Milwaukee Repertory Theater Announces 2016/17 Season, Including New “A Christmas Carol”
Tonight, Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman announced Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s 2016/17 Season to a group of The Rep’s subscribers, donors, community leaders, and members of the press.
“The 2016/17 Season is an exciting and eclectic mix of time-honored classics and new plays,” said Artistic Director Mark Clements. “As we continue to create world-class theater that entertains, provokes, and inspires meaningful dialogue, our audiences can expect to see our traditions evolve. An entirely new production of our annual A Christmas Carol comes to life on an unprecedented set in the Pabst Theater. The Quadracci Powerhouse Season once again opens with a beloved musical – this year, we present Man of La Mancha, starring the tremendously talented Nathaniel Stampley. We welcome back one of Chicago’s most renowned actors, Hollis Resnik, who returns to the Quadracci Powerhouse as Amanda in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. We nod to our lineage of new works with a production of Larry Shue’s The Foreigner, and present several plays to be seen by Milwaukee audiences for the very first time: The Royale, Grounded, and a production of Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Disgraced.”
“In planning this season, we wanted to select works that best represent our mission to create positive change through world-class productions that are representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity,” said Managing Director Chad Bauman. “We know that the best plays and musicals in the canon are those which ask important questions while also entertaining, and we crafted the 2016/17 Season with those tenets in mind.”
The Quadracci Powerhouse Season opens once again with a Tony Award-winning musical: Man of La Mancha. Directed by Mark Clements and starring Milwaukee’s own Nathaniel Stampley, this timeless tale continues The Rep’s popular streak of bringing the best of Broadway to Milwaukee. The Foreigner by Larry Shue is featured next on the Powerhouse stage, directed by Rep Associate Artist Laura Gordon. Originally written for The Rep, this beloved romp features two friends on a fishing excursion that becomes as tangled as their fishing lines. The New Year welcomes the second in a series of plays by acclaimed writer and Rep Associate Artist Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced. An unexpected clash of cultures proves cataclysmic when Amir, a successful Pakistani-American lawyer, and his wife host a dinner party. Disgraced is directed by Marcela Lorca. Next on the Powerhouse stage is the American classic that made Tennessee Williams a household name, The Glass Menagerie. Ten-time Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Hollis Resnik returns to The Rep as the fretful Amanda in this revelatory drama about an unraveling family, to be directed by Mark Clements. A not-to-be-missed costume drama closes the Quadracci Powerhouse Season. Jane Eyre, originally produced in the U.K. by Shared Experience Theatre Company, is a taut adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s epic story of a young woman searching for a sense of self. KJ Sanchez directs this production.
The Stackner Cabaret Season opens with Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, back by popular demand. Last performed at The Rep in 2007, this intimate evening captures one of the last performances in the life of jazz and blues phenom Billie Holiday. Next on the Stackner stage and directed by Artistic Associate JC Clementz, I Love a Piano details the musical journey of Irving Berlin through seven decades and more than 50 tunes. As a piano with one sour note passes from owner to owner, hear the history of America through Berlin’s iconic compositions. To coincide with the 100th Anniversary of Marquette University Basketball, The Rep celebrates local legend Al McGuire in a touching portrait of the uncommonly funny and profound coach. McGuire, written by Emmy Award-winner Dick Enberg, takes to the Stackner stage in late January and runs through March Madness. Frank Ferrante, the “greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx’s material” (The New York Times), brings one of the greatest comedians of all time to life in An Evening with Groucho. This mix of slapstick and song opens in the Stackner Cabaret in late March.
The Stiemke Studio Season opens with one of the hottest new plays in the country, The Royale. By award-winning writer Marco Ramirez, part of the team responsible for the hit “Orange Is the New Black,” this play takes its inspiration from the true story of the boxer who broke the color barrier in professional sports. The Royale packs a punch that will leave audiences breathless. In Grounded, the second play of the Stiemke Studio Season, an ace fighter pilot finds herself grounded when life takes an unexpected turn. Directed by Laura Braza, this new play for our times explores what it means to wage war by dropping bombs from a trailer in the desert.
In addition to the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stackner Cabaret, and Stiemke Studio Seasons, Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents its new production of the annual A Christmas Carol in the Pabst Theater. Adapted and directed by Artistic Director Mark Clements, this immersive take on the holiday favorite features the production team that realized recent hits like Dreamgirls and Ragtime, and features brand new musical orchestrations by Associate Artist John Tanner. The festive, family-friendly, ghost story takes place on the largest and most complicated set in Milwaukee Rep’s history.
The yearly Rep Lab, now in its seventh season, once again features The Rep’s Emerging Professional Residents in a series of short plays in the Stiemke Studio.
THE 2016/17 SEASON
Back By Popular Demand
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
September 9 – October 30, 2016
By Lanie Robertson
As the 1950s come to close, the famous Billie Holiday puts on a show in a small dive bar in Philadelphia. Unbeknownst to the audience, they will witness one of the last performances of her extraordinary life. Full of show stopping numbers like “God Bless the Child,” “Strange Fruit,” and “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” Lady Day shares her loves and losses in this award-winning musical fresh from its Broadway revival. Pull up a chair for an intimate evening that’s up close and personal with one of the greatest jazz/blues vocalists of all time!
Tony Award-winning Musical
Man of La Mancha
September 20- October 30, 2016
Written by Dale Wasserman
Music by Mitch Leigh | Lyrics by Joe Darion
Original Production staged by Albert Marre
Originally Produced by Albert W. Selden and Hal James
Directed by Mark Clements
Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, it’s the classic story of Don Quixote retold in one of the most beloved musicals of all time. Imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition, Miguel de Cervantes enlists his fellow inmates to help his defense by telling a tale of a mad knight who believes the wrongs of the world can be corrected as he jousts at windmills with his trusty sidekick Sancho, and his beloved Dulcinea. With beautiful songs like “The Impossible Dream” and “Dulcinea,” this timeless tale of love and adventure continues The Rep’s popular streak of bringing the best of Broadway to the intimate Powerhouse stage.
A Brilliant New Play
September 28 – November 6, 2016
By Marco Ramirez
From the award-winning writer of the hit TV series Orange Is the New Black and Sons of Anarchy comes one of the hottest new plays in the country. It’s 1905. Jay “The Sport” Jackson wants nothing more than to prove he’s the best boxer in the world but in the Jim Crow era, his chances are as good as knocked out. When a crooked boxing promoter hatches a plan for “the fight of the century,” The Sport just might land a place in the ring with the reigning white heavyweight champion. Set in a boxing ring and inspired by the true story of the boxer who broke the color barrier in professional sports, The Royale packs a punch that will leave you breathless.
A Celebration of Irving Berlin
I Love a Piano
November 4, 2016 – January 15, 2017
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Conceived and Written by Ray Roderick & Michael Berkeley
Musical Arrangements by Michael Berkeley
Directed by JC Clementz
As a piano with one sour note passes from owner to owner, it takes the audience on a musical journey through American history told by Irving Berlin’s timeless songs. From Ragtime to the swinging 1920s to the songs that inspired a nation in the Great Depression, I Love a Piano embarks on an exuberant journey of more than 50 Berlin classics such as “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “There’s No Business like Show Business,” “God Bless America” and “White Christmas.” Declared an “unforgettable tribute” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, these songs do more than identify the music of a generation: they define the music of our country.
Back By Popular Demand
November 15 – December 18, 2016
By Larry Shue
Directed by Associate Artist Laura Gordon
When Froggy brings his friend Charlie to a fishing lodge, Charlie is feeling a bit unsociable. Hoping to help his friend, Froggy has the perfect solution—just tell everyone Charlie doesn’t speak English! But things start to go awry when Charlie suddenly finds himself privy to everyone’s secrets, including a plot to take over the lodge. Charlie must “learn” English quickly and think on his feet if he wants to save the lodge and his new friends. Originally written for The Rep, The Foreigner returns for the first time in over a decade after playing to millions worldwide, and becoming one of the most celebrated comedies of all time.
A Pulitzer Prize Winner
January 17 – February 12, 2017
By Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Marcela Lorca
From the most in-demand playwright today, Milwaukee native Ayad Akhtar brings us the play that got everyone talking, winning the 2013 Pulitzer Prize and taking Broadway by storm. Amir, a successful Pakistani-American lawyer, is happy, in love, and about to land a huge promotion. But when he and his wife, a Caucasian artist inspired by Islamic painting, host a dinner party for Amir’s African American co-worker and her Jewish husband, the evening takes an unexpected turn and Amir makes a costly decision. Don’t miss this conversation-starter that will definitely give you something to talk about at the water cooler the next day.
Celebrate A Local Legend
January 20 – March 19, 2017
By Dick Enberg
Few names trigger more memories and smiles in Milwaukee than Al McGuire, Marquette University’s legendary basketball coach. Many know him for leading the Warriors to the NCAA Championship and for his candid television personality, but few knew him like his broadcasting partner—Emmy Award-winner Dick Enberg. Just in time for March Madness, McGuire is a touching portrait of the uncommonly funny and profound man behind the legend.
A New Play For Our Times
February 22 – April 2, 2017
By George Brant
Directed by Laura Braza
An ace fighter pilot finds herself grounded when an unexpected pregnancy puts her career on hold. When she returns to the pilot’s seat, she finds that she’s now part of the “chair force,” flying drones and dropping bombs on enemy combatants in Afghanistan from the comfort of an air conditioned trailer in Las Vegas. In this gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines new play, we find that hunting terrorists by day and being a mother by night may be this top gun’s toughest assignment yet.
A Great American Classic
The Glass Menagerie
March 7 – April 9, 2017
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Mark Clements
Faded southern belle Amanda frets constantly over her two live-in adult children—the painfully shy Laura and her restless poet brother, Tom. After great prodding, Tom brings home a possible suitor for Laura, but an unknown truth causes shockwaves in the family unraveling the delicate fantasies that keep them going. Director Mark Clements reunites with 10-time Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Hollis Resnik, who wowed Rep audiences as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow, for a new production of this American classic that made Tennessee Williams a household name.
One of the Greatest Comedians
An Evening with Groucho
March 24 – May 28, 2017
Written and Performed by Frank Ferrante
Deemed the “greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx’s material” by The New York Times, Frank Ferrante brings his acclaimed production as seen on PBS and in New York to Milwaukee! This fast paced 90 minutes of hilarity features the best Groucho one-liners and songs including “Hooray For Captain Spalding,” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.” And don’t be shy – you might find yourself part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs throughout the performance in grand Groucho style. Called “nothing short of masterful” by the Chicago Tribune, come prepared to be entertained by the true master of comedy.
A Costume Drama Not To Be Missed
April 25 – May 21, 2017
By Charlotte Brontë
Adapted by Polly Teale
Originally produced by Shared Experience Theatre Company
Directed by KJ Sanchez
From the award-winning Shared Experience Theatre Company in the U.K. comes this engaging adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s epic story of a spirited young woman in a man’s world searching for a sense of self. Orphaned Jane overcomes a rough start in life to become an accomplished governess at the mysterious home of Mr. Rochester. Passions grow between them when a secret is revealed, threatening Jane’s hopes for the future. Told by eight actors playing more than 20 roles, The New York Times raved that “this Jane Eyre provides a bite…think of it as Brontë unbuttoned.”
Programming, cast, dates, and prices are subject to change. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Grounded and The Glass Menagerie (Acting Edition) are presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, Inc.
Off –Subscription Programming
A Christmas Carol
November 29 – December 24, 2016
By Charles Dickens
Adapted and Directed by Mark Clements
Don’t miss the wonderment and joy of a brand new A Christmas Carol. Featuring the same traditional story with your favorite characters, The Rep is excited to present a new, family friendly adaptation written by Artistic Director Mark Clements. You will be transported back to the heart of Victorian London for a magical immersive experience on the biggest and most elaborate set The Rep has ever created. Join Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge in this holiday classic the whole family will love!
April 13-17, 2017
Join us for a night of laughter and tears at this year’s Rep Lab! Directed and performed by The Rep’s Emerging Professional Residents, this critically-acclaimed short-play festival offers something for everyone. See it all—drama, comedy, and everything in between—in this one-of-a-kind theatergoing experience.
The Rep is sponsored in part by the United Performing Arts Fund.
Subscriptions will be available for renewing and new subscribers beginning Tuesday, February 16. Subscription prices for the 2016/17 Season range from $99 – $502. Packages available are the Ultimate 11-play package which includes the entire season spanning all three of The Rep’s performance spaces; Quadracci Powerhouse/Stackner 9-play package; Quadracci Powerhouse/Stiemke Studio 7-play package; Quadracci Powerhouse 5-play package; Stackner Cabaret 4-Play package as well as a Create Your Own Season package and Flex Passes. For additional information on subscription offerings, please contact The Rep’s Ticket Office at 414-224-9490 or visit www.MilwaukeeRep.com.
About Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Milwaukee Rep is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works and full-scale musicals housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep
also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol, celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2015, at the historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater ignites positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity.