Stackner Renovation
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Stiemke Studio
July 19 – 22, 2018
A World Premiere from the Professional Training Institute (PTI)
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Stackner Cabaret
September 7 – November 4, 2018
American Premiere
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Quadracci Powerhouse
September 18 – October 28, 2018
The Sizzling Musical from Hamilton's Creator
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Stiemke Studio
September 26 – November 4, 2018
Gripping Historical Dark Comedy
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Stackner Cabaret 2018 Renovation



We are excited to launch a complete $1.75 Million renovation of the Stackner Cabaret this summer. Lead funding, in the amount of $750,000, has been provided by former Board President Vince Martin and his wife Jan and a $250,000 gift from the Stackner Family Foundation.

Since its opening in 1987, the Stackner Cabaret has been one of Milwaukee’s most in-demand performance venues playing to near capacity crowds for an average of 300 performances a year.  The renovation will:
» Increase seating capacity by over 35%
» Address aging infrastructure issues
» Better maximize space both within the theater as well as in the outer lobby.  

The renovation will provide state of the art production capabilities, comfortable new seats and tables, expanded bathrooms for ladies and a new kitchen and bar ready to serve up the most delicious meals and best cocktails.

Given the unique nature of architectural designs completed by Uihlein-Wilson Architects, audience members and longtime Subscribers will be able to keep their exact same seats all while experiencing a new world-class venue.

The BRAND NEW Stackner Cabaret


Uihlein Wilson Ramlow Stein Architects

Uihlein/Wilson - Ramlow/Stein Architects is a design firm offering services in architecture, interior design and planning. We are a firm founded on the principles of PROCESS, COLLABORATION, and IMPACT. The work of our firm is largely civic in nature. We work primarily in the state of Wisconsin because it is where we live, what we enjoy, and where we can contribute the most. We take pride in our work and the role we can play to increase the quality of life for the citizens of our city and state. We are fortunate to have extensive experience in Primary and Higher Education, Athletic & Wellness, Retail, Hospitality, Historic Buildings, Residential, Professional, and projects for Civic & Community Organizations.

Vision for the Renovation
The vision behind the renovation of the Stackner Cabaret is to improve the patron experience through enhancing sightlines, increasing restroom capacity, improving acoustics, and optimizing dining service, all while boosting the seating capacity and creating a fresh aesthetic to this unique Venue.

The Team envisioned a new entrance and prefunction area to create a sense of place and welcome arrival that will also serve as an intermission area for the Milwaukee Center atrium. The new entrance marquee is a modern interpretation that harkens back to the traditional theater entrances of the past. Upon entering the Stackner, patrons will notice a reconfiguration of the bar, restrooms, and the in-house sound mix station that will benefit sightlines and acoustics during performances. Behind the scenes, the kitchen and waitstaff areas are remodeled to improve the quality of the dining service.

Audience comfort and overall experience is paramount to the design. The interior finishes selections include a palette of neutrals that will let the fantastic productions take center stage and provide a rich environment to spend an evening. The warm, pecan wood tone balances the cool greys and dark umber of the carpet and paint scheme. The new white subway tile pays homage to the original glazed structural brick and brightens up the bathroom and bar. New seating and lounge furnishings are part of the design to enhance comfort.

“We are grateful to be playing a part in the supporting cast for renovations to the Stackner Cabaret. The design process involved several workshops over the past year with Chad Bauman, Mark Clements, Melissa Vartanian, and the incredible staff of Milwaukee Rep. The energy, passion, and thoughtfulness that was poured into this design during this collaborative process will surely be appreciated by long-time patrons and new guests, creating new memorable experiences, re-affirming the Stackner Cabaret as a premier destination for the Arts in Milwaukee and SE Wisconsin.”




Follow along and check in on the Stackner renovation based on the timeline below.

Winter 2017
Internal decision that a renovation of the space is needed. Architect and construction company manager identified.

June 2017
Rep Board approves basic renovation plans and greenlights fundraising for the project.

September 2017
Lead funders announced for the project
Kick-off meeting with vendors

October 2017
Workshop #1
1st round kitchen and bar plans for review
1st round of interior finishes for review

Workshop #2
Confirm kitchen and bar plan
2nd round of interior finishes
1st round of furnishings

November 2017
Workshop #3
Confirm all interior finishes
2nd round of furnishings / review key plan

December 2017
Rep signs off on final designs and construction plan.
Plans sent to DSPS (State of WI) to review
Hunzinger Constructions starts bid process for contractors

January 2018
Rep unveils final design renderings to renovation donors

February 2018
Rep unveils final design renderings to Subscribers and Public at 65th Anniversary Announcement – Feb. 12

March 2018
Rep hosts a series of events for Stackner Subscribers to see samples of chairs/tables and fabric

May 2018
Construction begins under the Stackner

June 2018
Construction begins in the Stackner

August 2018
Late August renovation complete

September 2018
Rep launches first production in new space – Fri. Sept. 7





Thank you to all of our donors and partners that have made the renovation of the Stackner Cabaret possible. We are truly thankful for your support.

As of January 2018

$750,000   Jan and Vince Martin
$250,000   Stackner Foundation
$75,000   Greater Milwaukee Foundation
$60,000   Beth & Pete Gottsacker
United Performing Arts Fund
Carlene and Andy Ziegler
$50,000   Peck Foundation
$40,000   Bradley Foundation
Windhover Foundation
$25,000   Nancy and Steve Einhorn
$20,000   Anonymous Bequest
$10,000   Bill and Pricilla Boelter

As of January 2018

• Boelter Equipment

• Hunzinger Construction

• Uihlein/Wilson – Ramlow/Stein Architects




Build Out - June 26

Click on an image below for a larger view.


Phase 2 Time-Lapse

Phase 2 Time-Lapse

Phase 1 Time-Lapse

Phase 1 Time-Lapse

Clean Out - May 23


Demolition - May 24


Groundbreaking with Donors – May 30