Capital Campaign
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Building A New Home!


Watch a fly-thru video of the new Associated Bank Theater Center!

Over the decades, Milwaukee Rep has grown into one of the largest theaters in the country and the largest performing arts organization in Wisconsin, serving 300,000 people including 20,000 students annually with 700 performances coupled with award-winning educational programming. However, we are facing a critical challenge.  While it has served us well for four decades, our aging and inefficient Patty & Jay Baker Theater Complex severely limits the productions we stage, the plays we develop, and the kind of educational impact we have — and will soon jeopardize our mission.

We now embark on the Powering Milwaukee Campaign to raise $75 million which will define the standard of theater in Wisconsin for generations to come. The Campaign will fund the creation of a new complex, including three state-of-the-art performance spaces, a large unified lobby providing ample opportunities for community events, an expanded offsite production center employing hundreds of local artisans, and venues with modern audience amenities.

August 2, 2023: Milwaukee Repertory Theater Announces Construction Timeline on
New Associated Bank Theater Center. Read Release.

July 20, 2023: Milwaukee Rep names new Powerhouse Theater for philanthropists Ellen and Joe Checota in the future Associated Bank Theater Center. The Checota’s gift is the second largest in Milwaukee Rep’s history. Read Release.

July 2023: Milwaukee Rep meets crucial fundraising challenge by June 30 to reach 81% of goal. Board of Trustees greenlights plans to finalize construction timeline to be announced in August. Read Release.

May 2023: Just announced – Milwaukee Rep raises record setting $1 million at our Curtain Call Ball toward the new building project. In addition, the Lubar Family donates $1.55 million to name The Lubar Family Donor Lounge. With these donations the campaign is now at 70% of goal.  Sustaining Trustee Anthony Petullo and an Anonymous Donor pledge to match new or increased gifts up to $7.5 million through June 30, 2023 to reach a key financial milestone and greenlight construction. Additional and revised building renderings released below. Read Release.

January 2023:  The Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation donate $5 million – the single largest grant the foundation has ever made – to support the Powering Milwaukee Campaign. The grant will help build The Herzfeld Foundation Education & Engagement Center in the new Associated Bank Theater Center.

Fall 2022: Associated Bank provided a 20-year $10 million sponsorship to support Milwaukee Rep’s vision and in recognition of its leadership gift, the new theater complex will be named the Associated Bank Theater Center.


» Read the full features of our new Theater Center.

Mainstage Theater
Our new flagship performance space will be one of the finest theatrical venues in the world and will include:

  • Flexible Theater Configuration. The option for a classic thrust configuration or a proscenium theater will be part of the design allowing each director to choose what works best for their production.
  • Fly Loft. The ability to “fly” in larger pieces of scenery which our current venue does not provide. 
  • Improved Seating and Sight Lines.  Reducing the audience capacity with configurations offering between 550 and 650 seats, widen the proscenium arch, and install much more comfortable seats to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience.
  • Better accessibility. Accessible seats in prime orchestra and access to those seats from the ground floor, steps away from valet parking on Wells Street without the need to navigate stairs.
  • Modern production technology.  Offering advance digital sound, laser projection capability, automated scenery, live-streaming capabilities and programmable intelligent lighting.

Studio Theater
Our new flexible, black-box space will better serve intimate dramatic productions and boundary-pushing theatrical events. Features include:

  • Easily transformable performance space. New seating technology will allow us to reconfigure the seating and performance spaces more easily. 
  • Increased seating capacity. All configurations will offer additional inventory.
  • Welcoming lobby. Expanded restrooms, an acoustical barrier between performance space and lobby, and a beautiful, fully functioning bar and gathering spaces.

The Herzfeld Education & Engagement Center
A state-of-the-art rehearsal, performance and classroom spaces to serve the 20,000+ students in our in-school, after-school programs as well as our various community initiatives.   

The Sandra and William Haack Grand Lobby. Uniting all three of our performance spaces as well as all of our other public spaces will be a beautifully open and cascading lobby.

The Lubar Family Donor Lounge. A stunning new space with the capacity to serve 125 people as a lounge or event space with private restrooms and bar.

Northwestern Mutual Riverwalk.  Newly reconceptualized, this space will be an attractive space to gather pre- and post-show and for events, receptions and celebrations. 

Rehearsal Halls & Support Functions. Rebuilt to feature three spaces with sound barriers allowing for a wide-variety of work to rehearse at the same time, along with light production capabilities to support public readings, discussions and other events.

World-class production facility. A relocated production shop, housed in a new 35,000 square foot production center to build our 12-15 annual productions. 

» Read the full features of our new Theater Center.

» Browse our Frequently Asked Questions.

» View the Press Coverage.

Join The Campaign Today!

There are many ways to support the Powering Milwaukee Campaign. Several naming opportunities are available including our Studio Theaters, and donations can be paid over up to 5 years and made with appreciated assets like stock.

Private tours and giving discussions can be arranged at your convenience.

To learn how you can support the campaign please contact Chuck Rozewicz, Chief Development Officer at 414-290-0717 or

Building Renderings – Updated July 2023

Click on an image below for a larger view of initial renderings of the Associated Bank Theater Center.

Leadership Gift Donors

As of August 2023, we are nearing $70 million raised toward a $75 million goal. We thank the following supporters for their extraordinary visionary gifts.

  • $10 million from Associated Bank for the Associated Bank Theater Center
  • An undisclosed gift from The Checotas for The Ellen and Joe Checota Powerhouse Theater
  • $5 million from The Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation for The Herzfeld Education & Engagement Center
  • $2.5 million from The Haacks for The Sandra and William Haack Grand Lobby
  • $2 million from We Energies Foundation
  • $1.55 million from The Lubar Family for The Lubar Family Donor Lounge
  • $1.5 million from Northwestern Mutual to name the Riverwalk Entrance

Several other visionary gifts have also been made to the campaign and will be announced soon.

Naming opportunities are still available that can be paid out over the course of five years. Please contact Chuck Rozewicz at 414-290-0717 or for more details.

Founders Circle Donors

Members of the Founders Circle have donated $50,000 or more toward the Powering Milwaukee Campaign. Join them today to help reach our goal of $75 million. Contact Chuck Rozewicz at 414-290-0717 or

Anonymous (3)
Associated Bank
Astor Street Foundation
Bader Philanthropies 
Robert W. Baird
Bob Balderson
George Banda and Lorraine O’Malley
Donna and Donald Baumgartner
Jo Ann and Richard Beightol
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Karen and Mark Bitzan
William and Barbara Boles
Melanie and Steve Booth
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Cheri and Tom Briscoe
Tony and Andrea Bryant
Elaine Burke
Bladen and Julia Burns
Dr. Bruce Camitta
John and Julie Carpenter
Mike Carter
Ellen and Joe Checota 
Jane and Steve Chernof
Joseph and Linda Chlapaty
Croen Foundation, Inc.
Larry and Eileen Dean
Margaret Dethloff and Terri Zeh
Tom and Molly Duffey
Dr. Eric Durant and Scott Swickard
Ralph Evinrude Foundation
Mary Lou M. Findley
Flesch Family Fund
Peter Foote and Robin Wilson
Four-Four Foundation
Jay Franke and David Herro
Rob Gardenier and
    Lori Morse Gardenier Charitable Fund
Peter and Beth Gottsacker
Jason and Diep Graham Charitable Fund

Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Richard Grunke and William Grasch
William and Cheryl Guc
Sandra and William Haack
John J. Halechko and Marc Colletti
Paul and Gloria Halverson
Judy Hansen
John and Susan Harrits
Dr. Carla Hay
Heil Family Foundation
Herb Kohl Philanthropies
Herzfeld Foundation
Howard and Susan Hopwood
Bryan and Rebecca House
Frieda & William Hunt Memorial Trust
Hunzinger Construction Company
Husch Blackwell
Dorothy Inbusch Foundation
Tom Irgens and Christine Culver
Debra and Peter Johnson
Mike and Marie Johnson
Michael and Deborah Kaerek
Patti Keating Kahn and Chuck Kahn
Ted and Mary Kellner
Christine and Patrick Keyes
Judith A. Keyes Family Fund
Krista Kile
David J. Kundert
Laskin Family Foundation, Inc.
Jean and David Lauer
Lubar Family Foundation 
David and Madeleine Lubar
Joan Lubar and John Crouch
Sheldon and Marianne Lubar
Susan Lubar
Dawne and Ray Manista
The Marcus Corporation
Vince Martin and the Martin Family Foundation

Catherine and Tim Mattke
John and Linda Mellowes & Charter Mfg. Co.

James and Mary Jo Mueller
Beth and Greg Myers
David and Abigail Nash
Northwestern Mutual
Chris and Anne Noyes
Greg and Rhonda Oberland
Marlene Ott
Jonathan Panksy and H. Robert Dittmer
Peck Foundation
Anthony Petullo Foundation
Jim Phillips
Melitta S. Pick Charitable Trust
Ann and Warren Pierson
Karen Plunkett and Family
Drs. Alan L. Pohl and Carol C. Pohl
Allen and Pat Rieselbach
Catherine and Buddy Robinson
Gayle Rosemann and Paul McElwee
Mason and Julie Ross
Saints Andrew and Mark Charitable Gift Trust
Meredith and Thomas Scrivner
Ed Seaberg and Patrick Smith
Kathleen H. Seidel
Sue and Bud Selig
Clark and Diane Slipher
Thomas and Iphigenia Smith
Scott and Mary Ellen Stanek
A.J. Star 
Bert L. & Patricia S. Steigleder Charitable Trust
The RA Stevens Foundation
The Streich Family Foundation
Craig and Mara Swan
Christine A. Symchych and James P. McNulty
David and Julia Uihlein
United Performing Arts Fund
Harry and Mary Beth Van Groll
Kent and Marcia Velde
David and Cheryl Walker
We Energies Foundation
Kate and Don Wilson

An All-Star Team Raising Funds

Nearly 100 trustees and community leaders are leading the effort to create our new home, including campaign co-chairs Tammy Belton-Davis, Bill & Sandy Haack, Jeff & Sarah Joerres, and Craig & Mara Swan.

Campaign Co-Chairs

Tammy Belton-Davis
Tammy Belton-Davis
"I am honored to serve as a co-chair for the Powering Milwaukee campaign for Milwaukee Rep, which is so near and dear to my heart. Milwaukee Rep and the people who power it amplify the stories of the rich cultural and human experiences we share on and off the stage. Walking with this team on an immersive equity journey was transformational, and I know that this work will continue to shape the theater's artistry and influence for generations to come."
Bill & Sandy Haack
Bill & Sandy Haack
"We're excited to support Milwaukee Rep's new theater project. Milwaukee Rep has grown to reach over 300,000 people every year and with this growth, new and updated spaces are required for performance, education and community. There is a clear educational benefit for thousands of students each year and this is a generational project that will be serving our community for decades to come. Supporting this project is such a great way to do something meaningful for our city and beyond."
Jeff & Sarah Joerres
Jeff & Sarah Joerres
"We are privileged to be part of the campaign for a new Milwaukee Rep theater. Milwaukee Rep is truly a national gem that strengthens Milwaukee and its downtown vibrancy."
Craig & Mara Swan
Craig & Mara Swan

“Milwaukee Rep’s educational programs are exceptional. Come to Immersion Day and witness our area students discovering the magic of theater.  This is why I became involved as a trustee and why I am pleased to play my part in securing the Milwaukee Rep’s future for generations to come. Talent is the heart beat of a city. The quality of what Milwaukee Rep does to entertain and educate us signals to talent that this is a place where I want to live, work and thrive. Let’s make the greater Milwaukee area’s heartbeat stronger.”

Capital Campaign Cabinet

Sara (Patsy) Aster
Wendy W. Blumenthal
Ginny Bolger
Betsy Brenner
Bladen Burns
Julia Burns
Jane Chernof 
Steve Chernof
Amy Croen
Fred Croen
Frank Gimbel 
Jason Graham
William Guc

Judy Hansen
Andy Harmening
Katie Heil
John Hunzinger
Tom Irgens
John Kordsmeier
Joan Lubar
Vince Martin 
Jim McNulty
Linda Mellowes
Donna Meyer
Dr. Jeanette Mitchell
Rebecca Mitich

Gregory C. Oberland
Tonen O'Connor
Anthony Petullo
James Phillips
Karen Plunkett
Meredith Scrivner
Ed Seaberg
Patrick Smith
Christine Symchych 
Rich Tennessen
Nic Wahl 
Sally Wahl
Peggy Williams-Smith

Milwaukee Rep Board of Trustees and Presidents' Council

Judy Hansen
Adam J. Peck
Kerryann Haase Minton
James Phillips
Bryan House
Melanie Booth
Andres Gonzalez
Joan Lubar
Robert H. Manegold
James Phelps

Ayad Akhtar
Tammy Belton-Davis
Ivor Benjamin
Wendy W. Blumenthal
Julia Burns
Jane Chernof
Marybeth Cottrill
Amy Croen
Robert H. Duffy
Dr. Eric A. Durant
Jay Franke
Jason R. Graham
John Halechko
Christopher Hermann
Tom Irgens
Lynda Johnson
Deborah Kaerek
Michelle Kolp
David Kundert
Dawn Lindsey
Kristine Lueders
Raymond J. Manista
Dr. Jeanette Mitchell
Anne L. Noyes
Joe Pickart
Karen Plunkett
Beth Ridley
Kenneth Robertson
Allison Scrivner
Clark Slipher
Craig Swan
Deborah Tomczyk

Presidents' Council
James E. Braza
Joyce Broan
Judy Hansen
Jacqueline Herd-Barber
Larry Jost
John L. Kordsmeier
Frank Krejci
Susan A. Lueger
Robert H. Manegold
Vincent L. Martin
Patricia Brash McKeithan
Donna Meyer
Gregory C. Oberland
Edward Seaberg
W. Kent Velde

Powering Milwaukee Kick-Off Event

On November 29 Northwestern Mutual hosted the kick-off for our Capital Campaign. Nearly 200 people attended to learn about our future new home.