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MRT 2012/13 Season

Gutenberg! The Musical!  •  Assassins  •  The Mountaintop  •  Blues in the Night  •  The Diary of Anne Frank •  A Christmas Carol  •  Sense and Sensibility
Mind Over Milwaukee  •  How The World Began  •  Rep Lab  •  Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash  •  Clybourne Park  •  A Raisin In the Sun  •  One Night With Janis Joplin

How The World Began

“An intelligent new play… a thought-provoking look at the complexity of people who find it impossible to empathize with viewpoints not their own.”

Associated Press


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By Catherine Trieschmann
January 16 - February 24, 2013
Stiemke Studio

Religion and science collide in a visceral examination of the way in which we navigate interpersonal relationships involving seemingly irreconcilable beliefs—and just how hard it is to truly listen to one another in an increasingly polarized world. Looking to rebuild her fractured life, high school biology teacher Susan relocates from New York City to a small Kansas town reeling in the aftermath of a devastating tornado. Ready for more than a little culture shock, Susan finds herself unprepared for the firestorm that engulfs the town after she makes an off-hand comment about the origin of the universe.

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How the World Began gallery

How the World Began Photo Gallery

Mark Clements

We live in a society that is growing more stringent in terms of how we express our views. If the play contains a lesson, it is to ask us to listen to the other side—to remember that nothing is ever as black-and-white as we might think, and that we could all become more well-rounded individuals by being more tolerant of those who hold opposing viewpoints.


» Learn more about How the World Began
   from Artistic Director Mark Clements


* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Ben Charles

Ben Charles (Micah Staab) – Recent credits include: Figaro (The Pearl Theatre Company); Sebastian in Twelfth Night (New York Classical Theatre); Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prince Edward in Richard III and Abrams in Romeo and Juliet (Utah Shakespeare Festival); the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s O Beautiful, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Our Town, Way to Heaven and All the King’s Men (University of Delaware’s PTTP Resident Ensemble Players); and Romeo and Juliet, Tartuffe and She Loves Me (Texas Shakespeare Festival). Ben has an MFA from University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP). He is thrilled to be making his debut with The Rep.  -Top-

Marty Lodge

Marty Lodge (Gene Dinkel) – This is Marty’s first show at The Rep. On Broadway, he stood by for Bill Pullman in Oleanna. He has performed at Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, The Old Globe, Geffen Playhouse, American Repertory Theater, Round House Theatre, Folger Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Studio Theatre and many others. On TV he’s appeared on Mad Men, Grey’s Anatomy, The Mob Doctor, Private Practice, Criminal Minds, Boston Legal, Gilmore Girls, Cold Case, Numbers and The Wire, to name a few.  -Top-

Deborah Staples

Deborah Staples (Susan Pierce) – Deborah is honored to continue her work with The Rep, where she most recently played Mrs. Van Daan (The Diary of Anne Frank), Emilia (Othello) and Jean Louise (To Kill a Mockingbird). Other recent credits include the one-woman show The Blonde, The Brunette and The Vengeful Redhead at Writers’ Theatre, for which she received a Jeff Award nomination; and acting with American Players Theatre as Ariel (The Tempest) and Elvira (Blithe Spirit). Deborah is a commercial and voiceover talent as well as the mother of two fabulous girls. She is fiercely proud to be a part of this extraordinary community – in work, play, art and all around living. With the start of the 2012/13 Season, she is a Rep Associate Artist. Up next: season eight with American Players Theatre (Hamlet and Too Many Husbands). Thank you for coming to see this play!  -Top-


The Creator

Catherine Trieschmann

Catherine Trieschmann is the author of The Bridegroom of Blowing Rock (Weissberger Award), crooked, The World of Others, Hot Georgia Sunday and Small, Selfish Creatures and How The World Began. Her work has been produced Off-Broadway at Women’s Project Theater, Bush Theatre (London), New Theatre (Sydney), American Theatre Company (Chicago), Florida Stage, Summer Play Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theatre in the Square, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and New York International Fringe Festival. It has been developed with Manhattan Theatre Club, Lark Play Development Center, LAByrinth Theater Co., Williamstown Theatre Festival, Florida Studio Theatre, ARS Nova and Dallas Theatre Center. She has received commissions from SCR and Manhattan Theatre Club. Her work is published by Samuel French, Methuen and Smith & Kraus, as well as featured in The Best New Playwrights of 2009. She also wrote the screenplay for the film Angel’s Crest, premiering at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Originally from Athens, Georgia, she currently resides in a small town in western Kansas.  -Top-

Creative Team

Brent Hazelton, Director/Associate Artistic Director – A Wisconsin native and former Rep Acting Intern, Brent is in his 14th season with The Rep and second as an Associate Artistic Director, after serving for eight seasons as The Rep’s Artistic Associate and Artistic Intern Company Director. Administratively, Brent oversees The Rep’s new play development initiatives, spearheads the season planning process, participates in internal strategic planning, and collaborates with the rest of the Artistic Staff to program and support Rep productions. Artistically at The Rep, Brent wrote and directed Liberace! , conceived the premiere installment of Rep Lab, and directed last season’s Song Man Dance Man. He has also directed staged readings for The Rep/Ten Chimneys Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, created full productions locally for Chamber Theatre’s Young Playwright’s Festival, Spiral Theatre, and Windfall Ensemble, and directed the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s production of Ellis Island: The Dream of America. Brent has also served as a member of the adjunct faculties of Carthage College and UW-Parkside, and has taught developmental workshops at colleges, conservatories, and universities across the country.  -Top-

Scott Davis, Scenic Designer – Credits include Othello: The Remix (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre). Select Chicago credits: Beauty and the Beast, Cadre, Murder for Two, Short Shakespeare! Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Sunset Boulevard (Drury Lane); James Joyce’s The Dead (Court Theatre); Failure: A Love Story, L-Vis Live (Victory Gardens Theater); Venus, Where We’re Born (Steppenwolf Garage); Kin (Griffin Theatre); Peribañez, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, In Trousers, MASS, State(s) of America (Northwestern University); and Trinity River Plays (Associate Designer, Goodman Theatre and Dallas Theater Center). Regional credits include: Filthy Rich, The Colored Museum, Alice in Wonderland, Home Free! and The Weir (Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center). www.scottadamdavis.com.  -Top-

Rachel Laritz, Costume Designer – Rachel is thrilled to be joining The Rep for her 20th time after designing such shows as Gutenberg! The Musical! , Almost, Maine, Happy Now? , Glengarry Glen Ross, Edward Albee’s Seascape, Frozen, The Clean House, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? , and many others. Off-Broadway: The Pearl Theatre Company (Moon for the Misbegotten and Playboy of the Western World). Regional theater: Utah Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre Louisville, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Next Act Theatre, Peninsula Players, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Timeline Theatre Company, Milwauke Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Skylight Music Theatre, Children’s Theatre Madison and the University of Michigan. Other professional credits: NBC’S Law & Order, American Players Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre and Garsington Opera (London, England). Rachel is a recipient of a 2011 Emerging Artist Award from the University of Michigan and a 2009 Joseph Jefferson Award for The Voysey Inheritance. In addition to freelancing in and around Chicago, Rachel is an adjunct teacher at DePaul University.  -Top-

Jaymi Lee Smith, Lighting Designer – Jaymi is thrilled to be working with Milwaukee Repertory Theater again after having designed Glengarry Glen Ross. She has been designing around the country for the last 16 years at theaters such as Dallas Theater Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Goodman Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, Court Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Alliance Theatre, Getty Villa, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival and Lookingglass Theatre Company, among others. Her work has also been seen in China, Italy, Spain, Scotland and Ireland. Previous awards have included the 2003 Michael Merritt/Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award and a 2010 Joseph Jefferson Award. She is currently an Associate Professor of Lighting Design and Head of Design at the University of California, Irvine.  -Top-

Barry G. Funderburg, Sound Designer – Mr. Funderburg is excited to return to The Rep and to be working again with Brent Hazelton, this time as a director. Memorable Rep productions include A Christmas Carol, The Mountaintop, Blues in the Night, Othello, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, The 39 Steps, Pride and Prejudice, Armadale, Mary Stuart, Work Song and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Off-Broadway, Barry designed the New York premiere of Wittenberg at The Pearl Theatre Company. Other regional theater credits include Fake, Carter’s Way and Mother Courage and Her Children at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and productions at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, City Theatre (Pittsburgh), CenterStage (Baltimore), Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Peninsula Players, American Players Theatre, L.A. Theatre Works and Indiana Repertory Theatre. Chicago credits include Next Theatre, Theatre at the Center and Lookingglass Theatre Company. Barry has received four Chicago Equity Jeff Award nominations, the 1996 and 2008 Jeff Awards for Sound Design and an MFA in sound design from Purdue University.  -Top-

Learn more about the background of the show and/or the themes explored in this production.

» A Play about Faith, Connection and Prejudice

» A Day in the Life of a Plains Playwright

» Creationism: 'Gobbledy gook' or fact?


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Running Time
1hr. and 30 min.

Performance Times
Tuesday: 6:30pm*
Tuesday - Thursday: 7:30pm
Sunday Evening: 7:00pm
Fri/Sat Evening: 8pm
Saturday Matinee: 4pm
Sunday Matinee: 2pm
Wednesday Matinee: 1:30pm
*Once per run otherwise 7:30pm

Recommended Age
12 years and older

Content Advisory
Contains adult themes and language

Access Dates
Audio Described
Thurs. Oct. 11, 7:30pm
ASL Interpreted
Thurs. Oct. 18, 7:30pm

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Mark Clements Artistic Director

The Rep is sponsored in part by:

Milwaukee Repertory Theater • Patty & Jay Baker Theater Complex • 108 E Wells Street, Milwaukee WI 53202
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