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Professional Residencies

2021/22 Season

Acting Residency applications are still being accepted for the 2021/22 Season. All other residencies are filled. Look for applications for the 2022/23 Season in the Spring of 2022.

What is the Emerging Professional Residency Program?
Milwaukee Rep’s residency program serves as an entry into professional theater, an opportunity to make connections with professionals from around the country, and a chance to spend a season working in one of America’s foremost regional theaters. Each season, we accept 15-20 Emerging Professional Residents to join our company in order to gain valuable experience and to learn from experts in the field. Residents benefit by playing an integral role in a vigorous, supportive company through active participation in the theater making process on and off stage and through close collaboration with successful theater professionals.

What is the mission of the Emerging Professional Residency Program?
We further the development of the next generation of American Theater artists and leaders through our Emerging Professional Residency Program, designed to be a bridge into the professional world.

Who should apply?
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is committed to creating a culturally diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity company. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for residency without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We especially encourage applications from artists from underrepresented backgrounds.

The EPR program is designed for early-career professionals with a firm commitment to a theater career and a desire to hone one’s craft through deep immersion in the inner workings of a large regional theater.

All residents share a basic set of qualifications:

  • Demonstrated skills needed for chosen department
  • Good communication skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • A level of maturity and self-sufficiency to work in a professional theater environment
  • Consistently able to arrive on time and ready for work
  • Initiative to embrace relevant learning opportunities

Some residents are individuals with relevant experience and great potential in the American Theater and others have recently completed undergraduate or graduate programs.

At this time, we are unable to accept applicants without a current US Work Permit.

COVID UPDATE: Please note that we will require all EPRs to be fully vaccinated before starting their residency.

How are EPRs compensated?
EPRs receive:

  • $150 weekly untaxed stipend
  • Private bedroom in shared apartment paid for by the Milwaukee Rep (includes utilities and internet) in the vibrant East Side neighborhood on an accessible bus line to the theater 
  • Unlimited city bus pass for transportation to and from the theater 
  • Professional development and mentorship opportunities
  • Free tickets to Rep productions, invitations to EPR Angel dinners and events, and a variety of professional training and workshop opportunities
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Milwaukee Rep’s production of The Color Purple 2014/15 Season. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
Milwaukee Rep’s table read of Nunsense 2019/20 Season. L-R: Kelsey Robins, Malkia Stampley and Abbi Hess.
Milwaukee Rep’s table read of The Nerd 2019/20 Season. L-R: Gilberto Saenz, Alex Hatcher, Alex Keiper, Michael Doherty and Andy Nagraj.
Milwaukee Rep’s production of Rep Lab 2015/16 Season. L-R: Jared Davis and Arielle Leverett. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
Milwaukee Rep’s production of Good People 2014/15 Season. L-R: Michael Elich, Jennifer Latimore, and Laura Gordon. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
Students preparing for the August Wilson Monologue Competition.
Milwaukee Rep’s Emerging Professional Residents in indivisible with… 2020/21 Season. L-R: Kaylene Howard and Cereyna Bougouneau. Photo by Aaron Lichamer.
Milwaukee Rep’s Emerging Professional Residents in indivisible with… 2020/21 Season. L-R: Cameron Vargas, Kaylene Howard, Cereyna Bougouneau and Joey Chelius. Photo by Aaron Lichamer.
Milwaukee Rep’s production of Junk 2018/19 Season. L-R: DiMonte Henning, Jonathan Wainwright, Dominic Comperatore. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
Milwaukee Rep’s production of Animal Farm 2017/18 Season. L-R: Deborah Staples, Kelsey Rodriguez, Stephanie Weeks, Brade Bradshaw and Jonathan Gillard Daly. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
Milwaukee Rep’s Reading Residency Program.
Milwaukee Rep’s production of Reb Lab 2018/19 Season. Featuring the 2018/19 Emerging Professional Residents. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
Milwaukee Rep’s production of Rep Lab 2016/17 Season. L-R: Jesse Bhamrah and Candace Thomas. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
Milwaukee Rep’s West Side Story Immersion Day, 2019/20 Season.
Milwaukee Rep’s production of West Side Story 2019/20 Season. L-R: Nick Parrott, James Pickering, Hope Endrenyi, Alex Hayden Miller, Clay Roberts and Devin Richey. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
Acting Residency

Acting Residents work closely with Milwaukee Rep’s in-house artists and acclaimed guest directors and actors on a variety of productions during their full-season residency. While the role in which a given Acting Resident functions can change with each production, the focus never strays from acting: there are no technical or administrative responsibilities attached to Acting Residencies. 

The primary objective of the Acting Residency is to create a bridge to the professional world by getting residents in the rehearsal rooms and preparing them for their next career steps.  This includes three components: understudy/onstage work, workshops and auditions, and professional mentoring.

Understudy and Onstage Work: Actors understudy roles in Milwaukee Rep’s 2021/22 Season, and also play ensemble roles as available. Through these assignments, Acting Residents have an opportunity to share the experience and knowledge of working professionals, to build relationships with those professionals, and to develop their own practice with the support and guidance of Milwaukee Rep artists. Understudy runs performed shortly after openings allow EPRs to showcase their work for fellow Milwaukee Rep company members. As the culmination of their season, the Acting Residents are showcased in Rep Lab, Milwaukee Rep’s critically-acclaimed annual festival that highlights the work of our Emerging Professional Residents. It also creates an opportunity for the Artistic EPRs to collaborate with Production and Administrative EPRs.

Workshops and Auditions: Throughout the season, Acting EPRs participate in a variety of workshops with professionals. Past workshops have included Q&As with industry members, the creation of a voiceover demo reel, auditioning on camera, centering wellness in one’s acting practice, and a variety of acting workshops focusing on styles and approaches. They are also provided with the opportunity to audition for several Wisconsin theater organizations. At the end of the season, EPRs participate in an industry showcase.

Professional Mentoring:  Milwaukee Rep makes every effort to help Acting Residents find professional work following their seasons. Acting Residents also earn Equity Membership Candidacy points during their internships. The center of their mentorship experience is based around one on one and group check ins with Artistic staff members at Milwaukee Rep.  These meetings focus on goal setting, giving feedback on your branding materials, helping an artist articulate their process, and discussing whatever challenges actors are meeting in the room.

Each year the Residency dates change based on the dates of the theatrical season, and the need for EPRs in and around specific productions. In the 2021/22 Season, the Emerging Professional Residency starts in October and ends in June, but there are exceptions. Milwaukee Rep works hard to make it possible for EPRs to take that next gig.

Directing Residency

The primary objective of the Directing Residency is to create a bridge to the professional world by getting residents in the rehearsal rooms. This includes three components: assisting work, directing work, and professional mentoring.

Assisting Work: Directing Residents serve as Assistant Directors for Rep productions in the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio, and Stackner Cabaret, as well as for the annual production of A Christmas Carol. As ADs, Directing Residents participate as important components of the creative process with some of the most respected American and international directors working in theater today, learning valuable skills from and making important connections with their principal directors.

Directing Work: As part of their AD responsibilities, Directing Residents supervise the understudy process for the production to which they are assigned, scheduling and leading daily understudy rehearsals throughout the rehearsal period. The work of the AD and understudy cast is showcased and reviewed at an understudy run shortly following the opening of each production, and directors receive feedback from the Line Producer of each show as well as the Artistic Staff. Directing Residents also showcase their directing skills in Rep Lab, Milwaukee Rep’s critically-acclaimed annual festival that highlights the work of our Emerging Professional Residents. It also creates an opportunity for the Artistic EPRs to collaborate with Production and Administrative EPRs.

Professional Mentorship:  In addition to their close work with visiting directors, directing EPRs have a staff member that will check in several times throughout the year, as well as monthly group check ins. These meetings often focus on helping the director articulate their vision and strengths, preparing for pitches, tackling preproduction work, and navigating challenges in the rehearsal room.

Each year the Residency dates change based on the dates of the theatrical season, and the need for EPRs in and around specific productions. In the 2021/22 Season, the Emerging Professional Residency starts in October and ends in June, but there are exceptions.  Milwaukee Rep works hard to make it possible for EPRs to take that next gig.

Literary Residency

Milwaukee Rep’s Literary Residency offers first-hand experience in the day-to-day workings of a Literary and New Play Development office at one of the country’s foremost regional theaters. The Resident will have the opportunity to build essential skills for running a literary office, interact and build relationships with artists, and shepherd new work. This position will work closely under the mentorship of the Literary Director and Associate Artistic Producer.

The Literary Resident will take part in:

  • Reading and evaluating scripts for season planning and participate in season planning conversations
  • Sourcing, inputting, and distributing scripts in-house, and maintaining Literary office databases
  • Assisting in sourcing and curating scripts for Rep Lab, Showcase, and other projects
  • Managing and leading TalkBacks or other audience engagement programming
  • Compiling dramaturgical research on shows for the current and upcoming seasons, as well as potentially contributing to dramaturgically-driven materials, such as PlayGuides
  • Attending designer runs and previews of mainstage shows and providing dramaturgical feedback
  • Providing dramaturgical feedback on drafts of plays under commission and workshops of new plays
  • Assisting with producing new play workshops and readings
  • Assisting with general administrative needs of the Literary Department

As a member of the Literary and Artistic Departments, the Literary EPR will have the opportunity to attend some Artistic Meetings and All Staff related meetings, including Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training. The Literary Resident also will have the opportunity to work as Assistant Dramaturg to the Literary Director on at least one mainstage show. They will attend one out-of-state new play festival, pending COVID-19 status and protocols, and may have the opportunity to attend local and online new play events.

A successful candidate will have excellent writing, research, and verbal and written communication skills; be able to multitask and have a keen eye for detail; be a generous and thoughtful collaborator, a driven self-starter, and a curious and critical thinker; and bring kindness and professionalism to their work. The candidate should have an enthusiasm for the new play world and the American canon and be willing to learn more about the theatrical landscape. Great sense of humor a plus.

While we welcome candidates with an acting, directing, or playwriting background, this residency is devoted to work in the Literary office and is geared toward people who are primarily interested in careers in Literary Management, Dramaturgy, New Play Development, and/or Producing.

The standard work week will be Monday through Friday, averaging 40-hour work weeks. Some evening and weekend work will be expected due to rehearsals, etc. with comp time offered whenever possible.

This position would start Tuesday, September 7, 2021 and run into early June 2022.

Education and Engagement Residency

Milwaukee Rep’s Education and Engagement Residency provides an understanding of the inner workings of engagement and education programming at a professional regional theater to prepare for a successful career in arts education or community engagement. This multifaceted program provides training and mentorship opportunities, hands on experience in program implementation and administration, and direct application of skills learned in classroom and community settings.

The Education and Engagement Resident will be a part of the theater learning experience of almost 20,000 students and community members. Learning opportunities will include serving as a Teaching Artist for residency programs, facilitation for audience and community engagement events, curriculum development for workshops and residencies, assisting with student matinees and various administrative duties. Projects are designed to grow in size and responsibility depending on the resident’s developing goals, interests, and skill growth. As a member of the Engagement & Education Department, the Engagement & Education EPR will have the opportunity to attend department staff meetings and All Staff related meetings, including Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training.

A successful candidate will have excellent verbal and written communication skills; be able to multitask and have a keen eye for detail; be a generous and thoughtful collaborator, a driven self-starter, and a curious and critical thinker; and bring kindness and professionalism to their work. The candidate should have an enthusiasm for the education and community engagement with some experience working with youth and a willingness to learn more about the theater, education, and engagement. Great sense of humor a plus.

While we welcome candidates with a background in any theater focus, this residency is devoted to work in the Education and Engagement office and is geared toward people who are primarily interested in careers in Theater Education or Community Engagement.