Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Opens 49th Season With LAUGHS IN SPANISH By Alexis Scheer

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with "Laughs in Spanish" by Alexis Scheer starring Rána Roman.

By: Sep. 15, 2023
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Opens 49th Season With LAUGHS IN SPANISH By Alexis Scheer

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre will open its 2023-2024 season with LAUGHS IN SPANISH by Alexis Scheer, running September 22 – October 8 in the Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center. Season subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 414-291-7800. 


“We're ecstatic to be launching MCT's 49th Season with such a joyful and heartwarming production, and to do it on the heels of strong community support through our institutional sustainability campaign is a great gift,” said MCT Board of Trustees President Jason Rae. Launched during the 22-23 season, MCT's FourOneFourward Sustainability Campaign will create a stable foundation from which MCT can reorganize its operations and build an economic structure suited to post-pandemic operations. Continued Rae: “Our new staff team has hit the ground running, our Board of Trustees is invigorated, and we're all hungry to continue MCT's five-decade priority of strengthening Milwaukee's professional artist community while we ensure that we can sustain that effort for another fifty seasons.” 


FourOneFourward Sustainability Campaign gifts can be made by visiting or by calling 414-276-8842. 


In LAUGHS IN SPANISH, Miami gallery owner Mariana has a major problem—on the eve of Art Basel her gallery is an active crime scene, she has no art to show, and her semi-estranged larger-than-life television star mother has shown up to save the day. A hilarious and heartfelt crime comedy cross between a Telenovela and a Wes Anderson movie, this playful look at mother-daughter relationships and the balance of being a working parent celebrates Latinx culture and “serves a laugh a minute” (  


“I'm thrilled to share this exceptional new American family comedy with our community,” said MCT Artistic Director Brent Hazelton. “Having premiered last winter in Denver, the play is just beginning what should be a very long life, and I love that Milwaukee audiences will be among the first in the country to experience it—and to be introduced to the voice of a major emerging artist in Alexis.” 


LAUGHS IN SPANISH is directed by Anna Skidis Vargas. Making her Milwaukee Chamber Theatre directing debut, Skidis Vargas is a theater maker whose research subverts stereotypes through myth, spirituality, and humor with a focus on Latinx and mixed identity stories. Skidis Vargas holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin (UT), and a B.A. in Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Skidis Vargas has directed for First Stage, Children's Theatre of Madison, Mustard Seed Theatre and Theatre Nuevo (St. Louis, MO), The Rose (Omaha, NE), The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, St. Edward's University (Austin, TX), and Cape Fear Regional Theatre (Fayetteville, NC). She is part of the 2018-21 Rising Leaders of Color cohort with TCG and is the Founding Artistic Director of Theatre Nuevo. 


“Scheer writes from her unique perspective as half-Colombian, half-Jewish and uses immense humor to tell this complicated mother-daughter relationship,” says Skidis Vargas. “I hope audiences will fall as in love with these characters as I have and that they might see themselves, their mother, their daughter, or any of the imperfect and amazing women in their life.” 


The cast of LAUGHS IN SPANISH includes MCT and Milwaukee favorite Rána Roman in the centerpiece role of Estella. “I'm excited to be back with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre spreading joy!” Rána says. “This play is funny and rich with culture, color, movement, and music, and I think audiences are going to have the absolute best time.” 


The cast also includes Milwaukee's own Jenna Bonofiglio (Milwaukee Rep, Skylight Music Theatre, In Tandem) and Ashley Oviedo (Milwaukee Rep, First Stage, Skylight Music Theatre, Forward Theater Company), as well as new-to-Milwaukee performers Isa Condo-Olvera and Arash Fakhrabadi. 


MCT celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with LAUGHS IN SPANISH, with the entire run of the show taking place during that period. MCT's production features a diverse group of Latinx artists in the cast, creative, and staff teams—many from right here in Milwaukee—representing Colombian, Dominican, Ecuadorian, Costa Rican, Mexican, and Puerto Rican heritages.  


The creative team of LAUGHS IN SPANISH includes Maaz Ahmed* (Lighting Designer), Em Allen* (Scenic Designer), Olivia Bastien* (Properties Designer), KaiLee Evans* (Intimacy Director), Adam Hastings* (Technical Director and Scenic Builder), Angeline Holtzman-Forbes* (Properties Assistant), Carrie Johns* (Assistant Stage Manager), Michelle Lopez-Rios (Dialect Coach), Jazmin Aurora Medina* (Costume Designer), Kira Neighbors* (Stage Manager), Bryan Pivaral (Assistant Sound Designer), David Roman* (Stage Movement Director), Lauren Marie Stoner* (Wardrobe), and Matthew Tibbs (Composer and Sound Designer). 



Rána Roman* (Estella) 
Rána is a Milwaukee native and a proud graduate of the Milwaukee High School of the Arts. Rána's previous collaborations with MCT include MALA (Mala), VANYA AND SONYA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Cassandra), and LEND ME A TENOR (Maria). Most recently she was seen reprising her role as Mrs. Cratchit in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Milwaukee Rep. Rána has also had the pleasure of performing in TITANIC: THE MUSICAL at the Milwaukee Rep, EVITA (Eva) and KISS ME KATE (Lily/Kate) at Skylight Music Theatre, ON THE WINGS OF A MARIPOSA (Mámi) at First Stage Theatre, and in LIFE SUCKS (Ella) at Forward Theater of Madison, where she is also a member of the Advisory Company. She is deeply grateful to be spreading the love and laughter and color that this marvelous play has afforded this entire cast and creative team. 


Isa Condo-Olvera (Mariana) 
Isa is delighted to be making her Milwaukee Chamber Theatre debut! Isa was born and raised in San José, Costa Rica to a Mexican mom and an Ecuadorian dad (and a Costa Rican stepmom!). Recent theatre credits include playing Iphigenia in IPHIGENIA AT AULIS (Ten Thousand Things), Alice in THE BOOK OF WILL, Miranda in THE TEMPEST (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), Marian in THE MUSIC MAN (Texas Shakespeare Festival) and understudying (and going on!) for THE TEMPEST (Guthrie Theater). Isa also recently created and performed a bilingual one-woman verbatim play called ¿LOVE? at UMN Guthrie's Free Play Festival. Up next, Isa will be performing in A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Guthrie Theater). 


Ashley Oviedo* (Carolina) 
Ashley is a UWM Peck School of the Arts graduate with a B.F.A in Musical Theater and a Minor in Dance. Some of her recent credits include cabaret performances at FEINSTEINS 54 BELOW (Singer/Producer), DADDY LONG LEGS (Jerusha) at Third Avenue Playworks, HOOPS (Cee) with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, AIRNESS (Astrid) with Forward Theater Company, RUDOLPH (Mrs. Donner) with First Stage, LITTLE WOMEN (Beth) with Forte Theatre, and BEING EARNEST (Cecily) and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Audrey) with Skylight Music Theatre. She can next be seen in NUNCRACKERS with Milwaukee Rep. She adores this play almost as much as she adores Milwaukee and the beautiful art the city produces.  


Arash Fakhrabadi (Juan) 
Arash is an Iranian-Mexican-American actor and improviser dedicated to storytelling. He received his BFA in Acting from Cal State Fullerton under Sventlana-Efremova Reed. He has also studied at UCB Comedy in Los Angeles. His Chicago credits include THE LEOPARD PLAY OR SAD SONGS FOR LOST BOYS (Steep Theatre); LAYALINA (Goodman Theatre); RUST (Goodman Theatre); ANNA IN THE TROPICS (Remy Bumppo Theatre) and Chicago Fire (NBC). Arash is represented by Odenkirk-Provissiero Entertainment & Gray Talent Group.  


Jenna Bonofiglio* (Jenny) 
Jenna is a Milwaukee-based stage, on-camera, and voice actor. Milwaukee credits include: Belinda in NOISES OFF, Soupy Sue in URINETOWN, and Ensemble in LES MISERABLES (Skylight Music Theatre); Woman 1 in LITTLE BY LITTLE (In Tandem Theatre); and Ensemble in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and OTHELLO (Milwaukee Rep). 


*Denotes Wisconsin artist 


Tickets can be purchased by calling 414-291-7800 or ordering online at Click Here. More information about MCT, it's 23-24 season, how to purchase tickets, and how to donate can be found at  

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