Interviews

What We Watch: Holly De Ruyter, WPT History Producer

Holly De Ruyter poses at her desk.History producer Holly De Ruyter is the producer of a documentary about UW Varsity Band director Prof. Mike Leckrone that will air later this year. She also produced Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club, airing 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4. (WPT Passport members can also watch online!)

Read more about Old Fashioned right here on the blog.

Holly is newer to WPT, joining the station last November, but she’s a longtime lover of public television. (Who isn’t?) Here are some of her top public TV picks, along with some reflections on her craft.

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Q&A: Prof. Mike Leckrone, UW Varsity Band

Over his 50-year career leading the University of Wisconsin Bands, Prof. Mike Leckrone has often spoken of “moments of happiness” – the peaks in life that make the valleys easier to bear. He’s had many of those moments at Camp Randall Stadium and the Kohl Center.

Leckrone flies in with a “jet pack” at the 2019 Varsity Band Spring Concert.

So it’s fitting that “Moments of Happiness” is the title of his final Varsity Band Spring Concert.

Watch the legendary Leckrone take his final bow at the Kohl Center 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4 on WPT, with game day favorites, the best of popular and musical theater standards and (as always) many surprises.

Leckrone took time out of his still-busy schedule to speak with us. Read his reflections – including just what he plans to do after stepping down – in our Q&A below!

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Q&A: Andy Soth, Portraits From Rural Wisconsin

Portraits From Rural Wisconsin premieres 8 p.m. Thursday, April 11 on Wisconsin Public Television. Through a series of interwoven personal essays, see why some western Wisconsin residents still say that “rural life is the best life” – even in the face of hardship and change.

Andy Soth headshotProducer/reporter Andy Soth, whose work has appeared on Here & Now, WisContext and Wisconsin Life (among others), spoke to us about the multi-year process that has brought these unique visual essays to life.

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Q&A: Pete Schwaba, Director’s Cut

Pete SchwabaFrom his home base in Marinette, writer, director and comedian Pete Schwaba remains connected to the independent film community as host of Director’s Cutas well as introducing documentaries shown on Independent Lens and POV.

Each year, the Director’s Cut season kicks off with a preview of the Wisconsin Film Festival. Join Schwaba and special guests – festival organizers and filmmakers – 9 p.m. Monday, April 1 on WPT to discuss some of the great offerings in store. Then, come on down to the fest itself from April 4-11, where Schwaba presents the Golden Badger Awards to the best of Wisconsin’s Own films.

Schwaba spoke with us to share some of his favorite indie film picks from past seasons, and what he loves about public TV. Read on!

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Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club-Q&A With Holly De Ruyter

Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club is a documentary premiering 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14 on Wisconsin Public Television.

The documentary explores the cultural and historical events that shaped supper club culture in the badger state. Current supper club owners and patrons discuss the institution’s past and imagine its future.

Filmmaker and WPT history producer Holly De Ruyter sat down with us to talk about the documentary.

Read on to learn more!

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Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’ – Q&A With Program Co-Producers

Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’ is a new television special with an old twist.

In the program, premiering 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 on Wisconsin Public Television, celebrated Wisconsin author and humorist Michael Perry looks back on his Clodhopper tales of life in Wisconsin with an eye toward the ways his stories of the past connect us to the future. Checking in from north of Wisconsin’s Highway 64, Perry reflects on the people and places that shaped his life, while sharing stories relatable to every Wisconsinite.

Laurie Gorman and Grant Fenster, co-producers of Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’, sat down with us to discuss the upcoming special.

Read on to learn more from the people who put this new program together!

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Brother Wolf: Q&A with Jeremy St. Arnold

Ma’iingan: Brother Wolf premieres 7 p.m. Monday, March 4. In this new documentary, Jeremy St. Arnold, a wildlife biologist for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, shares how his work unites both tribal and scientific perspectives.

Jeremy St. Arnold holds two wolf pupsWith insight from Ojibwe elders, biologists and artist Rabbett Before Horses Strickland, this new film captures enduring spiritual connections with ma’iingan (Brother Wolf), the lasting bonds and responsibilities shared between native people and the wolf species, and the opportunities and challenges presented by the protection of the animals across reservation lands.

“This was a very memorable experience for me,” says St. Arnold. “I have always enjoyed documentaries, and I felt fortunate to be able to represent the Red Cliff Band, sharing the work I love to do.”

Read on to learn more about how tribal traditions and scientific research unite in service of Brother Wolf.

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What We Watch: Garden expert Melinda Myers

It might feel like the doldrums of winter, but spring is just around the corner. Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden & Landscape Expo is ready to inspire you.

Join us Friday through Sunday, Feb. 8-10, at the Exhibition Hall of the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Out of the many experts, vendors and garden lovers you’ll meet at the Expo, Melinda Myers is a longtime favorite – and, naturally, a lover of PBS programs. She sat down to share some of her favorites with us.

Read on to learn what inspires her – and how she uses it!

 

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Arthur Ircink talks “Foodie”

Wisconsin Foodie captures the flavor of our state – one bite at a time! An all-new season airs 7:30 p.m. Thursdays on Wisconsin Public Television.

Since the show’s inception in 2007, founder and executive producer Arthur Ircink has done just about everything to keep the show running smoothly behind the scenes, from shooting and editing to underwriting and social media.

Read on for his inside take on how Foodie creates a delectable array of offerings for viewers to savor throughout the year.

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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.

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