Milwaukee Repertory Theater

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Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Patty & Jay Baker Theater Complex
Milwaukee Repertory Theater.jpg
Address 108 E Wells Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
Type Regional theatre
Capacity Quadracci Powerhouse Theater: 720
Stiemke Theater: 218
Stackner Cabaret: 118
Opened 1954
Reopened 1987 (current location)

Milwaukee Repertory Theater ("Milwaukee Rep") was founded by Mary Widrig John, as the Fred Miller Theatre Company. The current power plant-converted location houses the 720-seat Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, the 205-seat Stiemke Theater, and the 124-seat Stackner Cabaret.


After being established as the Fred Miller Theatre Company, the name was changed to the Milwaukee Repertory Theater in the late 1950s, to reflect its growing catalogue of classic and contemporary plays, and a commitment to develop the resident acting community. In 1968, it moved from its original space—the Fred Miller Theatre, on Oakland Ave.—to the Todd Wehr Theater at the Performing Art Center in downtown Milwaukee. In 1974, a small warehouse was converted into the experimental Court Street Theater, which served as a laboratory for creative exploration and a testing ground for new playwrights. The Milwaukee Repertory Theater moved to its current location in 1987 and closed its Court Street operations. The theater is now located on the east bank of the Milwaukee River in the Patty and Jay Baker Theater Complex at 108 E Wells St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1]

Milwaukee Repertory Theater is dedicated to presenting new playwrights, reliving classics, and commissioning translations of classic and contemporary foreign playwrights. Historically the theater has put on annual holiday productions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the historic Pabst Theater since 1976. In 2004, Milwaukee Repertory Theater received a creativity grant of $35,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), to finance its production of A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, as part of the theater's 50th anniversary.

Community value[edit]

The mission of Milwaukee Repertory Theater is to explore the human condition in theater productions which speak to the cultural life of the community and which advance the role of theater as means of expressing the core values of that community. "The Rep" maintains a wide variety of programs to serve the community. Education programs serve over 10,000 students annually, offering student matinées, facility tours, and a variety of residencies and in-school workshops. The Rep also contributes complimentary tickets to Milwaukee area non-profit fund-raisers. The Rep also sponsors adult acting classes, public lectures and discussions, pre-show "The Rep InDepth" presentations in the Quadracci Powerhouse and Stiemke Theaters, and audience talk-backs. Additional patron features include "pay-what-you-can" performances, babysitter rebates, audio described performances, American Sign Language-interpreted performances, captioned performances and numerous special events including Opening Night parties and Entourage events. Entourage is a program that helps to introduce theater to a younger audience. The Friends of The Rep are Milwaukee Rep's official volunteer organization.

The Rep is also home to one of the oldest internship programs in regional theater. Each season The Rep welcomes acting, directing, and production interns who join the company full-time in order to gain valuable experience in professional theater. In 2010, long-time Artistic Director Joseph Hanreddy retired from his post to join the staff of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts. He concluded his 17th and final with his adaptation of George M. Cohan's Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak.[2] Mark Clements is the current Artistic Director.

Grants and funding[edit]

In 2004, Milwaukee Repertory Theater received a creativity grant of $35,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), to finance its production of A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, as part of the theater's 50th anniversary. The Repertory theater also received grants from the Bradley Foundation[3] and the Herzfeld foundation and the Northwest Mutual Fund. In 2012, the Rep recorded a deficit of nearly $400,000, which resulted in the termination of several key patron programs such as day-of rush tickets and missed-show insurance for subscribers. To combat this deficit, the Rep instituted a marketing strategy involving "dynamic pricing", in which ticket prices are adjustable based on demand.

World premieres[edit]


  1. ^ "Milwaukee Repertory Theater – History and Mission". The Milwaukee Rep. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Joseph Hanreddy Joins UWM's Peck School of the Arts to Launch New Fellowship in Directing and Design" (Media Release). Milwaukee Repertory Theater. February 22, 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ Hoffmann, Leda. Fulton, Lisa, ed. "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" (PDF). Playguide. Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ Hernandez, Ernio (December 18, 2005). "The Pipes Are Calling: Bach at Leipzig Ends Off-Broadway Run Dec. 18". Playbill. Playbill, Inc. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Oleksinski, Johnny (February 26, 2014). "Milwaukee Repertory Theater announces 2014-15 season". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]