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Milwaukee Rep Freelance Artist Relief Effort

The live, professional theater has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the country by the COVID-19 pandemic and within the field, some of the most vulnerable populations are freelance artists. The Milwaukee Rep Rep Rising campaign was launched to help our theater rebound from the impacts of COVID as quickly as possible and to do that, investments need to be made to assist regional theater artists that are critical to our ability to recover and create the world-class art we are known for.

To assist freelance theatrical artists during this critical time, the Milwaukee Rep Freelance Artist Relief Effort supported by the Rep Rising Campaign will provide a limited number of immediate awards up to $1,000 each for freelance theatrical artists in a variety of disciplines who have lost employment from April 1 – December 1, 2020.  This program is supported by private donations from individuals.  


  • Artists who have worked at Milwaukee Repertory Theater in the last five years or who are residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, or Washington counties are invited to apply.
  • Must be a freelance theater artist working in one of the following capacities: director, designer, actor, stage manager, teaching artist, production artisan, choreographer, coach, musician.
  • Applicants must confirm their status as a working theater professional and provide evidence of professional employment in the theater field during January 2019 - March 2020 (shown on individual or theater website, resume, playbills or other material)
  • Applicants must be able to provide documentation of theater work cancellation and loss of income since April 1, 2020 as a result of COVID-19 in the form of emails/correspondence; contact information for host theater/presenter/producer; or contact information for agent. Only one piece of documentation is needed per cancelled activity.

 Selection Process

  • 80% of allocated award dollars will be given to artists who have worked at Milwaukee Repertory Theater in the last 5 years.
  • Prioritization will be given to applicants with critical needs as articulated in the application.
  • Awards will align with Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Artists that are representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity are encouraged to apply.


  • Announcement of Program: Tuesday, December 15, 2020
  • Applications Released: Wednesday, December 16, 2020
  • Application Deadline: Monday, January 11, 2021
  • Announcement of Grantees & Checks Sent: Monday, January 18, 2021

To apply, freelance artists will be asked to fill out a quick and easy 1 page application and to provide basic documentation found under the eligibility section above.

Click here to download the PDF application. If you have questions, please email: artists@milwaukeerep.com

Selection Panel: 

  • Chair: Diane Dalton, retired Milwaukee Rep General Manager 
  • Maram Samaha, Milwaukee Rep Assistant Production Manager
  • N’Jameh Camara, Milwaukee Rep Associate Director of Engagement
  • Deanie Vallone, Literary Director & Associate Artistic Producer
  • Amaris Bates, Milwaukee Rep Management Associate

Milwaukee Rep's Artistic Director Mark Clements and Executive Director Chad Bauman will review the final list of recommended awardees.