Stackner Renovation
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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 July, 2018

Boelter Equipment

Hunzinger Construction

Uihlein/Wilson – Ramlow/Stein Architects


As of July, 2018

$750,000+   Jan and Vince Martin
$250,000 - $749,999+   Stackner Family Foundation
$50,000 - $249,999+   Peter and Beth Gottsacker
    Greater Milwaukee Foundation
    Walter and Olive Stiemke Fund
    Laura and Adam Peck
    Caran and Joel Quadracci
    Craig and Mara Swan
    United Performing Arts Fund
    Ziegler Family Foundation
$25,000 - $49,999+   The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
    Einhorn Family Foundation
    Paul McElwee and Gayle Rosemann
    Greg and Rhonda Oberland
    Ed Seaberg and Patrick Smith
$10,000 - $24,999+   Anonymous
    Bill and Priscilla Boelter
    Carol and Rob Manegold
    John and Linda Mellowes
    Justin and Susanna Mortara
    Catherine and Buddy Robinson
    Greater Milwaukee Foundation
    West Bend Mutual Insurance Company Charitable Fund
$1,000 - $9,999+   Anonymous
    Richard and Sara Aster
    Bob Balderson
    Gary and Mithra Ballesteros
    Leslie Barbi and Aaron Bell
    John and Gwyn Beagle
    Ivor and Carol Benjamin
    Wendy and Warren Blumenthal
    Melanie and Steve Booth
    Cheri and Tom Briscoe
    Tony and Andrea Bryant
    Richard and Betsy Buchband
    Bladen and Julia Burns
    John and Katy Cantieri
    Jane and Stephen Chernof
    Guy and Kathy Crane
    Croen Foundation, Inc.
    Margaret Dethloff and Terri Zeh
    Sandy and George Dionisopoulos
    Robert and Terese Duffy
    Dr. Eric A. Durant
    Peter Foote and Robin Wilson
    Robert Gardenier and Lori Morse
    Beverly and Martin Greenberg
    John and Denise Grogan
    John J. Halechko and Marc Colletti
    Elizabeth Hancock
    Judy Hansen
    Kristyn Harrell and Michael Stull
    Carla H. Hay
    Kenton and Janet Howenstine
    Richard and Tracey Klein Family Charitable Trust
    Connie and John Kordsmeier
    Eric and Angela Lenzen
    Joan Lubar and John Crouch
    Wayne and Kristine Lueders
    Jodi and Scott Lurie
    Jeannie Mantz
    Richard and Maribeth Meeusen
    Julie and David Meier
    Abigail and David Nash
    Chris and Ninveh Neuman
    Drs. Mark and Jennifer Niedfeldt
    James Phillips
    Joe and Katie Pickart
    Karen Plunkett
    Linda and William Priebe
    John and Debbie Roesner
    Scott and Mary Ellen Stanek
    Susan and Jim Taylor
    Curt and Deborah Tomczyk
    Greg and Jodi Wait
    Neal and Cathy Wegner
$999 and below   Anonymous (7)
    Joan and Richard Abdoo
    Ian Abston
    Jason and Jessica Allen
    Mary and Michael Andruszkiewicz
    Karen and Peter Balistreri
    Ken and Mary Beth Bockhorst
    Warren and Tina Buliox
    Richard and Sharon Canter
    Jose A. Carlino
    Andrew Catanzaro
    James and Marybeth Cottrill
    Paul and Jennifer Deslongchamps
    Nicole and Tighe Dombrowski
    Kathy and Kim Dooyema
    Susan Friebert
    Troy and Peggy Giles
    Mike and Julie Glynn
    Alexander and Nella Groysman
    Trey and Julie Hester
    Patrick and Melissa Horne
    Bryan and Rebecca House
    John and Marci Hunzinger
    Dan and Jacquelyn Judkins
    Edward and Cheryl Kaufenberg
    Hans and Ellen Kirkegaard
    Katherine McCombe
    Michael McGuire
    Jim and Sally Mergener
    Mary and Jerry Michaelson
    Gregory and Susan Milleville
    Roberta Paccagnella and Mark Wagner
    David and Mindy Palay
    Robert Peret
    David and Ingrid Peterson
    Meghan Posnanski
    John and Jennifer Quadracci
    Amy and Brian Randall
    Ann and Thomas Rieger
    Gaurie Rodman
    Chris Rowland and Sarah Padrones
    Sally Ruf
    In Honor of Betsy and John Lierk
    Allison Scrivner
    Dave and Jean Simbro
    Dr. and Mrs. David Songco
    John and Mary Splude
    Marie Squire and Jeff Jara
    Melissa and Brent Tischler
    The U.S. Charitable Gift Trust
    John and Megan Susko Charitable Fund
    Michael and Margaret Uihlein
    Maxine Wishner
    Joseph and Gloria Wittig
    Zac Wolff and Sara Sackmaster
    Lisa and Emmett Wright
    Paul and Katherine Zavada




Renovation Time-Lapse

Stackner Cabaret Renovation Time-Lapse

Completed Renovation - September 5

Click on an image below for a larger view.


Phase 5 Time-Lapse

Phase 5 Time-Lapse

Phase 4 Time-Lapse

Phase 4 Time-Lapse

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