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Rob Rasmussen – 4 Weddings and an Elvis

How did you first start volunteering at Sunset?

In 1996, a friend invited me to usher at Sunset. The first time was such a great experience. Sunset staff and volunteers were so welcoming and that has continued for 26 years. I have meet so many nice people that share my love of the theatre. Sunset is an important part of my life.

Do you have a funny Sunset story?

While I started out as an usher, I soon joined the stage crew too. At the time, Michael Desper was in charge. On my first night, he asked me to take apart a “flat” which was a large panel which had some items attached.  I went to work taking apart not only the attachments but the panel itself. Michael stopped me and said that just taking the attachments off was enough and to keep the panel itself in one piece. He was so kind to understand even when I took the whole thing apart. That type of attitude is typical at Sunset.

I had one other experience on the stage crew when I was carrying a set and tripped. When I got up, I thought my arm looked funny. I decided to leave and have it checked out at the Emergency Room. It turned out that I broke my arm. At the next Sunset Volunteer get together, Michael was talking about his work and then joked that he had had an unblemished safety record except for one incident. He laughed and I raised my arm which was still in a cast and we all had a good laugh. Sunset is like family.

When you’re not at Sunset, what do you like to do?

I do a lot of landscaping and maintaining the gardens at St. Jude in Wauwatosa. I have put in things like a Rose Garden and a Butterfly Garden. I just renovated two other gardens this past year. 

I like playing sheepshead with friends. Baseball is a passion of mine and I attend Brewer and Beloit Snappers (just renamed Sky Carps).

I host a film festival each week with a friend where we watch a film and then do a critical and sometimes humorous assessment.

What’s your favorite part about theater?

As I mentioned, the volunteers and staff are great. But equally important is the performances that take place at Sunset. They are top notch. I can’t count the number of times our patrons have asked me how much the actors get paid because of the high caliber of the performances. When I tell them they too are volunteering their time because they love the theatre, the patrons are amazed.,