Building A New Home!
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.
In the fall of 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.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ASSOCIATED BANK THEATER CENTER
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.
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.
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.
Join The Campaign Today!
There are many ways to support the Powering Milwaukee Campaign. Several naming opportunities are available including our Mainstage and 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.