Mark Metcalf
“Backstage with Mark Metcalf”

A look back at 2011

By - Dec 29th, 2011 04:00 am
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Mark Metcalf in the WMSE studio

From our podcast series on veterans, the LGBT community, coping with Alzheimer’s, the “right to die,” to our latest series, “We don’t go past the bridge”: A discussion on race in Milwaukee, and so many things in between, many compelling discussions have taken place on our podcast this past year.

With 2011 coming to a close, take a look back at my picks for the best of “Backstage” in 2011, and keep an ear out for more great conversations in 2012.


Jan. 13 – PODCAST: Alzheimer’s: Research and preventative intervention: This week, Dr. Piero Antuono discusses risk factors for the disease and the curative measures being taken to improve quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients.

Feb. 3 – PODCAST: “A deliberate and courageous choice”: In August, a Milwaukee couple made the choice to end their lives. Today, Mary Gute-Witte shares her parents’ story and discusses this taboo and difficult topic.

Feb. 10 – PODCAST: The right to die is “a difficult subject”: It’s a complex issue, but undeniably important to talk about. This week, I’ve invited Dr. Bruce Wilson to join me in starting the conversation.

March 3 – PODCAST: “Teaching life skills through stage skills”: As schools are forced to cut back, First Stage Children’s Theater and Academy offers a creative outlet for students, fostering empowerment through the arts.

March 24 – PODCAST: Helping students reach their true potential: Mark talks with MPS teacher Ralph Janes about how theater and the arts are powerful tools for creating autonomous, high-achieving students.

April 14 – PODCAST: The psychology of domestic abuse: How much does environment inform behavior? Social worker Cathy Arney explains how gender roles, societal messages and abuse at home affect the cycle of violence.

May 5 – PODCAST: A hen named Milwaukee: A silkie chicken, to be exact. Today, Mark chats with “Milwaukee” and Jessica Lane of Cream City Hens about the benefits of backyard henkeeping.

May 12 – PODCAST: The buzz on urban beekeeping: Honeybees play a vital role in the food system, but they are in peril. Today, Beepods co-founder Charlie Koenen talks about how saving the bees can potentially save the world.

June 9 – PODCAST: Ladies who ride: The Bella Donnas: The founders of Milwaukee’s latest all-female cycling club chat about how The Bella Donnas use biking to challenge themselves — and the status quo.

July 7 – PODCAST: Whatever happened to the Comedy Stage?: In its heyday, Summerfest’s now-defunct Comedy Pavilion hosted some of the country’s best comedians. Former stage manager David ‘Punky’ Wastak reminisces on the good old days.

July 14 – PODCAST: At the movies with Gino Salomone: Movie critic Gino Salomone makes a living traveling the world, seeing films and interviewing the stars. Today, he shares some of his best (and worst) interviews and talks about his faux engagement to Sandra Bullock.

Aug. 18 – PODCAST: He said, She said – A (non-traditional)  Wedding Story: Kathy and Justin never planned on getting married — in fact, both are anti-marriage. But this fall, they’ll say “I do.” The question is: what the hell happened?

Sept. 15 – PODCAST: The F-word: After decades of struggle and success in women’s rights, has “feminism” become a dirty word? Prof. Merry Weisner-Hanks takes a historical view of the movement.

Oct. 13 – PODCAST: Life after “Don’t ask, don’t tell”: In the wake of the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” Mark asks and LGBT rights activist Miriam Ben-Shalom tells her story of being a lesbian in the military.

Nov. 17 – PODCAST: Music heals at Guitars for Vets: Guitars for Vets provides veterans an opportunity to heal through music. Mark Metcalf talks with Guitars for Vets president Dan Van Buskirk, a true guitar hero.

Dec. 8 – PODCAST: “We don’t go past the bridge”: Part 1: “Backstage with Mark Metcalf” presents “We don’t go past the bridge”: A discussion on race in Milwaukee. The series begins with poet Dasha Kelly.

Thanks for listening, and have a happy new year!


“Backstage with Mark Metcalf” is published every Thursday on

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