Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Presents COLLECTED STORIES, 11/21-12/16; Moves to Madison, 1/17

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Presents COLLECTED STORIES, 11/21-12/16; Moves to Madison, 1/17

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) presents COLLECTED STORIES by Donald Margulies, November 21 – December 16, 2012, in collaboration with Forward Theater Company of Madison. In COLLECTED STORIES two strong-willed writers from dramatically different backgrounds struggle with success. MCT has also produced Margulies' plays Brooklyn Boy (2009) and his Pulitzer Prize-winner DINNER WITH FRIENDS (2003). COLLECTED STORIES performs in the Broadway Theatre Center's Studio Theatre in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.

COLLECTED STORIES begins in 1990 and renowned short story writer Ruth Steiner has become a recluse in Greenwich Village. Enter Lisa Morrison, her bright-eyed young protégée. Over the next six years, under Ruth's tutelage, Lisa advances from insecure student to faithful assistant to successful writer. As the relationship between the two women evolves, their fascinating story comes to a dramatic conclusion.

MCT Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright directs two Wisconsin-based actresses in COLLECTED STORIES, American Players Theatre company member Sarah Day (A THOUSAND WORDS, THE DESERT QUEEN, MADAME DE SADE) and Laura Frye (CRIMES OF THE HEART).

COLLECTED STORIES is MCT's second collaboration with Madison's Forward Theater Company. MCT opens the show at the Broadway Theatre Center, November 21 – December 16, 2012. Then the entire production (cast, set, costumes, etc.) moves to Madison for a run at the Overture Center, January 17 – February 3, 2013. Last season the two companies collaborated on the world premiere of A THOUSAND WORDS (January - March, 2012) with runs in Madison and Milwaukee.

COLLECTED STORIES premiered in 1996 at South Coast Repertory in California and debuted off- Broadway in 1997. PBS produced a film version of the play in 2002, starring Linda Lavin and Samantha Mathis. COLLECTED STORIES had its first Broadway production in 2010, starring Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson. Actresses including Debra Messing, Uta Hagen and Helen Mirren have also performed in various productions of COLLECTED STORIES.

Donald Margulies is an award-winning playwright and currently serves as adjunct professor at Yale University. His play DINNER WITH FRIENDS won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000 and was produced by MCT in 2003. MCT also produced his play Brooklyn Boy in 2009. Margulies' other plays include SIGHT UNSEEN, TIME STANDS STILL, SHIPWRECKED! AN ENTERTAINMENT, THE MODEL APARTMENT, FOUND A PEANUT, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? and THE LOMAN FAMILY PICNIC.

COLLECTED STORIES is part of the "Exploring Jewish Voices" series, which is a collaboration between MCT, Jewish Museum Milwaukee and the Jewish Community Center. During the 2012-2013 season, MCT is producing three plays by prominent Jewish playwrights: A THOUSAND CLOWNS by Herb Gardner, COLLECTED STORIES by Donald Margulies and UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL by Glen Berger. The three groups have partnered to provide additional education and outreach opportunities including preshow 'ViewPoints' lectures and 'Jewish Community Ticket' performances.

CAST:
Ruth Steiner: Sarah Day
Lisa Morrison: Laura Frye

PRODUCTION STAFF:
Director: C. Michael Wright
Scenic Designer: Stephen Hudson-Mairet
Costume Designer: Kimberly O'Callaghan
Lighting Designer: John Frautschy
Properties Master: Nikki Kulas
Sound Designer: Chris Guse

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION:
Wednesday, Nov. 21 - 7:30 p.m. (P)
Friday, Nov. 23 - 8:00 p.m. (O)
Saturday, Nov. 24 - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24 - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 25 - 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 28 - 7:30 p.m. V
Thursday, Nov. 29 - 7:30 p.m. T
Friday, Nov. 30 - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1 - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1 - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 2 - 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 5 - 1:00 p.m. *
Thursday, Dec. 6 - 7:30 p.m. T
Friday, Dec. 7 - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8 - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8 - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 9 - 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 12 - 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 13 - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 14 - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 15 - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 15 - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 16 - 2:00 p.m.

P = Preview; O = Opening; T = Talkback; V = ViewPoints; *= Talk Theatre

SPECIAL EVENTS:

--Pre-performance ViewPoints: Part of the "Exploring Jewish Voices" series, a free, pre-show presentation addressing Jewish womens' generational voices and perspectives by Jane Avner, Elaine Berke and Molly Dubin on Wednesday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre.

--Pre-performance Talk Theatre: MCT Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright leads a lively and informative chat with Costume Designer Kimberly O'Callaghan beginning at 12:00 noon before the matinee on Wednesday, December 5 in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

--Post-performance Jewish Community Ticket Talkback: Part of the "Exploring Jewish Voices" series, a post-show discussion led by Jody Hirsh Jewish Educator at the Jewish Community Center on Thursday, December 6.

--Post-performance Talkbacks: Post-show discussion with the cast following performances on Thursday, November 29, Thursday, December 6 and Thursday, December 13.

COLLECTED STORIES performances will take place November 21 – December 16, 2012 in the Broadway Theatre Center's Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward. Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online - 24 hours a day at milwaukeechambertheatre.com. Group, student and senior discounts are also available. For more information, visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com. COLLECTED STORIES is sponsored by John E. Holland.

SARAH DAY – Ruth Steiner: Sarah Day returns to MCT where she last appeared as Sally Quinn in the world premiere of A THOUSAND WORDS in collaboration with Forward Theater Company. Other MCT appearances include THE DESERT QUEEN (staged reading) and MADAME DE SADE. She is a founding member of Forward Theater Company, and serves on its advisory company. She has also appeared in Forward Theater's productions of ALL ABOUT EVE and WHY TORTURE IS WRONG AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM. She has been a member of The Acting Company at American Players Theatre in Spring Green since 1986.

LAURA FRYE – Lisa Morrison: Laura Frye returns to MCT after making her debut as Babe in CRIMES OF THE HEART last season. She recently moved to Milwaukee from New York City. Last year she toured Italy playing Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. Recent NYC and regional credits include Ophelia in HAMLET, Beatrice in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Hermione in THE WINTER'S TALE, Anna in HOLLOW MEN and Robin in the off-off-Broadway production of SAVED BY THE BELL: THE MUSICAL. In the Milwaukee area sh has performed in First Stage Children's Theater's A THOUSAND CRANES and Lake Geneva Theatre Company's PRIVATE LIVES. She received her MFA from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Houston.

C. Michael Wright – Director, MCT Producing Artistic Director: Since joining the MCT staff in 2005, C. Michael Wright has directed HEROES, DRIVING MISS DAISY, THE LION IN WINTER, THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES, THE SWEETEST SWING IN BASEBALL, PICNIC, Brooklyn Boy, RABBIT HOLE, TALLEY'S FOLLY, TRYING, TALKING HEADS, A WALK IN THE WOODS and JOE EGG, as well as two original works, DICKENS IN AMERICA and THE DALY NEWS. Before MCT, he served as associate artistic director of Next Act Theatre, where a long list of directing credits includes THE RETREAT FROM MOSCOW, "MASTER HAROLD"…and the boys, STONES IN HIS POCKETS, FALLEN ANGELS and HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Since moving to Wisconsin in 1988, he has directed over 70 productions. Other favorites have been THE SYRINGA TREE for American Players Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks and Delaware Theatre Company, LOBBY HERO for Madison Repertory Theatre, 110 IN THE SHADE for Skylight Music Theatre and three incarnations of A NIGHT IN NOVEMBER for Next Act, Madison Rep and Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida. C. Michael Wright has been acting professionally for 35 years and has appeared in regional theatres all across the country. His most recent performances have been as Philip in MAURITIUS and Dr. Alfred Feldmann in DUET FOR ONE both at MCT and as Sancho Panza in MAN OF LA MANCHA at Skylight Music Theatre. In 2009, Michael was honored with an "Artist of the Year" award by the City of Milwaukee Arts Board.

Founded in 1975, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) produces intimate, high-quality, professional theatrical works of literary merit that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright and Managing Director Kirsten Mulvey, MCT performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward. For more information, visit www.milwaukeechambertheatre.com.

Pictured: Laura Frye and Sarah Day. Photo Credit: Zane Williams.

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