“John translates his childhood experiences in a way that makes them familiar as well as fresh, funny, and touching. I think that is his greatest gift.”

– Edward Morgan

John McGivern is best known his role in the Disney film The Princess Diaries, and as host of the Emmy award winning Around the Corner with John McGivern, the Milwaukee PBS series dedicated to his visits and profiles of various communities throughout Wisconsin.

The Early Stories of John McGivern, Midsummer Night McGivern, and John McGivern’s Home for the Holidays, all tell the tender and tense stories of being the third child born into a family of six kids, to a working-class Irish Catholic family in Milwaukee.

His stories are personal, funny, touching and familiar. McGivern’s themes are based in family relationships and remind us all that regardless of how specific we might believe our experiences are, we all share a universal human connection.

The Milwaukee Independent was invited to spend time with McGivern as he prepared his new Holiday Tales show. Our behind-the-scenes photo essay covers his planning rehearsal, pre-show preparations, and the opening night performance at the Northern Lights Theater.

© Photo

Lee Matz

Read the article, Q&A, and view the photo essay that were produced as companion features for this news report.