Mallory Topel

Mallory Topel

The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation announces that Mallory Topel is the recipient of a $1,000 Fireside Theatre Scholarship for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.

A 2017 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, Topel will begin her senior year this fall at Viterbo College in La Crosse where she is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre with an emphasis in stage management.

A professor of theatre at Viterbo who worked with Topel both in the classroom an on productions noted that she has “tremendous natural leadership ability,” adding that “I have rarely seen a student provide such a consistent, steady and mature presence in production-related activity.”

Topel’s passion for theater began during her junior year at Fort Atkinson High School when she served as an assistant stage manager for a play and became entranced with the minute details of planning extensive scene changes and the challenge of executing them flawlessly. This fascination with the inner workings of a production only was enhanced when she took a job at The Fireside Dinner Theatre in Fort Atkinson as part of its backstage crew.

The Fireside Theatre Scholarship Fund was established at the foundation thanks to a generous gift from Ryan and Kristi Klopcic, owners of The Fireside Theatre. Ryan and Kristi, both graduates of Fort Atkinson High School, opened the fund to provide financial assistance to local students and to encourage them to pursue studies that support The Fireside Theatre’s mission of hospitality and entertainment.

The scholarship is open to graduating seniors at Fort Atkinson High School, former Fort Atkinson High School graduates or residents of the School District of Fort Atkinson who are pursuing, or are planning to pursue, an education in theatre, music, hospitality, retail or culinary fields at an accredited four-year college or university or two-year technical or vocational school. Preference will be given to students who have worked at The Fireside Theatre but that is not a requirement for application.

For more information about The Fireside Theatre Scholarship, or about any of the scholarships offered by the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation, contact its executive director Sue Hartwick at (920) 563-3210, office, or via email at

Load comments