Marguerite Willbanks, Matt Edmonds & Joe Kinosian, Norman Moses and More to Star in Milwaukee Rep's Fall Lineup; Casting Announced!
Milwaukee Repertory Theater announces casting for the 2017/18 Season Fall shows including Souvenir, The Who & The What, Murder For Two, and Holmes and Watson.
The Stackner Cabaret Season opens with Souvenir, a "pitch perfect tribute" to the charming life of Florence Foster Jenkins. It will star Marguerite Willbanks (Broadway's Beauty and the Beast) as Florence Foster Jenkins and Jack Forbes Wilson (Liberace!) as Cosmé McMoon. This hilarious musical comedy is directed by Laura Braza (Grounded), music directed by Jack Forbes Wilson (Liberace!), scenic design by Lauren Nigri (Raven Theatre's Betrayal), costume design by Jason Orlenko (Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill), lighting design by Ellie Rabinowitz (Greenhouse Theater's The Happiest Place on Earth), and sound design by Zack Berinstein (Skylight's La Cage). Souvenir begins performances September 8 and runs through November 5 in the Stackner Cabaret.
The Stiemke Studio Season opens with the brilliant new play, The Who & The What by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Milwaukee native Ayad Akhtar. This is a passionate play about identity, religion, and the contradictions that make us who we are. Featuring Rep newcomers Brian Abraham (Victory Theatre Center's The Engine of Our Ruin) as Afzal, Soraya Broukhim (Schmucks Theatre's Blackbird) as Zarina, Ben Kahre (Peccadillo Theater's A Loss of Roses) as Eli, and Nikita Tewani (American Conservatory Theatre's A Thousand Splendid Suns) as Mahwish. The Who & The What is directed by May Adrales (The Mountaintop), with scenic design by Andrew Boyce (An Iliad), costume design by Izumi Inaba (Goodman Theatre's King of the Yees), lighting design by Noele Stollmack (McGuire), and sound design by Andre Pluess (Broadway's I Am My Own Wife). The Who & The What begins performances September 27 and runs through November 5 in the Stiemke Studio.
Murder For Two, "A Musical Comedy To Die For" playing in the Stackner Cabaret November 10 - January 14, 2018 is co-written by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair. The show stars Matt Edmonds (Griffin Theatre Company's Ragtime) as Marcus, and Milwaukee native and co-creator Joe Kinosian (Bucks County The Nerd) as The Suspects. Murder For Two is directed by JC Clementz (I Love a Piano), with scenic design by Regina Garcia (Court Theatre's Seven Guitars), costume design by Misti Bradford (Utah Festival Opera's Les Misérables), lighting design by Lee Fiskness (Victory Gardens A Wonder in My Soul), sound design by Megan Henninger (Broadway's Ghetto Klown), and movement direction by Kelley Faulkner (I Love a Piano).
Holmes and Watson, a thrilling new drama having its Midwest premiere in the Quadracci Powerhouse this November 14 - December 17 will feature Mark Corkins (The Cherry Orchard), Grant Goodman (Ten Chimneys), Maggie Kettering (Peninsula Players Theater's Miss Holmes), Norman Moses (Skylight Music Theatre's La Cage Aux Folles), Rex Young (Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Shakespeare in Love) and additional casting to be announced soon. Holmes and Watson is directed by former Artistic Director Joseph Hanreddy, with scenic design by Bill Clarke (The Foreigner), costume design by Karin Simonson Kopischke (Angels in America: Millennium Approaches), lighting design by Michael Chybowski (The Clean House), projection design by Mike Tutaj (CTG's King of the Yees), and sound design by Michael Bodeen (Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Sweat).
Single Tickets for all shows in the 2017/18 Season go on sale Wednesday, August 2, 2017. To purchase go to www.MilwaukeeRep.com, call 414-224-9490 or visit in person at the Ticket Office on 108 E. Wells Street.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Marguerite Willbanks is known for her role on Broadway as Madame de la Grande Bouche for Disney's Beauty and the Beast. She's been on a number of national tours including: Phantom of the Opera, A Christmas Story: The Musical, and Young Frankenstein, as well as The Secret Garden. Marguerite was seen in the award winning Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as Mrs. Bennett at the New York Musical Theater Festival. She has performed across the country in such regional theaters as The Old Globe - San Diego, St. Louis MUNY, Paper Mill Playhouse and Theater Under The Stars - Houston among others. Concert venues include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra). Marguerite can be heard on several motion picture soundtracks including Disney's Enchanted.
Jack Forbes Wilson, Cosmé McMoon
Jack Forbes Wilson was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. Jack came to Wisconsin to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received a Master of Music Degree before moving out to Spring Green. After working at American Players Theatre for three seasons, he moved to Milwaukee, where he has worked as a pianist, singer, and actor for three decades. For twenty years he has been a musical director at the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. He has appeared in many shows at Milwaukee Rep's Stackner Cabaret including Liberace!, and has also performed with Madison Rep, Skylight Music Theatre and Next Act Theatre.
The Who & The What
Brian Abraham, Afzal
Brian Abraham, a Los Angeles native, is an award-winning actor, director, writer, acting coach, and proud father of Charlie, The Wonderpup. Tall and sometimes bearded, he is a member of Los Angeles' most prestigious classical theatre company, The Antaeus Company, and a proud union member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. He holds a BFA in Acting from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied under Gerald Freedman. Brian is a faculty member at AMDA College & Conservatory of the Performing Arts, in Los Angeles. In 2015-16, Brian performed in several Equity shows throughout Southern California, including The Odd Couple at The Laguna Playhouse, Disney's Tarzan: The Musical and the World Premiere Comedy The Engine Of Our Ruin. He was a part of the directorial team for the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival hit, Revelation, which was nominated for The Unleashed Award. Presently he is working on the World Premiere play Bars and Measures at Boston Court Theatre in Los Angeles. He recently played Justin Steinfein on FOX's hit TV Show "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and he also shot a pilot for FOX called "Good Fortune!"
Soraya Broukhim, Zarina
Soraya Broukhim was born and raised in New York City. Drawn to acting at 14 after winning a National Shakespeare competition, she continued her studies at British American Dramatic Academy and apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is currently an Artistic Associate at The Living Theatre, where she has been mentored by Judith Malina since 2010. Among Soraya's most notable roles to date is a solo play Blackbird by Lucia Cox. She has also appeared in several off-Broadway and regional plays. She has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University as well as a Teaching Artist at City College Theatre Department, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, The William Esper Studio, Pardis for Children, and Whitby School. In addition to Soraya's extensive global theatrical background, she has earned a reputation as a chameleon across the various film and television roles she plays. She recently appeared in the CBS series "Madame Secretary," and also played the lead role in America 1979, an award-winning short film. Soraya's most recently acclaimed role was as a French activist and philosopher Simone Weil in the award-winning film An Encounter with Simone Weil.
Ben Kahre, Eli
Ben Kahre was seen Off-Broadway in Men and Women Talking Love and Sex at the Davenport Theater and recently, he portrayed Kenny Baird in the New York Off-Broadway Premiere of A Loss of Roses at the Peccadillo Theater. He's also worked with Manhattan Theatre Club and the American Conservatory Theater. Ben can also be seen in the new critically acclaimed Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones as well as The Mysteries of Laura on NBC. He has worked on short films enjoying success throughout the short film festival circuit. He lives in New York, NY.
Nikita Tewani, Mahwish
Originally from Westchester, New York, Nikita Tewani is a New York based actress. She holds a BFA in Drama from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Upon graduation, Nikita has earned credits in network TV shows such as "The Affair" (Showtime) and "Falling Water" (USA), Off-Broadway, regional theatre, national commercials, global print ads and independent films. Nikita is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity Association.
Murder For Two
Matt Edmonds, Marcus
Matt Edmonds is known for his many performances across the Midwest. He also works as a music director, composer, and sound engineer. He studied at Northwestern University, and also has training from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Act One Studios, and NHSI Theatre Program. Mark's current goals revolve around continuing his work in theatre, while also building his muscles in film, voiceover, and music.
Joe Kinosian, The Suspects
Joe Kinosian is a Milwaukee native (graduate of Milwaukee High School of the Arts). He and Kellen Blair won the Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work-Musical or Revue for the musical Murder for Two-A Killer Musical at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Chicago in 2011. Joe was also nominated for Actor in a Principal Role in a Musical for Murder for Two-A Killer Musical at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2011. He has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical in 2014. He most recently appeared in The Nerd at Bucks County Playhouse.
Holmes and Watson
Mark Corkins, Evans
Mark Corkins was seen most recently at Milwaukee's In Tandem Theatre, where he starred in the one man show, Lamps for My Family. Mark is a former resident actor for Milwaukee Rep where he performed in several shows including The Cherry Orchard, The Foreigner, Dracula, and A Christmas Carol. He's spent summers acting with The Utah Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, and Berkshire Theatre Festival. Corkins is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee's Professional Theater Training Program.
Grant Goodman, Patient
Grant Goodman is also a familiar face to Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Recently, he starred in Pride and Prejudice as Mr. Darcy, Alfred Lunt in Ten Chimneys, and the Doctor in In The Next Room or the vibrator play. Some of his off-Broadway credits include Antony & Cleopatra, The Iliad (Lincoln Center), and The Three Sisters (Chekhov Now International Festival). He's toured nationally for productions such as: The Merchant of Venice (Theatre for a New Audience) and King Lear (Auqila Theatre Company). Goodman graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Drama Division and has studied acting at Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting, The National Shakespeare Conservatory, and The Atlantic Theater Company's Acting School. Goodman was also selected to represent the U.S. in the International Acting Fellowship program at The Globe Theatre in London, in 2015.
Maggie Kettering, Matron/The Woman
Maggie Kettering has starred in a number of productions with Door County's Peninsula Players Theatre, including Miss Holmes, Lend Me a Tenor, and Outside Mullingar. More recently she performed with the Cital Theater Company in their production of the hit comedy, Elemeno Pea. Kettering holds an MFA degree from the Professional Theater Training Program at the University of Delaware.
Norman Moses, Watson
Norman Moses is a familiar face in the Milwaukee area. He's performed with Skylight Music Theatre in their production of La Cage Aux Folles and My Fair Lady. Moses has also performed with Door Shakespeare in their productions of Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night's Dream. A few favorite performances include To Kill a Mockingbird (Resident Ensemble Players in Delaware), Dear Elizabeth (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre), and The House of Martin Guerre (Goodman Theatre). In 2010, Moses sang his way through Japan in the concert tour, Disney on Classic.
Rex Young, Patient/ The Client
Rex Young is well known at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, having performed 18 seasons with the festival. His favorite roles include Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, and Cornwall in King Lear. Young has also been seen in several Milwaukee Repertory Theater shows, including the 1995 production of A Christmas Carol. He has also been in several television shows and films including All My Children, Captain Fantastic, and Language of Love. Young graduated from the ART Institute at Harvard University.
Milwaukee Rep is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works and full-scale musicals housed in its three unique performance venues - the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol, featuring a World Premiere of a new adaptation in 2016, at the historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee's rich diversity.