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Milwaukee Rep Names Three Women to Leadership Roles

Milwaukee Rep Names Three Women to Leadership Roles

Director Mark Clements and Executive Director Chad Bauman are expanding the leadership team at Milwaukee Repertory Theater with three exceptional female leaders. Current General Manager Melissa Vartanian-Mikaelian, coming up on her 18th Season with Milwaukee Rep, is named Managing Director, providing leadership to the Community Engagement, Education, Finance and Administration departments. Associate Director May Adrales who has already made a significant impact at Milwaukee Rep these past two seasons beyond directing Animal Farm, The Who & The What, The Chinese Lady and In The Heights, will move to Milwaukee full time and spearhead the John (Jack) D. Lewis New Play Development program in addition to directing productions includingEclipsed next season. Laura Braza returns home to Milwaukee to join the team in a newly created role of Producer, providing oversight to the department. Laura is no stranger to Milwaukee Rep, having directed four productions in the past three seasons and again is set to direct 2 Pianos 4 Hands in the Stackner Cabaret this fall.

"In the six years I've been at Milwaukee Rep, the theater has grown exponentially and in order to realize some ambitious and exciting new goals ahead we needed to rethink our leadership structure. Melissa has been with Milwaukee Rep for 17 years in more positions than anyone on our senior staff. She knows this theater inside and out and continues to prove herself an influential leader," said Executive Director Chad Bauman. "I'm excited to continue to work with her in this expanded capacity."

"May Adrales has been instrumental to Milwaukee Rep since 2010 and we are thrilled she is moving her family to Milwaukee as our full time Associate Artistic Director," said Artistic Director Mark Clements. "She brings a fresh global perspective to our work that is needed and necessary to our growth as a theater company. It is also wonderful to welcome Laura Braza back home to Milwaukee after 15 years working and developing as an artist in New York. Not only does she bring a level of artistic ambition and expertise to Milwaukee Rep, but her intimate knowledge of the community, having grown up here, is invaluable."

Artistic Director Mark Clements and Executive Director Chad Bauman will remain co-equals reporting to the Board of Trustees, but the new leadership team for the theater will now consist of Chief Development Officer Chuck Rozewicz, Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Fulton, Managing Director Melissa Vartanian-Mikaelian, Director of Production Jared Clarkin, Artistic Producer Laura Braza, Associate Artistic Director May Adrales, Chief Financial Officer Mark Wyss, Director of Community Engagement Leah Harris and Director of EducationJenny Toutant.

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Melissa Vartanian-Mikaelian, Managing Director

Melissa joined Milwaukee Repertory Theater in 2002 as the Assistant Technical Director. Soon thereafter, she was promoted to Technical Director serving in that capacity from 2003 to 2008. In 2008, she was named Production Manager and served in that role until 2014, when Managing Director Chad Bauman named her as General Manager. Melissa holds a B.F.A. in Design & Production from North Carolina School of the Arts. Melissa is a mentee in the inaugural class of the LORT EDI Mentorship Program which addresses barriers that have prohibited the diversity of racial and gender composition in LORT managing and executive leadership. She is the proud mother of two adorable boys.

May Adrales, Associate Artistic Director
May's Milwaukee Rep directing credits include Yellowman, The Mountaintop, after all the terrible things I do, The Who & The What, Animal Farm, In The Heights, The Chinese Lady and upcoming Eclipsed. She has worked nationally, primarily directing new plays including Qui Nguyen's award-winning Vietgone (Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Seattle Rep). Her work has been seen at Lincoln Center Theater, The Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Second Stage Theater, Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Goodman, Two River Theater, Portland Center Stage, Cleveland Play House and Syracuse Stage. She is a former Director of On-Site Programs at the Lark Play Development Center and Artistic Associate at The Public Theater. She received the Alan Schneider Director Award, TCG New Generations Grant, Denham Fellowship and Drama League Fellowship. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Laura Braza, Artistic Producer

Laura is the Artistic Director of the Attic Theater Company as well as a freelance director and teaching artist. NYC credits include Moonchildren, Dark Rapture, Wonderful World, This One Time In Last Chance (World Premiere), The Time of Your Life, The Tutors, The Notebook of Trigorin (NYC Premiere), Strictly Dishonorable, the dreamer examines his pillow, On The Verge, or the Geography of Yearning and Jericho (World Premiere), all for The Attic Theater Company; Friend of the Devil (World Premere) and If I Were You (World Premiere) (Harold Clurman Theatre); work at New York Musical Theatre Festival, FringeNYC, Dixon Place, Atlantic Theater Company's Stage II and more. Regional credits include Grounded, Souvenir, Always...Patsy Cline,and Songs for Nobodies (American Premiere) (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), The Dispute and If You Give a Pig a Pancake (Hangar Theatre), and Theophilus North (Dog Days Theatre with FSU/Asolo Rep). She has also worked extensively as a guest director for University of North Carolina School of the Arts, NYU/Tisch and Stella Adler. Drama League Directors Project Alumnus. BFA from NYU. Proud member of SDC. Pius IX High School of Milwaukee alum.

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