Update - May, 2021

May 3, 2021

Dear Milwaukee Rep Community,

After 14 months, we are pleased to announce we have returned to live, in-person performances! Extensive health and safety protocols are being observed as we stage First Lady of Song: Alexis J Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald, presented by Artists Lounge Live, April 27 – May 23.

This performance is incredibly meaningful to us here at Milwaukee Rep. We know the power live theater experiences have to entertain, inspire, and provoke. During such challenging times, it is our greatest joy to once again be a source of positivity and community building for our city. We hope you will join us for a performance this month.

Four Original Music Videos in Support of the COVID-19 Vaccines
As we prioritize health and safety for our staff, partners and patrons we understand how important is to provide information on COVID-19 vaccinations and vaccine hesitancy. Milwaukee Rep released four original music videos, as part of Milwaukee Rep’s Community Engagement Neighborhood programming to encourage the community to seek more information about COVID-19 vaccines.

Together with community partner Kiran Vedula and support from Cody Laplant, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Milwaukee Rep Trustee Dr. Mark Niedfeldt, these videos demonstrate our commitment to partner with others on issues that impact all of us. We encourage you to watch all four videos on our YouTube page.

Making the Invisible Visible: A Celebration of AAPI Culture, Art & Activism
May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Milwaukee Rep is continuing our commitment to celebrate diversity through several virtual opportunities to hear from AAPI artists and leaders, including a video from stage and screen actor Paolo Montalban, a panel discussion with AAPI artists, and a panel discussion with Milwaukee-area AAPI leaders. Our programming is presented at a time when violent attacks on Asian Americans are on the rise. Such violence is strongly condemned by Milwaukee Rep and we stand in solidarity with #StopAsianHate. We look forward to honoring the influence of AAPI culture on arts and activism and hope you will join us.

August Wilson Monologue Competition
Congratulations are in order for Regional Winners of the August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC): Yexuanj Rivera Melendez from Milwaukee High School of the Arts and Fardowso Shidad from Rufus King High School. Kamani Graham from Pius XI High School was also selected as an alternate.

The AWMC empowers high school students around the nation with the legendary playwright’s language. Students will take the stage with a lens on the Black American experience throughout the 20th century. With assistance from Milwaukee Rep’s professional Teaching Artists, high school students selected a monologue, prepared their audition, and then 10 finalists performed in the virtual regional finals on March 29.

Rivera Melendez and Shidad went on to represent the greater Milwaukee area in the National Finals this past weekend and Yexuanj Rivera Melendez has been selected to compete in the final round later today – May 3. Break a leg!

Milwaukee Rep Mindfulness
There are so many exciting things taking place at Milwaukee Rep this month. In the midst of these wonderful outward-facing events, we continue our work internally to make Milwaukee Rep a more productive, inclusive, and healthy space. One of our focus areas in REP Forward (ED&I Plan) is compassion resilience or self-care. To that end, we have asked Carrie Murphy to lead our team in mindfulness sessions in the months of April and May. These sessions are intended to help our team dissolve stress within their body, create a greater level of self-awareness, and to more easily find happiness, joy, and meaning in life.

YWCA Stand Against Racism 2021
We joined our friends and community partners at the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin in April’s Stand Against Racism 2021. Milwaukee Rep’s team gathered virtually to recite the pledge and continue our commitment to be a catalyst for equity issues and actively engage in conversations to create positive change.

Immediately following the pledge, we held space with staff for an open discussion on recent events including the trial of Derek Chauvin, AAPI violence and the deaths of Black people in our nation. We recognize the value of these continued crucial conversations with our internal stakeholders and remain resolute in building community through dialogue and engagement.

For more information about the YWCA’s pledge, please visit their website at https://standagainstracism.org/.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing support of Milwaukee Rep.

Greg Oberland
President, Board of Trustees

Warren Buliox
Trustee & Chair, ED&I Committee

Mark Clements
Artistic Director

Chad Bauman
Executive Director

Tammy Belton-Davis
Chief Diversity Officer