Theatre Fest ’21

Theatre Fest ’21 is a 6-week celebration April 7–May 19. Our innovative performances, creative design, and heartwarming moments all my be accessed via the internet through live and on-demand streaming. 

Please join us as we celebrate our collective workaday lives and delve into contemporary issues such as gender-plasticity, resistance vs. compliance, fact vs. fiction, social hazing, and the responsibilities we face in this free, pluralistic, and democratic society.

The Day the Music Came Back (Theatre Fest ’21)

Theatre Fest ’21 kicks off with The Day the Music Came Backwritten by our resident playwright Associate Professor Alvaro Saar Rios, imagines a dystopian world where a group of teens must decide whether to risk their lives to listen to music.

* There will also be talkbacks with the creative team and cast scheduled during these weeks via Zoom—stay tuned for more information on these as we confirm schedules. First one will be Sunday, April 11 at 2pm (Zoom link listed below).

SHOW ON-DEMAND STREAMING DATES
April 7 – 13 & May 13 – 19, 2021

SINGLE ON-DEMAND STREAMING PRICES
General – $18
Students (with ID) – $7

Get Tickets (On-Demand)

THEATRE FEST ’21 ON-DEMAND STREAMING DATES
April 7- May 19, 2021

THEATRE FEST ’21 PACKAGE ON-DEMAND PRICE
Festival Flex Pass (3 shows or build-your-own-bundle, not including Working): $42

Get Package (On-Demand)

ZOOM LINK FOR TALKBACK
April 11, 2021 @ 2:00pm: https://uwm-edu.zoom.us/j/83720181463?pwd=aldTdzMxam9LSWdKRkwrbUtrRElDdz09

Meeting ID: 837 2018 1463
Passcode: 840593
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Meeting ID: 837 2018 1463
Find your local number: https://uwm-edu.zoom.us/u/kb2p0iUVLX

WORKING: A Musical (Theatre Fest ’21)

Theatre Fest ’21 continues with Working: A Musical (Concert Version).

Working is based on real-life stories collected by Studs Terkel and includes songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, James Taylor, and Micki Grant. Our concert version is a testament to strength, tenacity, and pride of the people who keep America running.  

SHOW STREAMING DATES & TIMES
April 14 – 17, April 19 – 20, May 13 – 15, May 17 – 19, 2021 @ 7:30pm
April 18 & May 16, 2021 @ 2:00pm

SINGLE ON-DEMAND STREAMING PRICES
General – $18
Students – $7

Get Tickets (On-Demand)

THEATRE FEST ’21 ON-DEMAND STREAMING DATES
April 7- May 19, 2021

THEATRE FEST ’21 PACKAGE ON-DEMAND PRICE
Festival Flex Pass (3 shows or build-your-own-bundle, not including Working): $42

Get Package (On-Demand)


Working: A Musical

  • 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, James Taylor
  • With additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg

WORKING-2012 Revised Version is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com

Songs of Work & Protest (Theatre Fest ’21)

Theatre Fest ’21 continues with Songs of Work & Protestan ensemble piece combining song, dance, and story. This presentation is crafted by students, and explores how work and song connect and express the class struggle.

SHOW STREAMING DATES & TIMES
April 21 – 24, April 26 – 27, May 13 – 15, May 17 – 19, 2021 @ 7:30 PM
April 25 & May 16, 2021 @ 2:00 PM

SINGLE STREAMING PRICES
General – $18

Students (with ID) – $7

Get Tickets (On-Demand)

THEATRE FEST ’21 ON-DEMAND STREAMING DATES

April 7- May 19, 2021

THEATRE FEST ’21 PACKAGE ON-DEMAND PRICE
Festival Flex Pass (3 shows or build-your-own-bundle, not including Working): $42

Get Package (On-Demand)

 

Playboy of the Western World (Theatre Fest ’21)

Playboy of the Western World is our fourth (of five) productions in Theatre Fest ’21. We have reimagined this classic as an old-time radio drama.  Our Playboy is a tour de force of sound engineering and voice-acting. Listen as we dive into J.M. Synge’s dark, deeply humorous 1907 masterpiece and follow the rise and fall of Christy Mahon, who earns the adoration—then scorn—of a village when he recites the wild and scandalous tale of his father’s murder.

COMPLETE SERIES of EPISODES LISTENING DATES
April 28 – May 19, 2021

PRICES

Free Performance

THEATRE FEST ’21 ON-DEMAND STREAMING DATES
April 7- May 19, 2021

THEATRE FEST ’21 PACKAGE ON-DEMAND PRICE
Festival Flex Pass (3 shows or build-your-own-bundle, not including Working): $42

Get Package (On-Demand)

Twelfth Night

We close Theatre Fest ’21 with Twelfth Night

From our Mainstage Theatre, we transplant Shakespeare’s romantic comedy to the wild high society of 1920’s London and transformed into a powerfully-funny, gender-bending exposé of social bullying, elitism, lust, and personal desire. View this production as either a live-streamed event or as video-on-demand.

SHOW LIVE STREAM DATES
May 5 & May 6, 2021 @ 7:30 PM

SINGLE LIVE STREAM PRICES
General – $18
Students (with ID) – $7

Get Tickets (Live Stream)

SHOW ON-DEMAND STREAMING DATES
May 7 – May 19, 2021

SINGLE ON-DEMAND STREAMING PRICES
General – $18
Students (with ID) – $7

Get Tickets (On-Demand)

THEATRE FEST ’21 ON-DEMAND STREAMING DATES
April 7- May 19, 2021

THEATRE FEST ’21 PACKAGE ON-DEMAND PRICE
Festival Flex Pass (3 shows or build-your-own-bundle, not including Working): $42

Get Package (On-Demand)

Past Performances

Fall 2020 Performances

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Written by Bertolt Brecht
Translated and Adapted by Bruce Norris
Directed by Ralph Janes

October 14 – 18, 2020 | Mainstage Theatre
Experience what happens when a small-time mobster with ruthless ambition takes control of the gangster underworld in 1930s Chicago. Witness how Arturo Ui’s arrogance and self-importance have a savage effect—matching the rise of Nazism in Germany during the 1920s. This potent and timely satire, is, according to Brecht, not a play about Hitler, but rather a cautionary tale of “the complacency of the people who were able to resist him, but didn’t.”

2019-20 Theatre Season

Our 2019-2020 theatre season examined the devastation that war and gender politics has on our desire for connection and intimacy. From the Trojan War and the Battle of Toro to Vietnam—from the gangster culture of the Prohibition to our current humanitarian crisis of refugees and human trafficking, we explore what it takes to stay alive—to survive—and challenge authority.

We offered a range of plays that portray the rich diversity of playwriting throughout the centuries including dramas by Churchill, Ruhl, Lauro and Gooch, as well as a devised piece that echoes and explores de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna. Here on our stages is desire, rage, motherhood, grief, shame, intimacy, love, and joy.”

Fen

Written by Caryl Churchill, 1983
Directed by Ralph Janes

October 23 – 27, 2019 | Kenilworth 508
Residents of England’s bleak coastal fens are cramped by grinding labor and economic oppression. Brief, fiercely resonant scenes depict – with powerful humanity – the desolate lives of these men and women.

In the Next Room

Written by Sarah Ruhl, 2009
Directed by Rebecca Holderness

November 6 – 10, 2019 | Mainstage Theatre
A marvelously moving story about a young couple, Dr. and Mrs. Givings. Givings is obsessed with new electrical technology and what it can do for his patients. Meanwhile, his wife listens through a door as he treats his mostly female patients. “Room” becomes a journey of new connections between spouses, mother and child, artist and mode.

A Piece of My Heart

Written by Shirley Lauro, 1991
Directed by Jim Tasse

December 4 – 8, 2019 | Kenilworth 508
The true stories of six courageous women deployed to Vietnam and their struggle to make sense of a war that irrevocably changed them and a nation that shunned them. A work with the music and soul of a tumultuous era in our history.

Female Transport

Written by Steve Gooch, 1972
Directed by Bill Watson

February 26 – March 1, 2020 | Kenilworth 508
This stark, hard hitting drama is an account of the political education of six women convicted of petty crimes in nineteenth century London and then sentenced to hard labor in Britain’s penal colony (present day Australia).

Trojan Women

Written by Euripides, 415 BC
Directed by Marti Gobel

March 4 – 8, 2020 | Mainstage Theatre
A harrowing look at war through the loss and suffering experienced by women captured and enslaved during conflict, Trojan Women is a stark reminder that the devastation of war continues long after the battles end. This Greek tragedy remains one of the best anti-war plays ever written.

Bonnie & Clyde

Music by Wildhorn, Lyrics by Black, Book by Menchell, 2009
Directed by Sheri Williams Pannell

April 29 – May 3, 2020 | Mainstage Theatre
Bonnie and Clyde went from small-town nobodies to Depression-era folk heroes and Texas law enforcement’s worst nightmare. Fearless, shameless and alluring, Tony-nominated Bonnie & Clyde documents the love story/crime spree of two home grown terrorists who captured America’s attention.

2018-19 Theatre Season

Red Velvet

Written by Lolita Chakrabarti
Directed by Bill Watson

October 17–21, 2018 | Kenilworth 508
Amidst the social uproar of England’s debate to end slavery, an African-American actor performed Shakespeare’s Othello on the professional stage for the first time, sending shock waves through 19th century Britain. The true story of Ira Aldridge, Red Velvet is an exciting journey exploring issues of racism, sexism and the responsibility of art in the face of social change.

Cymbeline

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Rebecca Holderness

November 7–11, 2018 | Kenilworth 508
A new take on this rarely performed Shakespearean romance and comedy puts women in the seats of power and takes an unflinching look at the things people do for love, dominance and forgiveness when facing the threat of war.

The Tempest

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Michael Cotey

November 14–18, 2018 | Mainstage Theatre
The players are all met, the stage is set, and Prospero is being cued for his grand entrance to meet his enemies who have been washed ashore on the strange and fantastical island he rules over. Now, with power beyond imagination at his fingertips, Prospero must choose which story will truly set him free: one that ends in revenge he craves or one that ends in forgiveness.

Broken Hallelujah

Written by Sharman Macdonald
Directed by Ralph Janes

February 27–March 3, 2019 | Kenilworth 508
Originally commissioned by ACT’s Young Conservatory New Plays Program, Macdonald’s one act in 2 settings reflects what happens when young people in the process of creating themselves, are simultaneously tasked with the creation of their country.

All My Sons

Written by Arthur Miller
Directed by Jim Tasse

March 6–10, 2019 | Mainstage Theatre
Winner of the Drama Critics’ Award for Best New Play in 1947, All My Sons established Arthur Miller as a leading voice in the American theater. All My Sons introduced themes that thread through Miller’s work as a whole: the relationships between fathers and sons, the conflict between business and personal ethics, and the haunting reminder that the past is not dead. It’s not even past.

INVADER? I Hardly Know Her!

Book, Music, & Lyrics by Jason Powell
Directed by Malkia Stampley with Choreography by Darci Wutz

April 24–28, 2019 | Kenilworth 508
Take one clueless groom, an alien disguised as his bride, a few secret agents, and throw in more aliens (and a few surprises) and you end up with an incredibly funny musical romp! This comic space-pop-opera had it’s world premiere in Milwaukee (2009) and subsequently a successful run at the New York Fringe Festival (2010).

The Children’s Hour

Written by Lillian Hellman
Directed by Raeleen McMillion

May 1–5, 2019 | Mainstage Theatre
What is the price of a lie? Set in a prestigious boarding school for girls, a disgruntled and privileged student accuses the two headmistresses of having an affair, setting in motion a careening path of total destruction.

2017-18 Theatre Season

26 Miles

Written by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Directed by Nabra Nelson

Nov 8–12 | Kenilworth 508
Estranged for eight years following a custody battle, Beatriz and her daughter Olivia head west on a cross-country road trip.

Major Barbara

Written by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Rebecca Holderness

Dec 6–10 | Arts Center Gallery
An opinionated and political daughter is at heads with her pragmatic, traditionalist father in this satirical drama.

Stupid F**king Bird

Written by Aaron Posner
Directed by Jim Tasse

Feb 28–Mar 4 | Kenilworth 508
A very funny, irreverent retelling of Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” by award-winning playwright Aaron Posner.

12 Ophelias

Written by Caridad Svich
Directed by Bill Watson

Mar 7–11 | Mainstage Theatre
Ophelia rises from her watery grave and finds herself reunited with Hamlet in a hard-knocks Appalachian community.

Book of Days

Written by Lanford Wilson
Directed by Raeleen McMillion

Apr 18–22 | Kenilworth 508
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson compels us to examine the cultural ideals of small town life.

9 to 5 the Musical

Written by Patricia Resnick
Directed by Tony Horne

May 2–6 | Mainstage
Three female office workers plot revenge against their “sexist-egotistical-lying-hypocritical-bigot” boss.