Now in its 63rd Season, Milwaukee Repertory Theater is dedicated to providing the highest level of professional theater to Milwaukee and Wisconsin in addition to offering a wide range of education and community programs.
In 1954, Milwaukee native Mary Widrig John forged a plan to create a professional theater for the city. The result was the Fred Miller Theatre on Oakland Avenue [now home to the Miramar Theatre], so named after the head of Miller Brewing Company and chair of the theater’s fundraising campaign, who died in a plane crash before the project was completed.
Left to Right: Charles R. McCallum, Mrs. Mary Widrig John, Jane Bradley Uihlein (Pettit) and Milton Padway.
The Fred Miller Theatre produced a standard repertoire of Broadway hits featuring well-known performers to draw initial audiences. In the early 1960s, the company re-organized by creating a resident acting company and expanding its repertoire to include classics and premieres of new works. The name Milwaukee Repertory Theater was chosen in 1963 to reflect this new philosophy.
In 1968, Milwaukee Rep moved into the 504-seat Todd Wehr Theater in the new downtown Performing Arts Center. The move spurred attendance and helped The Rep establish a firm operating base and a large pool of subscribers. In 1974, The Rep converted a small warehouse space into an additional 99-seat theater, the Court Street Theater, which focused on artistic exploration, the development of new work, and plays suited to an intimate setting.
The Rep moved to its current home across from Milwaukee’s City Hall in 1987. A cleverly converted power generation plant, the Patty and Jay Baker Theater Complex houses three theaters, the Quadracci Powerhouse (720 seats); the Stiemke Studio (205 seats); and the Stackner Cabaret (124 seats), which is also a full-service restaurant and bar. Together, these spaces offer a variety of staging options and host a wide range of theatrical fare. The complex also houses all of The Rep’s rehearsal facilities, production shops, and administrative offices.
Oneida Street Station, also known as the East Wells Power Plant, was a power plant
operated by The Milwaukee Electric Railway is now the home of Milwaukee Rep.
(Left to right) Mark Clements and Chad Bauman.
Led by Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Rep produces an 11-play season that spans three performance venues, as well as A Christmas Carol, a beloved holiday tradition for over three decades, in the adjacent Pabst Theater. The Rep produces over 600 performances annually of new and contemporary work, classics, and musical theater pieces plus a short-play festival showcasing its emerging professional residents, which is one of the oldest and most respected Emerging Professional Residency programs in regional theater.
Accompanying The Rep’s productions is an array of audience enrichment programs from the nightly Rep-in-Depth pre-show talks to PlayGuides, TalkBacks, extensive lobby displays, and a full array of patron access services.
Panel Discussion During The Rep’s Production of August Wilson’s Fences, May 2016.
The Friends of The Rep is a volunteer organization integral to the life of the theater. Friends contribute countless hours each year raising funds, providing artist hospitality, and serving as ushers for our performances.
Become one of our ushers joining over 600 people who help out at Rep productions each season.
Milwaukee Rep is governed by a dedicated Board of Trustees comprised of 40+ volunteer business and community leaders, focusing on strategic and long-range planning, fundraising, and overall stewardship of The Rep. The Board is committed to maintaining The Rep as an important community asset and to upholding the mission of the theater.