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Milwaukee Repertory Theater Announces 2017/18 Season

Milwaukee Repertory Theater Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman are pleased to announce the 2017/18 Season with 13 productions in four venues spanning September 2017 - May 2018. With the start of the 2017/18 Season both Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman will renew their contracts with Milwaukee Rep for an additional four and six years respectively. Artistic Director Mark Clements began his tenure at Milwaukee Rep in 2010 by introducing a musical into the Quadracci Powerhouse season, creating the New Play Development program, and adapting and directing the world premiere production of A Christmas Carol this past December. With this contract renewal through 2021 he will continue his commitment to presenting world class works on all three stages. Managing Director Chad Bauman came to The Rep in 2013 and will continue through 2023 per his contract renewal. In his time here he has implemented a fruitful strategic business model that supports the theater's artistic vision with a focus on quality, inclusion, citizenship, innovation, and stability.

"We are thrilled to continue Milwaukee Rep's stellar leadership team with Mark and Chad," said Ed Seaberg, President of The Rep's Board of Trustees. "Mark's vision and ability to produce world class works that entertain in ways that Milwaukee never could have imagined is a gift and testament to the community's hunger for new works. With Chad's strategic planning abilities, he supports and enhances the quality of work on stage by presenting a level of growth that is sustainable and dynamic. We are grateful to them both as they have elevated Milwaukee Rep and will continue to do so over the course of their tenure."

"Milwaukee Repertory Theater has been my artistic home for the last seven years, and I am enormously proud of the artists, staff and trustees with whom I have worked with to create an exciting and eclectic body of work during this time. The fact that our theater company is such a brave one, continuously committed to producing world class, new and extant work with some of the very best talent in the world, is why I am so delighted to be continuing my passionate relationship with Milwaukee Rep," said Artistic Director Mark Clements. "In recent years, the audience and donors that are drawn from the state of Wisconsin and beyond, have enthusiastically embraced our new vision for positive change through a generation of life enhancing theatre productions that run symbiotically with sophisticated community engagement initiatives that are deeply connected to the work, and core values of the company. To be given the opportunity to build on this and take things to a whole new level, is an incredibly exciting proposition, that has me feeling fired up, grateful, and privileged to lead the next exciting phase in Milwaukee Rep's life as it develops into a significant and leading company in the American theater industry."

"These past five years of producing innovative and thought-provoking theater for Milwaukee Audiences has been an incredibly thrilling process," said Managing Director Chad Bauman. "Looking at this upcoming season and the next five years I'm excited uphold those traditions and push the envelope with productions that ask important questions and engage the community in a meaningful way."

"Milwaukee Repertory Theater's 2017/18 Season production choices fully reflect our desire to successfully build on past triumphs, produce and celebrate the very best of existing world class, classic and contemporary works," said Artistic Director Mark Clements, "all the while innovating and attempting to discover the great plays of tomorrow."

Milwaukee Repertory Theater 2017/18 Quadracci Powerhouse Season opens with the Tony Award-winning musical: Guys and Dolls. Directed by Mark Clements with Olivier Award-winning choreographer Stephen Mear (Broadway's Mary Poppins), this celebrated musical comedy that tops EW's list of "Greatest Musicals of All Time" has one show-stopping number after another. Continuing the popular tradition of a thrilling mystery during the holiday months come Holmes and Watson by Jeffrey Hatcher (Mr. Holmes with Ian McKellen, Ten Chimneys). This Midwest premiere will be directed by former Rep Artistic Director Joseph Hanreddy. Next, George Orwell's Animal Farm, one of the most famous political novels will come to life in a new adaptation by Ian Wooldridge, directed by Associate Artist May Adrales (all the terrible things I do). It will travel to Baltimore Center Stage as a co-production following the run. Next up is a World Premiere comedy directed by Mark Clements: One House Over by Catherine Trieschmann (How The World Began) explores relationships between "the help," an aging father and all the life that goes with it. To conclude the Quadracci Powerhouse season comes the great American Masterpiece Our Town, written by Wisconsin native Thornton Wilder and directed by Rep Associate Artistic Director Brent Hazelton (McGuire, Liberace!), this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is known as one of the greatest American plays ever written.

The Stiemke Studio Season opens with the brilliant new play The Who & The What, the third in a series of plays by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Rep Associate Artist Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced, The Invisible Hand). Directed by Associate ArtistMay Adrales, The Who & The What is a fierce, funny, and familial portrait of growing pains in contemporary America. Next up in the Stiemke Studio comes Until The Flood, written and performed by the celebrated creator Dael Orlandersmith (Yellowman). Directed by Neel Keller (Associate Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group), this extraordinary theatrical event will explore the reactions of the St. Louis region to the shooting of Michael Brown.

The Stackner Cabaret Season opens with Souvenir, a play about the life of eccentric Manhattan socialite and infamous soprano Florence Foster Jenkins directed by Milwaukee native Laura Braza (Grounded). Next on the Stackner stage comes Murder for Two, co-written by Milwaukee native Joe Kinosian, this fast paced whodunit is loaded with killer laughs. Following that, music will unite strangers and bridges racial divisions in Black Pearl Sings!, a story of incarcerated Pearl with a soulful voice and steely spirit. Finishing off the season is a World Premiere by Rep favorites Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman who wrote such hits as Low Down Dirty Blues and Back Home Again: On the Road with John Denver. Featuring David Lutken (Woody Sez, John Denver) and directed by Randal Myler, Mark Twain's River of Song will explore the music and culture of American's first superhighway, the Mississippi River.

The Rep's hit new adaptation of A Christmas Carol which broke box office records last December, will take the stage again at the historic Pabst Theater directed by Mark Clements, starring Jonathan Wainwright as Scrooge. Additionally, the Emerging Professional Residents (EPRs) will once again produce Rep Lab, a short play-festival that is the hottest ticket in town in February 2018.

Subscriptions are available for renewing and new subscribers beginning Tuesday, February 14. Subscription prices for the 2017/18 Season range from $99 - $535. Packages available are the Ultimate 11-play package which includes the entire season spanning all three of The Rep's performance spaces; Quadracci Powerhouse/Stackner 9-play package; Quadracci Powerhouse/Stiemke Studio 7-play package; Quadracci Powerhouse 5-play package; Stackner Cabaret 4-Play package as well as a Create Your Own Season package and Flex Passes. For additional information on subscription offerings, please contact The Rep's Ticket Office at 414-224-9490 or visit

A "Pitch Perfect" Tribute


A Fantasia On the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins

By Stephen Temperley

Directed by Laura Braza

September 8 - November 5, 2017
Stackner Cabaret

Eccentric Manhattan socialite Florence Foster Jenkins once declared, "People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing." And, oh, did she sing - often and loudly, but rarely on key. Her recitals brought her a legion of die-hard fans, and she capped her improbable career with a Carnegie Hall concert that famously sold out in two hours. Time Out calls Souvenir "a memorable illustration of the purely theatrical magic that can turn the tinniest ear to gold." Her story was recently told in an Oscar-nominated film starring Meryl Streep.Souvenir is a charming and hilarious musical comedy that reminds us that you can achieve anything when you set your mind to it.

Tony Award-winning Musical

Guys and Dolls

A Musical Fable of Broadway, based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon

Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser | Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows

Directed by Mark Clements

September 19- October 29, 2017

Quadracci Powerhouse

After sold-out productions of Ragtime and Dreamgirls, Mark Clements reunites with Olivier Award-winning choreographer Stephen Mear for a dazzling new production of the Tony Award-winning Guys and Dolls. This celebrated musical comedy follows two small-time gamblers as they pursue love and luck, from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba. It's no surprise that it tops Entertainment Weekly's list of "Greatest Musicals of All Time," as this granddaddy of American musicals has it all - show-stopping numbers, a timeless story, and some of the best show tunes ever, including "Luck Be a Lady," "A Bushel and a Peck," and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat." It's a sure bet you'll leave the theater with a smile on your face.

A Brilliant New Play

The Who & The What

By Ayad Akhtar

Directed by May Adrales
September 27 - November 5, 2017

Stiemke Studio

From Milwaukee native Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Disgraced and The Invisible Hand, comes a thrillingly fierce and funny new play about identity, religion, and the contradictions that make us who we are. Growing up Muslim with her close-knit family in Atlanta, Zarina is writing about women and Islam when she meets Eli, a young convert who bridges the gap between her modern life and traditional heritage. When her conservative father and sister discover her controversial manuscript, they all must confront the beliefs that define them. Called "a play not be missed" by the Chicago Tribune, The Who & The What is a passionate and searing look at a family divided by faith, bonded by love, and searching for truth in contemporary America.

A Musical Comedy to Die For

Murder for Two

Book and Music by Joe Kinosian

Book and Lyrics by Kellen Blair

November 10, 2017 - January 14, 2018

Stackner Cabaret

Co-written by Milwaukee High School of the Arts graduate Joe Kinosian, Murder for Two is the perfect blend of music, mayhem, and murder that has played to sold-out audiences all over the country! In this hilarious 90-minute show, 2 performers play 13 roles - not to mention the piano - in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries. Called "ingenious" by The New York Times, this fast-paced whodunit is a highly theatrical duet loaded with killer laughs.

Midwest Premiere

Holmes and Watson

By Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by Joseph Hanreddy

November 14 - December 17, 2017
Quadracci Powerhouse

Dr. Watson is called upon to disprove the many frauds, fakes, and charlatans who have popped up all over the world claiming to be Sherlock Holmes following his "death" at Reichenbach Falls. Watson travels to a remote mental asylum where three men have recently been admitted, each claiming to be the late detective and matching his physical description. Watson must confront the men and figure out which one is the real Holmes. This thrilling new drama, by the celebrated writer of the movies Mr. Holmes and Stage Beauty, is next up in our series of popular mysteries like The Mousetrap and The 39 Steps.

'Some animals are more equal than others'

George Orwell's Animal Farm

Adapted by Ian Wooldridge

Directed by May Adrales

January 9 - February 11, 2018

Quadracci Powerhouse
A co-production with Baltimore Center Stage

Among the most famous political novels of all time, Animal Farm is a timeless and devastating allegory of idealism betrayed by the desire for personal power. When the animals of Manor Farm drive out their abusive farmer, they take over running The Farm for themselves. Their experiment in collective leadership succeeds-until the pigs step into the vacuum of power created by The Farmer's expulsion, and betray the ideals of freedom and equality for all animals. This vibrant and moving production will breathe fresh life into a literary classic as resonant today as when it was first published.

The Song is the Story

Black Pearl Sings!

By Frank Higgins

January 19 - March 18, 2018

Stackner Cabaret

Music unites strangers and bridges racial divisions in this powerful story based on real life events. It's 1933, and an ambitious song collector for the Library of Congress visits a Texas prison where she meets Pearl, an African-American woman with a soulful voice and steely spirit. Featuring more than a dozen beautiful a cappella renditions of spirituals and American folk songs, Black Pearl Sings! explores what it means to be a woman in a man's world, being black in a white world, and fighting for one's soul in a world where anyone can be a commodity. BroadwayWorld describes the play as "...a vivid reminder that the things that connect us are often stronger than the things which divide us."

World Premiere Event
One House Over

By Catherine Trieschmann

Directed by Mark Clements
February 27 - March 25, 2018

Quadracci Powerhouse

When Rafael and Camila Hernandez move in downstairs to help Joanne with her elderly father, Joanne breathes a little easier. She needs their help, and they need jobs. But she can't anticipate the complications that arise when "the help" starts to feel like family... and act like it. A brilliant new comedy by one of today's hottest playwrights, it's an empathetic but searing examination of boundaries, power, privilege, and fear in a single backyard.

A New Play Ripped From The Headlines

Until the Flood

Written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith

Directed by Neel Keller

March 13 - April 22, 2018

Stiemke Studio

From Pulitzer Prize finalist and celebrated performer Dael Orlandersmith (Yellowman), comes an extraordinary theatrical event that explores the reactions of the St. Louis region to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. After conducting hundreds of interviews, Orlandersmith crafted a stunning play featuring eight real-life characters, all with unique and interesting perspectives. These stories reflect a range of human experiences - the drive to forward one's prospects with education, the innate need to protect our loved ones from the harsh realities of the world, and the urge to seek answers to life's biggest questions. The result is a theatrical mosaic of diverse voices that explores how a community heals and grows together.

World Premiere Event!

Mark Twain's River of Song
By Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman
Directed by Randal Myler

March 23 - May 20, 2018

Stackner Cabaret

From the creators of The Rep's hit productions Low Down Dirty Blues and Back Home Again: On The Road With John Denver, comes this exploration of the music and culture of America's first superhighway, the Mississippi River. From the iron red water in Minnesota to the deep, dark Southern Delta, the river carries the stories and songs of the people. Come take a ride on the Mississippi - guided by the voices of the men and women who lived and worked on the river, tied together with the observations and insights of the Mississippi's most famous traveler, Mark Twain. Performed by three world-class musicians, including David Lutken (Woody Sez, John Denver), River of Song is a journey through America's Heartland and features traditional songs like "Dance Boatmen Dance," "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," and "Deep River Blues."

A Great American Classic

Our Town

By Thornton Wilder

Directed by Brent Hazelton

April 10 - May 13, 2018

Quadracci Powerhouse

Wisconsin native Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is one of the greatest American plays ever written. With poetic beauty and simplicity, Our Town illuminates the powerful bonds that hold communities together through everyday life and moments of crisis, as it follows the lives of the Gibbs, Webbs, and their friends and neighbors. With humor, wit, and exceptionally powerful storytelling, Wilder delivers universal truths about what it means to be human and encourages us to live life to its fullest.

Off -Subscription Programming

A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens

Adapted and Directed by Mark Clements

Featuring Jonathan Wainwright as Scrooge

November 28 - December 24, 2017

Pabst Theater

The Rep's hit new adaptation, which broke box office records last December, is a tale of love, hope and redemption with just the right blend of beautiful music, lively dancing, stunning sets, and eye-popping special effects. It's a dazzling Christmas feast with enough theatrical goodies to fill any sized stocking hung by the chimney with care. Join Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge in this holiday classic the whole family will love.

Eighth Season

Rep Lab
February 15-19, 2018

Stiemke Studio

Join us for a night of laughter and tears at this year's Rep Lab! Directed and performed by The Rep's Emerging Professional Residents, this critically-acclaimed short-play festival offers something for everyone. See it all-drama, comedy, and everything in between-in this one-of-a-kind theatergoing experience.

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