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.

Continue reading What We Watch: Holly De Ruyter, WPT History Producer

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!

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

Click, Bid & Win! WPT Online-Exclusive Auction Runs May 1-14

For the first time ever, the annual Wisconsin Public Television Auction will be an online-exclusive event — and it all begins May 1!

We invite bidders to take part in the fun for a chance to win a wide variety of merchandise and services from Wisconsin businesses and individuals.

Proceeds from Auction support WPT programs, outreach and community engagement initiatives, and events that serve to enrich the Wisconsin community.

This year’s Auction will be held Wednesday, May 1 through Tuesday, May 14 and can be accessed online at auction.wpt.org.

With more than 2000 items donated by more than 700 different donors, this year’s Auction is sure to be a memorable one!

Read on to learn more!

Continue reading Click, Bid & Win! WPT Online-Exclusive Auction Runs May 1-14

Tune In: Meet the Hedgehogs Premiering on WPT April 7

Yes, that is rock legend and former lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May and yes, he is cradling a curled-up hedgehog. Featured in a new documentary hosted by British naturalist Steven Backshall (pictured at right), Meet the Hedgehogs uncovers the secretive life of the world’s most popular spiny mammal and reveals current efforts to protect them. Meet the Hedgehogs premieres on WPT Sunday, April 7 at 6 p.m.

Read on to learn more about this fun documentary!

Continue reading Tune In: Meet the Hedgehogs Premiering on WPT April 7

Meet the Cast of Les Misérables, Premiering on WPT April 14

There are some things you can always count on. The happiness that comes from that first cup of coffee — or tea — in the morning. The pure joy puppies bring. And, of course, some excellent MASTERPIECE programming on Sunday nights on Wisconsin Public Television. Thanks to the upcoming premiere of Les Misérables on April 14 on WPT,  Sunday nights are about to get even better.  Continue reading Meet the Cast of Les Misérables, Premiering on WPT April 14

Get growing with WPT!

The snow is melting after a snowy Wisconsin winter, and we know you’ve been itching to dig!

For years, Wisconsin Public Television has captured lectures from our Garden & Landscape Expo to enjoy throughout the year on University Place. Just in time for spring, we’re sharing some of our favorites that we hope will take your garden – big or small – to new heights.

Best of all, you can stream these episodes on your digital or mobile devices wherever and whenever you like: in the living room, at the kitchen table, from your porch or even in the garden itself!

Continue reading Get growing with WPT!

Tune in: Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970

What is it about Joni Mitchell that connects so deeply with audiences? Perhaps it’s because her songs can express things within ourselves that we sometimes struggle to put into words. We listen to her music and we understand. Whatever quality it is that grants a sense of clarity on both reality and the imaginary, Joni’s got it.

The daughter of a Canadian school teacher and flight instructor, her journey from the prairies of Saskatchewan to the hills of Laurel Canyon produced some of the 20th century’s greatest music.

Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 premieres tonight at 9:30 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Read on to learn more about this upcoming special!

Continue reading Tune in: Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970

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!

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

Celebrate Women’s History Month 2019!

Birgit Nilsson performs the title role in Turandot, wearing a dramatic Chinese-themed trainFighters, feminists and “firsts” take the screen this month, showcasing the contributions of women in the modern world.

Wisconsin Public Television offers a full lineups of broadcast programs and online extras to enjoy, from American Masters to pledge specials featuring favorite musicians.

Read on to see what’s in store!

Continue reading Celebrate Women’s History Month 2019!

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!

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