Topel earns first Fireside Theatre Scholarship

Mallory Topel

The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation is proud to announce that the very first recipient of its new $1,000 Fireside Theatre Scholarship is Mallory Topel.  The Fireside Theatre Scholarship Fund was established at the Foundation last year thanks to a generous gift from Ryan and Kristi Klopcic, owners of The Fireside Theatre in Fort Atkinson. 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 Fort Atkinson School District, 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.
A 2017 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, Topel attends Viterbo College in La Crosse where she is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre, with an emphasis in stage management, and a minor in arts administration.

Topel first began learning about state management at Fort Atkinson High School where, as a sophomore, she was roped into helping with Christmas concerts in the auditorium. Over the course of the next two years, she grew to enjoy managing the inner workings of a production. But, as she noted in her application, it wasn’t until she got a job at The Fireside Theatre as part of their backstage crew, that “I realized that one could actually have a career in theater – that it wasn’t just a high school extracurricular.”

To learn more about The Fireside Theatre Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities, visit the Foundation’s website,, or contact administrator, Sue Hartwick, at (920) 563-3210 or via email at