only “a resourceful band of Wisconsin sixty-somethings calling themselves the Oldsters” have the knowledge to fight the ruling regime.

Read more to find out which books have helped this beloved author think about writing!

Continue reading The Great American Read: Jerry Apps shares his picks