STEVENS POINT — The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has a host of events coming up during the next several weeks.

Discover the roles of forest restoration, roots, trapping and woodpeckers in nature through programs at Schmeeckle Reserve.

Schmeeckle Reserve. Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Taught by UW-Stevens Point students, the free programs meet at the reserve’s Visitor Center, 2419 North Point Drive, Stevens Point, unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 715-346-4992 or go to Dress for the weather, as most programs are outdoors.

November programs include:

Know Your Roots, Nov. 8, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Explore the tangled underground world of plants and how roots help plants sense the world around them.

Trapping: Historic Practice, Timeless Value, Nov. 10, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Join Trapper Chris on a journey back to a time when trappers provided for their families, then hear how trapping is still used today.

Wintering Woodpeckers, SNov. 17, 1-2 p.m. Take a walk to look for woodpeckers and discover the clues they leave behind.

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau’s Department of Theatre presents the high-spirited musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” featuring a cast of student and community actors including WSAW Sunrise 7 news anchor and producer Sean Caldwell.

Cast members rehearse a scene from “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” staged at UW-Stevens Point at Wausau’s Veninga Theater Nov. 2-4 and 8-11. Photo courtesy UWSP.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-10. A matinee is offered at 2 p.m. Nov. 11. The production will be staged at the James F. Veninga Theater, 625 Stewart Ave., Wausau.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” debuted on Broadway in 2005 and centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the bee with the goal of bringing home the title and trophy.

Tickets are $18 for general admission, $15 for senior citizens and other students. UW-Stevens Point at Wausau students are free with a valid student I.D. Tickets will be available for purchase online at, by calling 715-261-6290 or at the James F. Veninga Theater Box Office one hour before each performance. A group rate of $10 per ticket is also available, call 715-803-3165 for details.

Discover secrets of the stars in the sky in a show at the Allen F. Blocher Planetarium.

“The Stargazer” will be offered at 2 p.m. Nov. 11 and 18. Open to the public for free, the show is hosted in part by Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura in the original “Star Trek” series, and noted astronomer James Kaler. Look at the life cycle of stars and what astronomers have learned by studying the light from those stars.

On Nov. 12 and 19, the “Night Sky” program is offered at 8 p.m. in the planetarium to look in detail at objects in the current night sky.

Planetarium seating is first come, first served for up to 55 people. Groups of 15 or more can schedule a special showing of any planetarium program by calling 715-346-2208 or completing an online request form at There is a cost of $25 per group for these presentations.

The Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory telescope is open for free viewings from 8:30-10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday evenings if the skies are clear and the temperature is above 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

The planetarium and observatory are on the second and fourth floor of the UW-Stevens Point Science Building at the corner of Reserve Street and Fourth Avenue. Parking is available in Lot D behind the building and is free in all university lots after 7 p.m. and on weekends.

Schmeeckle Reserve visitors inspired to take photographs, create art or write about the natural area can submit their work for the fourth annual Writing, Art and Photo Contest.

The Friends of Schmeeckle Reserve group hosts this contest to raise awareness of the reserve and the Friends group, which supports it. Entries are due today, Nov. 7.

Contest submissions will be posted on the Friends of Schmeeckle Reserve website and will be displayed during December at the Portage County Public Library. All entries will be recognized in a ceremony on Dec. 7 at the library. First-place winners also will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Browse Shop, a gift shop in the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center that features natural and cultural gifts.

Submissions must be accompanied by a 75 to 100-word statement describing how the entry was inspired by time spent in Schmeeckle Reserve. All ages are welcome to participate. For the full entry guidelines and submission form, visit and click on “Friends of Schmeeckle” and then “Arts Contest.”

Part of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Schmeeckle Reserve is at 2419 North Point Drive, Stevens Point.

The annual Music of the Masters need-based scholarship fundraiser will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Noel Fine Arts Center courtyard. Guests will receive the red-carpet treatment and enjoy movie-inspired music performances by the center’s students, faculty and alumni. The evening will also include hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and desserts, as well as a new 50/50 raffle.

Over the years, the Music of the Masters has generated more than $20,000 for scholarships for families in need from central Wisconsin communities.

Tickets are $50 before Oct. 27, $55 after or $25 with a UW-Stevens Point I.D. Get them at the Aber Suzuki Center, 715-346-3033, from center faculty and board members or online at

“Heathers the Musical” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9-10 and Nov. 14-17 in Jenkins Theatre in the Noel Fine Arts Center, 1800 Portage St., Stevens Point. A matinee show will be staged at 2 p.m. Nov. 11. The show is recommended for mature audiences due to adult language and subject matter.

Photo courtesy UWSP. Members of the cast of “Heathers the Musical” rehearse a scene that includes theater students Rachel Blount, from left, Elena Cramer, Trevor Squiers, Melody Hett and Laura Paruzynski.

The off-Broadway rock musical is set at Westerberg High School, where a shoulder-padded, scrunchie-wearing trio, each named Heather, are the hottest and meanest girls in Ohio. Another student, Veronica, seems to fit in with them until the mysterious J.D. leads her down a different path.

The black comedy is filled with many funny, satirical moments as well as 80s references, fashion, music and dance. It touches on awkward first love, bullying, teen angst, sexuality and suicide.

Tickets are $23 for adults and seniors and $13 for ages 17 and younger, and are available at the UW-Stevens Point Information and Tickets Office in the Dreyfus University Center concourse, by calling 715-346-4100 or at Discounts are available for UW-Stevens Point students, faculty and staff.

Tickets are also available for the First Nighters package Nov. 9, which includes dinner before the performance (

NEW! Celebrate Hmong and Southeast Asian culture at the 18th annual Taste of Toj Roob (The Mountains) at 5 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve St., Stevens Point. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Chou Moua

This year’s theme is “Language Barrier,” with keynote speaker Chou Moua, a Gilman Scholar with the University of Minnesota who has worked in Hmong community development both in Minnesota and southeast Asia. Members of the club will also perform a play.

Dinner is a three-course meal. A vegetarian option is available.

Tickets are $13 for general admission or $15 the day of the event. UW-Stevens Point students, faculty and staff members from all three campuses may attend for $11. Purchase tickets through the Information and Tickets Office in the Dreyfus University Center concourse, by calling 715-346-4100 or online at

For more information, email

Members of the UW-Stevens Point ROTC Color Guard will take part in a Veterans Day ceremony on campus Monday, Nov. 12. Photo courtesy UWSP.

NEW! Student veterans and ROTC cadets will be featured in a public ceremony marking Veterans Day at UWSP on Nov. 12.

The ceremony will be held at noon at the Alumni Room in the Dreyfus University Center. The ROTC Color Guard will present the colors and UW-Stevens Point Pep Band will perform.

The master of ceremonies will be student veteran Christopher Smith, and Chancellor Bernie Patterson, a U.S. Army veteran, will address guests. ROTC cadets will recite the poem “In Flanders Fields” and student veteran Calvin Wynn will read an original poem. Aaron Lewis, president of the university’s Veterans Club, will talk about the organization and its fundraisers. Light refreshments will be served.


A benefit for a UW-Stevens Point student scholarship is being offered Nov. 10 in honor of veteran George “Ski” Chodzinski. The Ski Memorial 5K Walk/Run begins at 10 a.m. at the Pfiffner Park bandshell and supports the scholarship in Chodzinski’s name through the Health Promotion and Wellness program. For more information, go to


UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield’s Symphonic Band will offer a Veterans Day Concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Helen Connor Laird Theater, 2000 W. Fifth St., Marshfield. Themed “The War to End All Wars,” the concert marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Concert tickets are free for those with military ID and Marshfield campus students. General admission tickets are $7, available at


UW-Stevens Point also is offering discounts to service members and veterans, with military ID:

  • Basement Brewhaus – Free coffee Nov. 11-12
  • Centertainment Productions – One free guest entry at events the week of Nov. 12
  • University Store – 30 percent off with coupon from the Veterans Club Office, Nov. 8-16, 15 percent off for the public Nov. 8-12, a thank you banner for all to sign
  • Cardio Center and Strength Fitness Center – Free workouts Nov. 11
  • Outdoor Rentals – One free rental Nov. 11-17

For more information on veterans’ programs at UW-Stevens Point, contact Ann Whipp, coordinator of Veterans Services, at 715-346-3237 or

NEW! “Foreign Born,” John Herrmann’s novel of the Midwestern home front during the Great War, went unpublished during his lifetime. Learn more about this book, and how a UWSP faculty member worked to bring it into a wider literary world, at a free lecture.

Ross Tangedal

“The Great War in the Midwest: Publishing John Herrmann’s ‘Foreign Born,’” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13, presented by Ross Tangedal, assistant professor in the UW-Stevens Point Department of English. Held in the Pinery Room of the Portage County Public Library, 1001 Main St., Stevens Point, this is the third talk in the eight-part 2018-2019 Community Lecture Series. The public can attend for free.

“Beginning in 1925, Herrmann drafted a tale of the paranoia, nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment that plagued the American home front from 1914-1918,” Tangedal said. “This presentation will cover Herrmann’s literary style, his ‘new’ novel and what it takes to excavate, edit, design and market the lost novel of a forgotten writer.”

For more information on the Community Lecture Series, visit or email

NEW! The Central Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra Program will perform in concert at 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Stevens Point Area Senior High School auditorium.

The program’s two age groups, the Youth Symphony and the Philharmonia, will both perform.

Tickets will be available at the door beginning at 3 p.m. Admission is $3 per person or $10 for families of four or more. Cash or checks made out to UWSP Continuing Education/CWYSOP will be accepted.

For more information about CWYSOP, needs-based scholarships and registration, visit UWSP Continuing Education at: or call 715-346-3838.

NEW! Part Irish pub band and part rock band, Gaelic Storm will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 13 in the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center. General admission tickets cost $25 plus service fees. Tickets will be $30 the day of the show.

Purchase tickets at the University Information and Tickets in the Dreyfus University Center concourse, at 800-838-3378 or online at

The band has topped the Billboard World Chart six times and makes regular appearances at music and Irish festivals across the country, including Milwaukee’s Irish Fest. The group’s latest album, “Go Climb a Tree,” was released in 2017.

Gaelic Storm includes Patrick Murphy on vocals, piano, harmonica, accordion and spoons, Steve Twigger on vocals, guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, Ryan Lacy on drums and world percussion, Pete Purvis on pipes and Katie Grennan on fiddle.

Photos courtesy UWSP.

Feature photo: Gaelic Storm