Meet Ione Berken, Center Stage Program Alum

December 7, 2023

Meet Ione Berken, an alum of the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program. Ione was a participant of the program from 2018 until she graduated Green Bay East High School in 2022. Continuing to follow her passion for theater, Ione is applying skills she learned in the Center Stage Program to her current studies and performance opportunities.

The Center Stage Program provided me with so many learning opportunities including many amazing workshops with touring Broadway professionals. The Encore Singers program also allowed me to perform several new arrangements and work with many new people.
Ione Berken - 2021-22 Center Stage Program alum

Spending much of her high school years invested in the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program, Ione had a chance to learn, grow and build strong friendships. “Getting the opportunity to work/network with professionals and learn from such seasoned performers is such a huge honor,” Ione commented. “I kept in contact with some of the workshop performers who ended up giving me advice over the years. PLUS, getting the opportunity to use student rush gave me so much watch time for shows I wouldn’t normally have!”

Thinking about her favorite memory of the program, Ione shared, “My favorite memory is getting to be a part of the encore cabaret my senior year and perform with my new encore friends, all of which I still talk to and hold so dear to me. Being able to share that experience singing custom arrangements with the Cornerstone Jazz orchestra was so incredibly special to me!”

This program is truly a great way to learn about all facets of the theater; it also brings people out of their shells and into the professional world.
Ione Berken - 2021-22 Center Stage Program alum

Ione is currently attending UW-Stevens Point pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Media Studies with an expected graduation date in 2026. She stays very busy in between her studies and her various positions on campus which include working in the UW-Stevens Point’s office of diversity and college access and as a tour guide for the admissions office. Adding to her performance experience, Ione was recently in the ensemble and understudied the role of Amalia Balash for UW-Stevens Point’s production of She Loves Me.

Go for it! Or else you never know what could have happened. I was my most involved with the program during college audition season preparing for my musical theater degree, and one thing I was always told was to GO FOR IT!
Ione Berken - 2021-22 Center Stage Program alum

The Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program is an educational initiative of the Fox Cities P.A.C. with support from corporate partner Fox Communities Credit Union. Additional partners in this program include Johnson Financial Group, Nicolet National Bank, Angelo & Jennifer Ninivaggi, Schneider Foundation, Skogen’s Festival Foods, WFRV and Wipfli. Programs like the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program are also supported in part by contributions to the Center’s Annual Partner Campaign.

Written by Philomena Dorobek, Brand Storyteller
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center