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SUCCESS by John Kishline Directed by Edward Morgan Set and Sound designed by Edward Morgan Lighting designed by John Kishline Costumes by Amy Horst Stage Manager –Jessica Connelly* CAST Rick Sterling.............................................................................................................. John Kishline* John Arnold.........................................................................................................Edward Morgan* Alia Najjeer...........................................................................................................Deborah Clifton* Noor.......................................................................................................................................Kriti Pant * member of Actors’ Equity Association

A B O U T T H E AT R E M X T Theatre MXT is a creative partnership that has developed over some years. John Kishline and Deborah Clifton were members of Theatre X for 30 years, acting, writing and producing plays that garnered international attention and toured America, Europe, and Asia. Edward Morgan, In his previous position as Associate Artistic Director at Milwaukee Rep, twice directed Kishline and also cast Clifton in a production. All three later worked together at Next Act Theatre. Meanwhile, Kishline and Morgan were commissioned to research and write A Rising Wind, about the sinking of the Lady Elgin. The play premiered in Sept 2010 for the 150th anniversary of the tragedy. Morgan directed, Kishline acted and Clifton produced. A Rising Wind had a second run last July at the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan and a video production of the play was recently broadcast on WMVS in Milwaukee. SUCCESS toured India last August, co-sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Festival in Chennai. It remains to be seen what other projects might unfold, but they now have a name and a logo. SUCCESS 1


SUCCESS – PL AY WRIGHT NOTES When I wrote this play in 1990, I was forty two years old and saw my contemporaries rising to higher levels of responsibility and success in business, politics and the arts. I wondered what that meant in one’s own life, how to define it for myself as the American century rolled towards its cusp. That was my time and place, weighted with the values that history, politics and fate had placed around its neck. What had I done and what would I do? I only knew, for sure, that I got one chance at this living thing, so what would be the best of it? It’s 2012, I’m still wondering and I’m really glad about that. Now what? I love that question. That’s why I wrote this play. John Kishline D I R E C TO R N O T E S Success was first produced by Theatre X in 1991. John ��������������������������� Kishline interviewed prominent citizens of Milwaukee and asked them for their public and private definitions of success. The resulting chamber play was 70 minutes of real time in the life of a driven, highly accomplished advertising executive. It was a kind of meditation on the costs and trade-offs of success. Last summer, Success was remounted for a tour in India co-sponsored by the Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Festival and the U.S. State Department. The play was re-envisioned and reshaped through this process. The soul of the piece was essentially unchanged, but it became more linear, more contemporary and more international. This is the version you’re about to see. Rick Sterling stands at the center of his world. Yet in spite of his remarkable success, he feels trapped and stagnant. Through the course of an afternoon, he’s confronted by three visitors with problems and questions that reflect on his restlessness and his need for new horizons. This is the personal story. On a higher octave, I think Rick Sterling is also a kind of metaphor for America in a changing world. Despite all our power and influence, we’re no longer the axis of progress; the tide of power and influence has begun to shift to other shores. So how do we respond to the sense of stagnation? How do we look to the future? How do we - as a nation - define success? It’s a fascinating piece and a question I believe we all should visit. Edward Morgan G R E AT T H A N K S TO -Charles, David, Matt and everyone at Next Act Theater for their help in producing SUCCESS in India and Milwaukee. -Marianne and Sheldon Lubar, Max Samson and Nancy Pinter, John Shannon and Jan Serr, Robert Ragir, Steve Marcus and Footlights, Clark Graphics, Bern Office Systems, Milwaukee Moulding and Frame, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Julilly Kohler for their contributions that made this production possible. -Michael Macy and the rest of the U.S State Dept, especially the hard working consulate staffs in India and The Hindu MetroPlus Newspaper in Chennai, India who invited Theatre MXT to come and do SUCCESS there. -Sheldon Lubar, Max Samson, Brendan Comer, Dennis Frankenberry and John Norquist, who generously talked to Kish about this stuff back in 1990 and greatly informed the writing of this play. -Rose Pickering for the coffee that night. 2 Theatre MXT


C O M PA N Y B I O G R A P H I E S Deborah Clifton (Alia Najjeer) has spent her life in the theater, acting, writing, producing and directing. She has developed plays with Theatre X and enjoyed accolades for her writing and acting. Her play, Desire of the Moth for the Star, nominated for Best New Play by The American Critics Award toured the US including Hawaii and was featured on the cover of American Theater Magazine. As an actor her work was singled out by the Bay Area Critics Award, San Fransico,CA. She has performed at the major theaters in Chicago and WI , The Goodman Theater, Chicago Shakespeare, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Milwaukee Rep as well as touring the US, England, Wales, Holland, Sweden, Germany and Japan with over 120 productions with Milwaukee’s Theatre

X. Also, as a professional chef, she ran The Monches Mill House Tea Room and now, Dr Soup. John Kishline (Playwright/Rick Sterling) has been an actor, director, playwright and designer in professional theatre for 40 years. He served one or more of the above functions in 180 professional productions performed in 28 of the United States and also in Holland, England, Wales, Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Japan. He has written 11 produced plays and helped create at least 50 more from scratch. He was a founding member of Milwaukee’s Theatre X and has performed with most of the professional theatres in Milwaukee. Other work includes the Madison Repertory Theatre and in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre,

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C O M PA N Y B I O G R A P H I E S ( c o n t .) Seanachai Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Project. Some of his plays have been nominated for national and regional awards and his design work won an OBIE Award from the Village Voice in New York in 1978. He has done 4 films, the most recent being BATTLEGROUND, a fictional comedic series about Wisconsin politics that was produced by and is currently running on hulu.com. He is married to Deborah Clifton and they live in Whitefish Bay. Edward Morgan (Director/John Arnold) has worked at regional theatres and has taught and directed at universities, conservatories and conferences in the USA, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. His play Twenty Seven, adapted from Faulkner, was recently included in Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Festival of New Works. A Rising Wind (co-written with John Kishline), aired on MPTV in December, and his co-adaptation of A Christmas Carol has run at both Milwaukee Rep and Clarence Brown Theatre in Tennessee for years. From 1998-2003, he worked as Associate Artistic Director at Milwaukee Rep, directing classics, new plays, musicals and his own adaptations of Twain, Ibsen, and Melville. Mr. Morgan has been honored with the Drama League of New York’s Directors Project Fellowship and

with Washington’s Helen Hayes Awards and Nominations. Since 2007, he’s been a Casting Partner for Cirque du Soleil, and he was recently admitted to the roster of Fulbright Specialist Scholars. Most recently, he was in Costa Rica, directing Dicen Las Paredes. Kriti Pant (Noor) is an actor based in New Delhi, India. She cut her teeth in several productions with The Shakespeare Society of St. Stephen’s College, one of Delhi’s oldest amateur theatre groups. Her past stagework ranges from plays as diverse as Wide Aisle’s Shakespeare in Schools Project – an interactive performance of the Bard’s most popular works for school students, to Patrick Marber’s Closer. In 2008, Kriti toured North America, essaying the role of Helena in Tim Supple’s critically acclaimed A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a member of The Tadpole Repertory, her credits include the original monologue Godspeed, the award-winning Taramandal and most recently, Ich Bin Fassbinder, a play supported by a prestigious grant from the Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, India. She has also conducted theatre workshops with children across the country, and is currently teaching Drama to middle and high school students in St. Mary’s School, New Delhi.

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