New Play Development
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Stackner Cabaret
November 9 – January 13, 2019
An Energy Filled Musical Revue
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Quadracci Powerhouse
November 13 – December 16, 2018
A Contemporary Hit Based On A Classic
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Pabst Theater
November 27 – December 24, 2018
Milwaukee's Holiday Tradition!
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Quadracci Powerhouse
January 15 – February 17, 2019
The Midwest Premiere Direct From Broadway
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John (Jack) D. Lewis New Play Development Program

 

PHILOSOPHY

Since 1958, Milwaukee Repertory Theater has premiered nearly 150 plays and musicals.

Producing entertaining, thought-provoking, accessible, adventurous, and compelling world premiere plays, musicals, and theater events—of recognized excellence, and that express strong local relevance and carry wider national appeal—provides the strongest possible mechanism with which to reflect our core values and to advance our mission in service of our community.  

We have a responsibility to stand at the forefront of current cultural conversations that impact each of our lives.  We seek to tell stories for now—that keep theater vibrant in the present and alive for the future, that engage an audience representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity in a robust conversation about the future of our community and world, that instill civic pride and community interconnection, and that allow us to export our culture, thereby putting Milwaukee’s stamp on the country and the world. 

Milwaukee Rep seeks to produce not less than three world premiere productions per season, across each of our core performance spaces—from epically scaled new plays and musicals in our 720 seat flagship Quadracci Powerhouse, to theatrically adventurous pieces that push the boundaries of our 205 seat Stiemke Studio, to entertaining genre revues and incisive explorations of popular culture in our 124 seat Stackner Cabaret.

In support of this endeavor, we shall: enter into commissioning or other developmental partnerships extremely selectively with the understanding that projects are intended from inception for production at Milwaukee Rep; create a customized set of fully resourced and flexible best practices tailored to respond to individual artist need and process; and maximize the potential of our plays to enter into commercial productions, co-production premieres, and the contemporary regional theater canon.

Artists Currently Creating New Work for Milwaukee Rep

WORLD PREMIERES

Since 1958, Milwaukee Repertory Theater has premiered nearly 150 plays and musicals. Below is a list of those productions.

2017/18
One House Over by Catherine Trieschmann

2016/17
A Christmas Carol adapted by Mark Clements from the novella by Charles Dickens 

2015/16
Back Home Again: On the Road with John Denver by Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman
American Song by Joanna Murray-Smith 
Sirens of Song conceived by Kevin Ramsey, text by Kevin and Pearl Ramsey

2014/15
after all the terrible things I do by A. Rey Pamatmat
Five Presidents by Rick Cleveland
The Beautiful Music All Around Us by Stephen Wade

2013/14 n/a

2012/13 n/a

2011/12 n/a

2010/11
Liberace! by Brent Hazelton

2009/10
Soultime at the Apollo by Kevin Ramsey
Holmes & Watson: A Musical Mystery by Jahnna Beecham and Malcom Hilgartner
Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak adapted by Joseph Hanreddy from George M. Cohan’s Seven Keys to Baldpate

2008/9
Isn’t It Romantic by David Hunter Koch
Pride and Prejudice adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and JR Sullivan from the novel by Jane Austen
Dogpark: The Musical by Jahnna Beecham and Malcom Hilgartner
Fire On the Bayou: A Mardi Gras Musical Extravaganza by Kevin Ramsey 

2007/8
Life Could Be a Dream by Roger Bean
Carolin’ Carolynne’s Comin’ to Town by Carolynne Warren
The Night is a Child by Charles Randolph-Wright
Grafton City Blues by Kevin Ramsey
Armadale adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the novel by Wilkie Collins 

2006/7
Sam Cooke: Forever Mr. Soul by Kevin Ramsey
Why Do Fools Fall in Love? By Roger Bean 

2005/6
Blue Rose: The Rosemary Clooney Story by David Scully and John Engerman
The Andrews Brothers by Roger Bean
Ellington: The Life and Music of the Duke by David Scully
Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure by Steven Dietz 

2004/5
Yes. No. Maybe So… adapted by Joseph Hanreddy from Luigi Pirandello’s Right You Are (If You Think You Are)
Lana Mae’s Honky Tonk Laundry by Roger Bean 

2003/4
The One That Got Away: A Fred Alley Revue compiled by James Kaplan and Jeff Herbst
Jazz Royalty by David Scully 

2002/3
Moby Dick adapted by Eric Simonson from the novel by Herman Melville
King of Cool: Nat King Cole—The Life, The Man by David Scully and John Engerman 

2001/2
8-Track: The Sounds of the 70s by Rick Seeber
Beach Blanket Bash by Roger Bean 

2000/1
Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright by Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson
Route 66 by Roger Bean
Sounding the River: Huck Finn Revisited by Edward Morgan
The Bachelors by Fred Alley and James Kaplan 

1999/2000
Don’t Touch That Dial II: The Spin-Off by Roger Bean
That’s Amore by Roger Bean
Paragon Springs adapted by Steven Dietz’ from Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People

1998/99
An Irish Reunion Concert by Steve Hickman, Edward Morgan, And Jon Newlin
Carolin’ Carolynne Rides Again by Carolynne Warren
A Christmas Carol adapted by Joseph Hanreddy and
Edward Morgan from the novella by Charles Dickens
The Marvelous Wonderettes by Roger Bean
Force of Nature by Steven Dietz
Guys on Ice by Fred Ally and James Kaplan 

1997/98
From My Hometown by Lee Summers, Ty Stephens, and Herbert Rawlings, Jr.
Carolin’ Carolynne: Life Out Loud by Carolynne Warren
Don’t Touch That Dial by Roger Bean
Just for Song by Kay Stiefel and Jack Forbes Wilson 

1996/97 
A Christmas Carol by Romulus Linney 

1995/96
Sing ‘Em a Story, Tell ‘Em a Song by Kay Stiefel and Jack Forbes Wilson
Quality Time by Dave Frishberg
Shine on Harvest Moon by Edward Morgan
Silence by Steven Dietz, adapted from the novel by Shusaku Endo 

1994/95 
Two Suitcases by Barbara Damashek
War Stories from the 20th Century by W. Frank 
Under the Hollywood Sign by Fred Weiss and Kurt Cowling 
Psychedelic Sundae by Larry Deckel, Kermit Frazier, John Leicht, and John Tanner 
A Dame to Die For by Edward Morgan 

1993/94 
If These Shoes Could Talk by Kevin Ramsey and Lee Summers
Consumer Affairs by Colleen Burns and Jack Forbes Wilson
The Last Ride of the Bold Calhouns by Edward Morgan
The Road to the USO by Fred Weiss 

1992/93
Ambrosio by Romulus Linney
An Irish Reunion by Edward Morgan
The Greater Good by Amlin Gray
Duke’s Place by Mercedes Ellington
Rodgers and… by Jack Forbes Wilson and Kay Stiefel 

1991/92
Appalachian Voices by Edward Morgan
Mother Jones by Ronnie Gilbert and Si Kahn
Moot by John Leicht
All the Tricks by One adapted by Sara O’Connor from the play by Gilles Segal 

1990/91 
Homebound by Tom Williams
Hula Hoop Sha-Boop by John Leicht and Larry Deckel
Going Forward Backward by Daniel Stein
Tid-Bits by Louis Johnson
Windowspeak by Daniel Stein
It’s Burlesque by Kenneth Albers 

1989/90 
4 AM America by Ping Chong
The Jeremiah by Diane Ney
A Gershwin Serenade devised by Larry Deckel
Jukejoin Jammin’ by Robert Meiksins and Barbara Roberts
Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel by Larry Deckel 

1988/89 
And What of the Night? by Maria Irene Fornes
Precious Memories by Romulus Linney 

1987/88 
The Tale of Lear by Tadashi Suzuki
Heathen Valley by Romulus Linney
Shue Biz by Larry Shue
Junebug Jabo Jones II by John O’Neal, Nayo-Barbara Watkins, and Steve Kent
Wholly Moses by Norman Moses 

1986/87 
An American Journey by Kermit Frazier and John Leicht
Niedecker by Kristine Thatcher Rhumba for 8 in 12 E-Z Lessons by George Freek 

1985/86 
Living in the Rhythm Section by Damien Leake 

1984/85 
A Christmas Carol adapted by Amlin Gray from the novella by Charles Dickens
A Woman Without Means adapted by William Stancil from the play by Alexander Ostrovsky
Them: “On Vacation” and “The Brawl” translated by Sara O’Connor from the plays by  Jean-Claude Grumberg
Wenceslas Square by Larry Shue 

1983/84 
Wormwood Anthony and Me by Andrew Johns
The Splintered Wood by William Stancil 

1982/83 
The Foreigner by Larry Shue
The Fuhrer is Still Alive by Tsuneari Fukuda
The Pentecost by William Stancil
The Government Man adapted by Felipe Santander from the play by Nikolai Gogol 

1981/82 
Dinah Washington is Dead by Kermit Frazier
At Fifty, She Discovered the Sea translated by Sara O’Connor from the play by Denise Chalem
Countertalk by Andrew Johns
Today’s Special by Andrew Johns
Kingdom Come by Amlin Gray 

1980/81
Fridays by Andrew Johns
The Years of the Whirlwind by Daniel A. Stein
The Eighties by Tom Cole
The Immense Walk of the Late Season Traveller by Tom Cole
The Christmas Eve Murder by Daniel A. Stein 

1979/80
Lakeboat by David Mamet
The Nerd by Larry Shue
Stark Mad in White Satin by Daniel A. Stein
The Workroom translated by Daniel A. Stein and Sara O’Connor from the play by Jean-Claude Grumberg
On the Road to Babylon by Richard Wesley and Peter Link
Six Toes by Amlin Gray 

1978/79
Hemingway Before the Storm by Rich Brinkley and Jonathan Abarbanel
Fighting Bob by Tom Cole
Bo by Amlin Gray
How I Got That Story by Amlin Gray
Grandma Duck is Dead by Larry Shue 

1977/78
Namesake by Amlin Gray
Custer by Robert Ingham 

1976/77 
The Trial of the Moke by Daniel A. Stein
The Dog Ran Away by Brother Jonathan
A Christmas Carol adapted by Nagle Jackson from the novella by Charles Dickens 

1975/76 
Out by Penelope Reed
Never A Snug Harbor by David Ulyssses Clark 

1974/75 
Chamber Piece (Variations on a Theme by Dante Allighieri) by Nagle Jackson
Down by the Gravois (Under the Annheiser-Busch) by James Nicholson 

1973/74 
An Occasional Piece Suitable to the Openings of Theaters by Nagle Jackson 

1972/73
All Together Now by Nagle Jackson, Jeffrey Tambor, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater Company 

1971/72 n/a

1970/71 n/a

1969/70 n/a

1968/69 n/a

1967/68 n/a

1966/67 n/a

1965/66 n/a

1964/65 n/a

1963/64 n/a 

1962/63
Tartuffe translated by Richard Wilbur from the play by Moliere 

1961/62 n/a

1960/61
Adam the Creator by Ray Boyle and Sam Lawent 

1959/60 n/a

1958/59
The Last Days of a Young Man by James Andrews 

1957/58 n/a

1956/57 n/a

1955/56 n/a

1954/55 n/a

SCRIPT SUBMISSIONS

Milwaukee Repertory Theater accepts script submissions from literary agents and by recommendation of regional theater or play development center artistic or literary staff members.  

In recognizing both the importance of remaining at the forefront of the new play conversation and the necessity and obligation to familiarize ourselves with emerging creators, Milwaukee Rep’s Artistic Staff maintains a presence at major new play festivals and reading series across the country, and remains in close conversation with many of the nation’s leading play development centers.  Our robust commissioning and producing program for new plays is a reflection of the responsibility that we hold as a major regional theater to provide a supportive, nurturing path for new plays to the stage and into the canon.  

We continue to explore new and established best practices to build an increasingly comprehensive and inclusive new play development initiative in future seasons.  Thank you for your interest in Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and sincere best wishes for the success of your endeavors.

PLAY READINGS

New Play Development Play Reading Workshops

Milwaukee Rep launched a New Play Reading Series this past fall. Most readings are free and open to the public and are held in the community rather than at Milwaukee Rep. We invite you to join us at the readings listed below.

Grandma’s Empanadas
Monday, July 30, 5:30pm
United Community Center 1028 S. 9th Street, Milwaukee, 53204
Written and Directed by KJ Sanchez, with dialogue taken directly from transcripts of interviews
Dramaturgy by Brent Hazelton, Milwaukee Rep Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development; and Deanie Vallone, Milwaukee Rep Literary Associate

What does home mean? What does family look like? How do we keep our culture’s history, stories, and traditions alive? With equal helpings of heart and joy, Grandma’s Empanadas is a new play exploring a community’s heritage and identity through music, food, and personal narratives. This play is based entirely on interviews with Milwaukee’s Latin community.
Learn More & RSVP

These readings recently took place.

One House Over
Monday, October 23, 7:00pm
Presented at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
By Catherine Trieschmann
Directed by Mark Clements
Dramaturged by Brent Hazelton
Private event—invite only

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.

Pinkolandia
Monday, November 6, 7:00pm
Presented at the Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art
By Andrea Thome
Directed by May Adrales
Dramaturged by Deanie Vallone

Two young sisters living in Reagan-era Wisconsin create imaginary worlds to make sense of their Chilean parents’ exile and troubled marriage. But the arrival of their revolutionary uncle soon inspires the sisters and exacerbates the tension between mom and dad.

Wrong River
Monday, December 11, 7:00pm
Presented at Discovery World Museum of Science and Technology, Digital Theater
By Josh Wilder
Directed by May Adrales

As the water crisis in Flint, Michigan begins to make national headlines, a young couple struggling to make ends meet scrambles to fight for a better future for their daughter— even if it means losing everything they have.

The Call of the Wild
Monday, January 22, 7:00pm
Presented at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Written and directed by Ian Frank
Dramaturged by Deanie Vallone

Jack London’s novel tells the story of Buck, a princely St. Bernard mix who is kidnapped and sold into a dogsled team during the Klondike gold rush of 1897. To survive, Buck taps into long-dormant instincts as his epic adventures play out across the sublime backdrop of the Arctic wilderness. Confronted with this cruel and beautiful place, Buck unmasks a primal power that draws him inexorably closer to his ancestors: the wolf. But at what cost?

The Not-So-Accidental Conviction of Eleven Milwaukee “Anarchists”
Monday, February 19, 7:00pm
Presented at Puddler’s Hall
By Martín Zimmerman | Directed by Joshua Brody
Dramaturged by Brent Hazelton

In 1917 a bomb went off at the Milwaukee police station and eleven Italian “anarchists” were charged. But what really happened that day? Four actors gather to devise a play about the incident, and in the process, unveil larger questions about ethnic politics, the justice system, and our own city.

The Thanksgiving Play
Monday, March 19, 6:30pm
Presented at the Mitchell St. Library
By Larissa FastHorse | Directed by Leda Hoffmann
Dramaturged by Deanie Vallone

A satirical comedy about four mismatched artists attempting to devise an ethnically sensitive play for the local schools to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month. They must find their way through a hilarious thicket of absurd assumptions, historical perspectives, and school district policy as the pageant must go on!

The Wind and the Breeze
Monday, April 16, 7:00pm
Presented at True Skool
By Nathan Alan Davis | Directed by TBD
Dramaturged by Deanie Vallone

Sam, the legendary, undisputed, greatest emcee in Rockford, IL, plans to rest on laurels all winter, but his closest mentees and their outsized dreams challenge him to a battle he can’t win. A story that explore the politics of place, the unspoken expectations of friendship, and what happens when we choose to stand our ground on shifting sands.

Lost Girl
Monday, May 21, 7:00pm
Presented at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
By Kimberly Belflower
Directed by Cortney McEniry
Dramaturged by Deanie Vallone
Private event—invite only

What became of Wendy Darling in the years following her adventures with Peter Pan? Long after returning from Neverland, Wendy decides that she must find Peter in order to reclaim her kiss and move on with her life. Along the way, she meets other girls who went to Neverland and learns she is not alone. A coming-of-age exploration of first love and lasting loss, Lost Girl continues the story of J.M. Barrie's beloved character - the girl who had to grow up.

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