MILWAUKEE REP Adds To Its Artistic Family

Artists. This new creative initiative will build upon the indelible legacy of The Rep’s Acting Company, expanding to include directors, writers, designers and musicians and actors, all of whom will be called Milwaukee Repertory Theater Associate Artists.

The 19 Associate Artists will include all six of the most recent Rep Acting Company members – Jonathan Gillard Daly, Lee E. Ernst, Laura Gordon, Gerard Neugent, James Pickering and Deborah Staples – as well as Rep veterans: May Adrales (Director); Timothy Douglas (Director); Angela Iannone (Actor); Todd Edward Ivins (Scenic and Costume Designer); Dan Kazemi (Composer/Musician); Marc Kudisch(Actor/Producer); Reese Madigan (Actor); Jeff Nellis (Lighting Designer); Aaron Posner (Director); Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Designer); Eric Simonson (Actor/Director/Playwright); Lindsay Smiling (Actor) and John Tanner (Composer/Musician).

“Over the past two years, as we have presented more diverse and innovative productions, we’ve needed to expand our core artistic family,” said Artistic Director Mark Clements. “Almost all of these artists’ work has been seen on our stages in recent years and we felt it was time to formalize their association with The Rep. I’m tremendously excited about the energy and talent these Artists have already brought to Milwaukee Rep helping us to bring extraordinary live theater to our audiences.” Associate Artists will begin their tenures with the start of the 2012/13 Season.

The 2011/12 season was filled with many notable achievements for Milwaukee Repertory Theater and its new Associate Artists. The regional premiere of Lombardi by Wisconsin playwright Eric Simonson became the biggest box office seller in The Rep’s history with over a million dollars in ticket sales featuring Lee E. Ernstand Angela Iannone; The Rep’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird directed by Aaron Posner, and featuringDeborah Staples, James Pickering, Jon Daly and Lee E. Ernst, broke all-time attendance records at over 32,800 and the Big Read community engagement program around the production reached over 500,000 people in the metro-Milwaukee area. The critically-acclaimed production of Yellowman directed by May Adralesopened an honest and fruitful discussion with Rep audiences and Milwaukee’s African-American community; and audiences enthusiastically responded to the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal,Scenic Design by Todd Edward Ivins, Lighting Design by Jeff Nellis and Music Direction by Dan Kazemi, during the holiday season, affirming The Rep’s commitment to produce full-scale musicals. The Rep also returned to Shakespeare with Mark Clements’ motorcycle gang themed Othello featuring Lindsay Smiling,Reese Madigan and Gerard Neugent with Scenic and Costume Designs by Todd Edward Ivins and Lighting Design by Jeff Nellis.

“The Rep has long been committed to a core group of artists. Building upon the strong foundation of excellence that was fostered by a Resident Acting Company, this new ensemble of established and emerging theater artists will continue The Rep’s commitment to giving voice to a broad spectrum of cultural, educational and community experiences that serve and reflect the diversity of perspectives found in this region,” says Rep Board President Judy Hansen.

Associate Artists will help participate and advise on choosing plays The Rep produces as well as other initiatives. They will contribute to the work seen on all Rep stages, read scripts, engage in education projects, mentor the staff, participate in monthly Artistic Staff meetings when possible, attend an annual retreat and serve as advocates for The Rep in their home communities across the nation.

For additional information about this unique and diverse group of artists and to read in their own words what being part of this initiative means to them, please visit The Rep’s website at Also look for a new section of the website called “Ask Mark.” On this page, visitors will have the ability to ask Mark Clements questions and send him messages directly so that he can address any questions patrons may have about The Rep.

Associate Artists

May Adrales (Director) previously directed The Rep’s production of Yellowman. She has developed and directed work at Goodman Theatre, The Public Theater, Roundabout Theater, Second Stage Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, Primary Stages, Williamstown Theater Festival, Partial Comfort Productions and Long Wharf Theatre. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow, Women’s Project Lab Director, SoHo Rep Writers/Directors Lab and NYTW directing fellow alum, and recipient of the TCG New Generations Grant, Denham Fellowship and Paul Green Directing Award. MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Jonathan Gillard Daly (Actor) joined The Rep’s Resident Acting Company in 1998 and since then has appeared in over 20 productions. A founding member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival, he has also been a member of resident companies at Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival and PCPA Theaterfest Company. Also a published playwright, his musical memoir The Daly News has been performed around the country and his new play, To the Promised Land, will be produced by First Stage Children’s Theater next year.
Timothy Douglas (Director) is a theater director, actor, writer and educator who began his association with Milwaukee Rep as an actor during the 1989/90 season. In addition, he directed The Rep’s productions of Gem of the Ocean, The Night is a Child, Trouble In Mind and Radio Golf. Timothy directed the Off-Broadway production of Bronte for the Alloy Theatre Company. He recently served as Artistic Director of Chicago’s Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. Timothy is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College and Yale School of Drama.
Lee E. Ernst (Actor) received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theater Training Program. He is an original company member at American Players Theatre, where he spent the greater part of 20 seasons. Lee joined The Rep’s Resident Acting Company in 1993 and has appeared in over 100 roles. He has been honored with AriZoni, and Shepherd-Express, Best Actor awards and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters “Minerva Laureate” and was also an inaugural Lunt-Fontanne Fellow.
Laura Gordon (Actor/Director) first began working at Milwaukee Rep in 1993. As an actress there, she has appeared in over 75 productions. As a director, her credits at The Rep include In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Speaking in Tongues, Laurel & Hardy and Almost, Maine, among others. Additional directing credits include: American Players Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks and Forward Theatre. She received a Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship in 2010.
Angela Iannone (Actor) first appeared at The Rep in 1994. Recent roles include: Always . . . Patsy Cline, Cabaret, the regional premiere of Lombardi and the world premiere of Work Song. She has been seen on stages throughout Milwaukee and Chicago. Her recent play, The Edwin Booth Company Presents, premiered at UW-Whitewater and will next be heard at The Players Club in New York City, the home of Edwin Booth. She is a faculty member at UW-Whitewater. Angela is a Joseph Jefferson Award winner and three-time “Best of Milwaukee” winner.
Todd Edward Ivins (Scenic and Costume Designer) received his BFA in Theatre Design and Production at Miama University. He spent three successful years at the Santa Fe Opera and then received his MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Missouri. He has been a trusted member of many Broadway design teams. Ivins’ scenic designs have been seen at The Walnut Street Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle), Milwaukee Rep, Theatre Row (NYC), Prince Music Theater (Philadelphia), Jewish Repertory Theater (NYC), amongst others.
Dan Kazemi (Composer/Musician) is a composer, actor, orchestrator, music director and educator. Dan’s original music has been performed at the World Festival of the Circus of Tomorrow in Paris, at the A.W.A.R.D. Show Philadelphia and in 213 Productions collaborations. Dan has helped with The Rep’s new musical programming with recent productions of Always . . .Patsy Cline, Next to Normal and Cabaret and will musically direct this season’sAssassins and Blues in the Night. Dan is also composer of a promising, hilarious new musical The Tapioca Miracle.
Marc Kudisch (Actor), an accomplished stage and TV actor, was most recently seen at Second Stage and Lincoln Center. He garnered critical acclaim, as well as his third Tony and fourth Drama Desk Award nominations, in his most recent Broadway stint in the Broadway musical 9 to 5. He has extensive New York and regional theater credits. Television and film credits include Break-In, Bye Bye Birdie, guest appearances on Sex in the City and David Letterman, and recurring roles on All My Children and Loving.
Reese Madigan (Actor) began his acting career 22 years ago. His association with Milwaukee Rep began in the fall of 1999, when he played Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Since then he’s appeared in many roles with The Rep. Reese starred in the cult martial arts film, American Shaolin, and has appeared inPrison Break, Canterbury’s Law, All My Children, and As The World Turns on television. He is a proud graduate of SUNY Purchase where he received the President’s award for Achievement in Theatre Arts and Film.
Jeff Nellis’ (Lighting Designer) designs at Milwaukee Rep include: Othello, Next to Normal, Cabaret, Bombshells and Death of a Salesman. He has designed productions both on and Off-Broadway as well as theaters around the country including Center Stage Theatre, Alley Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Bay Street Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westport Country Playhouse and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, among others.
Gerard Neugent (Actor) just completed his tenth season with The Rep and sixth as Resident Acting Company Member. He most recently appeared in The Rep’s production of Othello, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged)and Lombardi. Other productions include Death of a Salesman, The 39 Steps, Laurel and Hardy, Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak, Almost, Maine and The Government Inspector. Gerry is a proud Marquette grad who lives in Milwaukee with his wife, Kate, and their two sons, Gerry and Peter.
James Pickering (Actor) recently concluded his 38th season as a Rep Resident Acting Company member. Notable credits include The Seafarer, Copenhagen and Glengarry Glen Ross. Last winter he gave his 450th performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in The Rep’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. He and his late wife, Rose, were named Outstanding Artists by the Milwaukee Arts Board in 2001. He is a voice-over talent as well, his most notable work being the narration of the Emmy Award-winning The Making of Milwaukee for PBS.
Aaron Posner (Director) is a freelance director, playwright and teacher and an Artistic Associate of the Folger Theatre. He is a founding Artistic Director of Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company and has directed over 100 productions at major regional theatres. His adaptations include Sometimes A Great Notion, Mark Twain’s A Murder, A Mystery & A Marriage and Chaim Potok’s novels The Chosen and My Name Is Asher Lev. Aaron is an Eisenhower Fellow, went to Northwestern University, is from Eugene, Oregon, and currently lives in Maryland with his wife, Erin Weaver, and his daughter, Maisie.
Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Designer), an award-winning scenic designer, received the 2008 Tony Award for August: Osage County and a 2011 Tony Award nomination for The Motherfu**er with the Hat. He designs on Broadway and at regional theaters across the country and abroad including: The National Theatre (London), Sydney Theatre Company (Australia), Manhattan Theatre Club, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, The Guthrie and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among many others. Associate professor, Northwestern University. Graduate, Yale School of Drama.
Eric Simonson (Director/Playwright), an award-winning director and playwright, has written plays and adaptations for Steppenwolf Theatre Company includingNomathemba Carter’s Way and, most recently, Honest and Fake. Other plays include The Last Hurrah, Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright (with Jeffrey Hatcher), Edge of the World, Lombardi: The Only Thing and Speak American. His work has been produced in Japan and throughout the United States. Mr. Simonson is the recipient of the Princess Grace Statue Award for sustained artistic achievement, and City Theatre’s Frankel Award.
Lindsay Smiling (Actor) recently appeared in The Rep’s production of Othello. Other credits include Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Dorset Theatre Festival, Off Broadway, Two River Theatre Company, Wilma Theater Shakespeare on the Sound and Walnut Street Theater, among others. Lindsay received a Joseph Jefferson nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in 2010 for his many character portrayals in Blue Door (Victory Gardens). Film/TV credits include Hack, As the World Turns, The Daily Grind and Brother.
Deborah Staples (Actor) came to Milwaukee to be a Rep acting intern. Her career first began in Chicago and she has worked at many regional theaters since. Deborah relocated back to Milwaukee when she became a Rep Resident Acting Company Member and has been with The Rep for 16 seasons and has performed in over 50 productions. She just completed a very successful run ofThe Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead for Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe, IL. Films include Baraboo and Waterwalk. Deborah is a commercial and voice-over talent as well as the mother of two fabulous girls.
John Tanner (Composer/Musician) is a composer, sound designer and one of the Principals of Tanner-Monagle Inc., a video and audio production and post-production house in Milwaukee, WI. His experience covers a broad range of work in scoring, arranging and music composition for television, documentaries, radio, industrial video and theater. His music has won numerous awards. Projects include scores for NBC, ABC, Lion’s Gate and PBS. He has written original scores and designed sound.

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