American Song
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March 15 - April 10, 2016

BY Joanna Murray-Smith
DIRECTED BY Mark Clements

One man’s look at what it means 
to be a father in today’s world.

Ripped from today’s headlines, American Song is a moving and provocative look at parenting in today’s fractured society. As Andy heads off to work to give the biggest presentation of his career, he wishes his seemingly well-adjusted teenage son goodbye. Eight hours later, everything has changed, and Andy’s family is infamous world-wide for an inconceivable act of violence committed by the most unlikely suspect – the sweet boy Andy once cradled in his arms. From internationally renowned playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and starring James DeVita, proclaimed by the Wall Street Journal to be America’s finest classical actor, comes a world-premiere play with a tour-de-force performance that will leave you breathless.

What’s American Song? Should I see it?
If you like the feeling of being the first person with the latest gadget or piece of technology, or the first person to see a movie or TV show, you’ll want to be one of the first people to ever see this show. That’s what is so cool about world premieres!

As far as content, if you are a parent (or have a parent) this show is an insightful look at the challenges and fears every mom and dad has as they raise kids. Were they too involved? Not enough?

Fans of James DeVita’s performance in An Iliad will be delighted to see him again in this great storytelling event with a twist ending no one will see coming.


James DeVita

Creative Team

Joanna Murray-Smith
Barry G. Funderburg
Sound Designer
Mark Clements
Jared Mezzocchi
Projections Designer
Daniel Conway
Scenic Design
Brent Hazelton
Leslie Vaglica
Costume Designer
Jill Walmsley Zager
Dialect Coach
Jason Fassl
Lighting Designer
JC Clementz
Casting Director






Approximately 45 minutes before each performance, join special guest, Di’Monte Henning, for an insightful talk about the history and production ofAmerican Song.


American Song ACT II

Immediately follow the performance of American Song, there will be a five-minute response from a local specialist in a thematically relevant field. Following these remarks, the audience will participate in 30 to 45-minute small group discussions facilitated by theFrank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion.


A Conversation with Playwright Joanna Murray-Smith

As The Rep continues its ambitious play development initiative, Milwaukee audiences have the unique opportunity to hear directly from playwrights about the process of creating new work. Join Playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Theater Reviewer Mike Fischer for a conversation centered on American Song, followed by a brief question and answer session.

Joanna Murray-Smith is an Olivier Award-nominated playwright based in Melbourne, Australia. Her plays have been translated extensively and produced worldwide, including on Broadway and the West End. In Milwaukee, audiences have seen Honourat Renaissance Theaterworks, and may remember the world premiere of Bombshells starring Caroline O’Connor produced by Milwaukee Rep in 2010.

This event is free and open to the public. To attend, please RSVP by calling (414) 290-5614 or by Monday, March 7.


“Your American Song” StorySlam with Ex Fabula

Join Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Education Department, Teen Council, and Storytelling Residents to participate in a StorySlam hosted by Ex Fabula, a Milwaukee nonprofit organization that strengthens community bonds through the art of storytelling. This StorySlam will feature work from local teens and community members who have participated in an intensive, twelve-week Storytelling Residency hosted by The Rep.

The pieces to be shared, inspired by themes inAmerican Song, explore concepts of anti-violence, parenting, and growing up in today's society. The event features traditional storytelling and spoken word poetry, and includes opportunities for public participation.

For more about Ex Fabula, please visit:

This event is ticketed at $8 for the general public and $5 with proof of American Song ticket purchase. Tickets may be purchased ONLINE HERE, by phone at 414-224-9490, or at the Ticket Office at 108 E Wells Street, Milwaukee.


Lunch Matinee

Before your performance, join us from 11:45am to 1:15pm for lunch at the InterContinental Hotel located in the Milwaukee Center. Lunch includes a presentation by a member of the Production or Creative staff of American Song, offering a behind-the-scenes look into the play. Cost is $19 per person, which includes lunch and the presentation. Please RSVP by 5pm on Monday, March 28 to Catharina Matthews at 414-291-4790or

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