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Milwaukee Repertory Theater Newsletter


Unique Partnership Re-energizes the Peck School’s
Pivotal Role in Training Future Theatre Leaders

MILWAUKEE, WI (February 22, 2010) – After 17 years at the renowned Milwaukee Repertory Theater as Artistic Director, Joseph Hanreddy will join the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts to develop a new fellowship program to prepare theatre professionals for stage directing and design. Co-led by scenic-design veteran and Peck School Associate Professor Richard Graham, the Fellowship in Directing and Design will launch in Fall 2011 and will provide students a hands-on learning experience and rare opportunity to work with two of the theatre community’s preeminent leaders.

“I’m tremendously excited to join the Peck School of the Arts as the director of this unique program and to have the opportunity to mentor and train theatre artists with the potential to become tomorrow’s artistic leaders,” says Mr. Hanreddy. “The position is an ideal opportunity to combine my love of and commitment to Milwaukee, my experiences during my career at The Rep, and the friends I’ve made in the local, national and international theatre community to build a program that will have an impact on American theatre. I can think of no better place to make this happen than at UWM.”

The graduate-level certificate program will begin recruiting participants during the next academic year; each class will have two designers and two directors who will work and learn together for two consecutive years.  Designed to simulate “real world” work experiences, the program will focus on the “collaborative process of playmaking,” in which directors and designers work in close partnership. To further complement students’ classroom experiences, Mr. Hanreddy will arrange for students to assist and observe him and other acclaimed directors at the nation’s leading theaters, including The Rep, The Pearl Theater in New York, The Writer’s Theater in Chicago and the Oregon and Utah Shakespearean Festivals. 

“I am delighted that Joe Hanreddy will be joining our stellar faculty. His distinctive talents and commitment to the Milwaukee theatre community reinforces our desire to lead, support and participate with established and emerging theatre organizations,” says Wade Hobgood, dean of the Peck School of the Arts. “The Fellowship in Directing and Design reaffirms our school’s position as a primary training source for theatre professionals both here in the region and the country at large. We know Joe had many options about where to go after his tenure at The Rep and are thrilled he chose us.”

Graduates of the Peck School Theatre Department can be found on the stage and in production capacities in almost every theatrical organization in the region, including The Rep, American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theater, Renaissance Theaterworks, and In Tandem Theatre Company. The program regularly collaborates with area companies and graduates about 40 students per year. Milwaukee is home to more than 25 local performing arts organizations as well as several theatrical suppliers and production companies serving regional and national clients in entertainment production, design, and touring support.

“There’s no doubt that Joe is a visionary leader in the world of regional theatre,” says John Kordsmeier, Milwaukee Repertory Theater Board of Trustees President. “We wish him the best of luck at the Peck School and we look forward to an ongoing collaboration with Joe and with the Fellowship students.”

About Joseph Hanreddy
As Artistic Director, Joseph Hanreddy has directed over 30 productions for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater as well as authored and performed in several others. Many plays produced during Joe’s tenure have earned national and international recognition. A Wall Street Journal review of the 2007/08 production of THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, under his direction, stated that “revivals of so complex a theatrical undertaking must of necessity be rare, and I very much doubt you'll see a better one than this.” The Rep’s production of an original adaptation of MOBY DICK was named one of the top ten productions in the nation by Time Magazine in 2002. The Rep’s production of SILENCE, remounted in Tokyo, also under Joe’s direction, received the Yomuri-Shinbun award, Japan's highest dramatic honor. Joe has continued The Rep's strong history of premiering new American plays, and approximately 50 new plays, translations and adaptations have been mounted during his tenure. Recent premieres, which have subsequently been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and regionally, include THE NIGHT IS A CHILD, BACH IN LEIPZIG, PARAGON SPRINGS and FORCE OF NATURE. THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES, which was commissioned by The Rep and premiered in the Stackner Cabaret, is currently enjoying a successful Off-Broadway run.

During Joe’s tenure, The Rep has recruited such acclaimed international directors as Ben Barnes, the former Artistic Director of Ireland's Abbey Theatre, László Marton, Artistic Director of the Vigszinház Theater in Budapest, Hungary, and Paolo Landi, Ganshi Mureta, Lev Stukalov and Mark-Wing Davey from Italy, Japan, Russia and Great Britain, respectively, to create innovative productions of world classics. The Rep has also produced original interdisciplinary and multicultural collaborations with both international and local performing arts organizations including Ko-Thi Dance Company, the Omsk State Drama Theater and the Subaru Theater Company of Japan. Joe has sat on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Theater Communications Group, and has served as an on-site evaluator for the NEA. He has also recently been a guest professor at Northwestern University and the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware. Joe is currently writing and directing SEVEN KEYS TO SLAUGHTER PEAK, his final production as The Rep’s Artistic Director. The production runs March 23 through April 18 in the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater.

In his new capacity at the Peck School of the Arts, Joe will be the director of the Fellowship in Directing and Design.

About Richard Graham
Rick will be the associate director of the Fellowship program and is currently an associate professor at the Peck School of the Arts, teaching UWM students and designing productions since 1978. He has designed for theatre, dance and opera across the country, including New York and Chicago and for virtually every theatre company in Milwaukee, including The Rep and Milwaukee Ballet Company, as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World. Rick has also been a Resident Designer at the Alley Theatre in Houston and the Mill Mountain Playhouse in Roanoke, Virginia, and was resident designer for Theatre X for 16 years and became a Company Member in 2001. International credits include productions in Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada, and China.

About UWM Peck School of the Arts Department of Theatre
The UWM Peck School of the Arts Department of Theatre’s emphasis on preparation of professional theatre artists began in 1962 with creation of the UWM School of Fine Arts and the department’s relocation from the College of Letters and Science’s Department of Speech. Specialized, intensive and in-depth-study is available to students seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Acting, Technical Production, or Costume Production. In addition, the Department currently offers a broad-based education, leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Design, Stage Management, Applied Theatre, PK4-12 Education or Performance-related Studies. Not only do UWM students engage in theatre on campus, but they also learn in theaters throughout the city.

Twenty-four highly trained faculty and staff continue to practice their specialties, creating valuable links between students and professionals. The faculty has broad experience in the non-profit and commercial theatre, including work with many innovative companies, such as the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival, Playwrights Horizons, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Skylight Opera Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theater, Peninsula Players, Renaissance Theaterworks, and Milwaukee Ballet. For more information about the Peck School Theatre Department or the Fellowship in Directing and Design, please call Theatre Chair LeRoy Stoner at 414-229-3913 or visit arts.uwm.edu/theatre.

About The Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally recognized theater company that presents a critically acclaimed selection of compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works and lively cabaret shows on three stages from September through April. The Rep also produces an annual production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The Rep’s home, the Patty and Jay Baker Theater Complex, located in the Downtown Theater District, contains the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, Stiemke Theater and Stackner Cabaret. For more information about The Rep, please call 414-224-9490 or go to milwaukeerep.com.

For further information:
Ellen Friebert Schupper
Director of Marketing and Community Relations
Peck School of the Arts, UWM

Cindy Moran
Public Relations Director
Milwaukee Repertory Theater


The Rep Ticket Office: 414-224-9490

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