From backstage to center stage, front of house or in front of a classroom, our public performances are a vehicle for training students in every aspect of theatre. They are also a source of high-quality live entertainment for our campus and community. Explore our upcoming performances or take a look at recent productions.

In the 2023-2024 season, the Department of Theatre presents a pair of jewels from the American Musical Theatre Canon composed by the first family of Broadway, Richard Rogers and his daughter Mary; three plays that take you on an extended journey across the misty moors of the British Isles; and an exploration of the complexities and cultural clashes of the contemporary high school classroom. A new play festival rounds out the season with a fresh collection of original, short dramatic works.

Upcoming Events

2023-2024 Theatre Season


Theatre Calendar Placeholders State Fair

October 11, 2023–October 15, 2023

State Fair

A seldom-produced gem from Rodgers and Hammerstein, this sparkling musical stands out as their sole work initially crafted for film and subsequently adapted for the stage in 1992. The storyline traces the Frake family's journey from their family farm to the 1946 Iowa State Fair. Reminiscent of Thornton Wilder's masterpiece Our Town, the Tony Award-winning State Fair follows siblings Margy and Wayne coming of age on the midway, finding love, heartbreak and deeper life lessons that they will carry with them long after the fair closes.


November 1, 2023–November 5, 2023

The Moors

On the desolate English moors, two sisters and a dog pass their days dreaming of love and power. However, when a hapless governess and a moor-hen appear, the trio's lives take a strange and dangerous turn. A new contemporary classic sweeping stages across the country, The Moors is a wild, romantic, vicious and frighteningly funny black comedy that pitches camp in the dark romantic world of 1840s England, then increasingly blows that world apart in a genre-busting mix of Gothic revenge, existential philosophy and quantum physics.


Theatre Performance Macbeth Promo Image

December 6, 2023–December 10, 2023

Macbeth

The UWM Theatre Department's second stop on their journey across the mysterious moors of Britain takes us to Scotland with Shakespeare's dark masterpiece and gothic love story gone awry, Macbeth. Combining elements of a ghost story, a horror movie, and a revenge tragedy, this Western Art landmark invokes the supernatural and the deeply psychological as it navigates the collapse of a power couple's souls into darkness, ravaged by the malignant rot of the ultimate sin of murder. Highly theatrical, hard-hitting, and fast-paced, this production showcases some of Shakespeare's most stunning poetry and a love story for the ages – the dark ages.


PSOA_Theatre Performance You on the Moors Now 2024 Promo Image

March 6–March 10

You on the Moors Now

The UWM Theatre Department's exploration of the moors culminates with an imagined reunion of 19th-century heroines from Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Little Women. Only this time around, these heroines resolutely decline the advances of their famous suitors and grapple with the challenge of reconciling historical romantic ideals with their contemporary perspectives on courtship. This clever play offers an empowering perspective on a group of women who not only reject their passionate suitors but also defy the conventions and societal norms expected of them.


Theatre Performance Pipeline Promo Image

April 3–April 7

Pipeline

Compassionate and lyrical, Pipeline brings an urgent, powerful conversation to the intimacy of the Kenilworth Five-0-Eight stage. Written by Dominique Morisseau, one of America’s most thoughtful and widely produced contemporary playwrights, Pipeline raises challenging questions about race, class, parental responsibility and the state of American education in a profoundly moving story of a mother's struggle to secure a brighter future for her son while remaining loyal to the community that molded him.


Theatre Calendar Placeholders Short Play Festival

April 17–April 21

New Dramaworks Short Play Festival

Bold, funny, moving, provocative, original and fresh! View the world we’re living in today through the eyes of some of the newest emerging voices in the American Theatre. The premiere of what will be an ongoing feature of the Theatre Department season, this New Dramaworks series celebrates a collection of original, short dramatic work by UWM students and others that stimulates the imagination and prompts deep conversations.


Theatre Calendar Placeholders Mattress

April 24–April 28

Once Upon a Mattress

Once Upon a Mattress, a comic masterpiece based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, propelled Carol Burnett to stardom as Winnifred the Woebegone, a simple swamp princess hoping to win the hand of the prince despite all odds. This hilariously wacky romp is filled with witty, charming, and wonderfully romantic songs and dance numbers composed by Mary Rodgers. It serves as a delightful bookend to a season that began with a neglected gem by her father, Richard Rodgers.

Past Performances


2022-2023 Theatre Season

mystery of edwin drood promo image
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
October 19–23, 2022
Mainstage Theatre
Written by Rupert Holmes
Directed by Bill Watson
The Sparrow Promo Image
The Sparrow
November, 2–6, 2022
Kenilworth Five-0-Eight
Written by Chris Mathews, Jake Minton, Nathan Allen
Directed by Marcella M. Kearns
piggsville promo image
Piggsville | A New Dramaworks Production
December 7–11, 2022
Mainstage Theatre
Written by Alvaro Saar Rios
Directed by Sheri Williams Pannell
All Night Strut Promo Image
All Night Strut
March 8–12, 2023
Mainstage Theatre
Conceived by Aaron Thielen, Marc Robin
Directed by Steve Decker
sweat promo image
Sweat
April 19–23, 2023
Kenilworth Five-0-Eight
Written by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Ralph Janes
Rivals Promo Image
The Rivals
May 3–7, 2023
Mainstage Theatre
Written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Directed by Bill Watson

2021-2022 Theatre Season

Street Signs
Street Signs
October 20–24 and 29–30, 2021
Mainstage Theatre
Written and Directed by Steven Decker and Sheri Williams Pannell
Hamlet
Hamlet
November, 17–21, 2021
Mainstage Theatre
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Bill Watson
This is Modern Art
This is Modern Art
March 9–13, 2022
Kenilworth Five-0-Eight
Written by Kevin Coval & Idris Goodwin
Directed by Katie Avila Loughmiller
Prince Of Denmark
Prince of Denmark
April 6–10, 2022
Kenilworth Five-0-Eight
Written by Michael Lesslie
Directed by Ralph Janes
The Laramie Project
April 20–24, 2022
Kenilworth Five-0-Eight
By Moisés Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Jim Tasse
UWM Into the Woods Highlights
Into the Woods
May 4–8, 2022
Mainstage Theatre
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by James Lapine
Directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

2020-2021 Theatre Season

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui
October 14–18, 2020
Mainstage Theatre
Written by Bertolt Brecht; Translated and Adapted by Bruce Norris
Directed by Ralph Janes
Day the Music Came Back
The Day the Music Came Back
April 7–13, 2021
Streaming
Written by Alvaro Saar Rios
Directed by Katie Avila Loughmiller
Working: A Musical Promo Image
WORKING: A Musical
April 21–27, 2021
Streaming
From the book by Studs Terkel; Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso; Songs by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz, and James Taylor
Directed by Raeleen McMillion
Songs of Work and Protest
Songs of Work and Protest
April 7–13, 2021
Streaming
Directed by Sheri Williams Pannell
Playboy of the Western World promo image
Playboy of the Western World
April 28–May 19, 2021
Streaming
Written by J.M. Synge
Directed by Jim Tasse
Twelfth Night Promo Image
Twelfth Night
May 5–19, 2021
Streaming
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Bill Watson