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2016/17 SEASON I M PA C T R E P O R T



621 MEMBERS in the Friends of The Rep


19,329 HOURS

attendees including

15,000+ subscribers

of community service

4,037 Individual





$16 Million of Economic Activity including almost $5 Million in Event-Related Spending and $1.5 Million in Tax Revenue 26,373 PEOPLE PARTICIPATED in COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMMING

636 PERFORMANCES 15 UPAF Member Groups


in-school and after-school programming 2

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

“Theater is a space where we test out and witness what it means to be human; in finding these meanings, we become more human. If we need to be told it, the theater reminds us that we’re all in this together.” - Zelda Fichandler, matriarch of the Regional Theater Movement These are challenging political and social times for many – a time when our beliefs sometimes collide with those of others, yet a time when we desire common ground and ways to work together toward a better tomorrow. Our audiences remind us that what unites us is much more profound, powerful and enduring than the forces working to pull us apart. Within our walls, The Rep is a gathering place where we come together for a shared live experience that examines varying worldviews and beliefs that are different from our own. We offer spaces that are welcoming and inspirational to all, where diverse opinions and civil debate are not only tolerated, but encouraged. Beyond our walls, we’re on the ground and working in Milwaukee’s diverse communities, relying upon the enduring power of live theater to heal, teach and empower. This is how we live our mission – to create positive change using world-class theater experiences to provoke, inspire and entertain the diverse populations of Milwaukee. One thing is clear – we are having a moment. Our new mission has galvanized our volunteers, increased our attendance, focused our resources maximizing impact and created a groundswell of support. Our 2016/17 Season was perhaps our most successful in recent years. From the art on our stages, to our increasingly impactful engagement and education programs, to record-breaking ticket sales and attendance, we are starting to realize the full potential of our new mission through every lens. Enclosed is our report on the highlights of last season. None would have been possible without the dedication of our generous donors, sponsors and partners. We are forever grateful for your faith in us. 2016/17 Season Impact Report

Mark Clements Artistic Director

Chad Bauman Managing Director


SEASON HIGHLIGHTS 2016/17 SEASON Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

[Lady Day is] sensational! Dazzles! Electrifying theater! Roston holds the audience in the palm of her hand with a scintillating performance!

—Showbiz Chicago

Man of La Mancha The Royale Irving Berlin’s I Love A Piano The Foreigner A Christmas Carol Disgraced McGuire Grounded The Glass Menagerie

The Royale transforms boxing into an intimate personal match between race and culture, performance and persevering, despite the consequences placed on one’s life to change future history and any social mores in the process….What an exciting opportunity to cheer alongside this powerful drama, a dramatic surprise ... that will be remembered long after the bell at the last round.

—Milwaukee Magazine

An Evening with Groucho Rep Lab Jane Eyre

I Love A Piano is four-star entertainment, with a super-talented quartet of actors that sings, dances, and acts and tickles the ivories with all its heart and soul. Irving Berlin himself would be proud of this spirited tribute to his classic songs.

—ShowBiz Chicago

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill: Alexis J. Roston; The Royale: Cedric Turner and David St. Louis; I Love A Piano: Steve Watts, Kelley Faulkner and Jane Labanz. Photos by Michael Brosilow.


Milwaukee Repertory Theater

[Shue’s] well-chosen words, funny and otherwise, continue to live on [in The Foreigner]. They remind us that it’s important to laugh.

—Shepherd Express

[Disgraced is] one of the most powerful plays of this or any other season.


Anthony Crivello [in McGuire] has the acting chops and corresponding range to sketch a portrait of a man one can admire, even as one simultaneously recognizes that he’s flawed.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[A Christmas Carol is] uniformly spectacular … it’s an incredible feat of both creative taste and engineering that is not to be missed.

—Milwaukee Magazine

You will never read Brontë[’s Jane Eyre] the same way again.

—Urban Milwaukee

[An Evening with Groucho is an] infectiously funny tribute to one of America’s greatest comedians.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The Foreigner: Matt Zambrano; Disgraced: Maboud Ebrahimzadeh; A Christmas Carol: Edward Owczarski, Jonathan Wainwright, and Cast; McGuire: Anthony Crivello; Jane Eyre: Michael Sharon and Margaret Ivey; An Evening with Groucho: Frank Ferrante, photo by Michael Doucett. Other photos by Michael Brosilow.

2016/17 Season Impact Report


ARTISTIC HIGHLIGHTS The productions during our 2016/17 Season were powerful, innovative, and pushed the very limits of what theater can accomplish. Every production was met with critical acclaim and nearly every production exceeded its revenue goals – often before the show even opened. For the first time in our history, we hit $3 million in subscription revenue and added 3,184 new subscribers. Our 63rd season opened with plays in all three of our theaters highlighting the African-American experience.

Leenya Rideout and the Cast of Man of La Mancha.

The National Endowment for the Arts provided $20,000 for our evocative adaptation of Jane Eyre. Because McGuire was so popular and sold at over 100% capacity, it was reprised for a two-week limited return engagement in June. Kelsey Brennan and Brandon Dahlquist in The Glass Menagerie.

The Foreigner, one of Milwaukee Rep’s first new play commissions, returned home after 30 years of touring the globe and receiving international acclaim. We secured such notable talent as Broadway’s Jessie Fischer, Jefferson Award-winner Hollis Resnik, and Tony Award-winner Anthony Crivello. Disgraced, the second production of our four-year partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winner and Milwaukee native Ayad Akhtar, exceeded sales goals by 60%.

Janie Brookshire, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Austene Van and Jason Babinsky in Disgraced.

 With a $1 million gift from the Lewis family, we established the John (Jack) D. Lewis New Play Development Program. During the 2016/17 Season we issued commissions for new works to Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman, Eric Simonson, Gordon Gano, David Lutken, KJ Sanchez, Martin Zimmerman, and Dael Orlandersmith.

Photos by Michael Brosilow.


Milwaukee Repertory Theater

A CHRISTMAS CAROL After three years of planning and 10,000+ man-hours, we launched our new adaptation of A Christmas Carol. This adaptation, written and directed by Artistic Director Mark Clements, featured the most technically advanced set ever created by The Rep, brand new costumes, and a new script incorporating audience participation in the Panto style of call-and-response.

Deborah Staples as Ghost of Christmas Past.

It now ranks as the highest grossing production of A Christmas Carol in The Rep’s 41-year history – with ticket revenue exceeding last year’s sales record by 42% – and set new records for attendance.

Chiké Johnson as Ghost of Christmas Present.

We provided 2,500 tickets to families from underserved communities as part of our Tiny Tim ticket program. Each season, we select one local organization to support through our holiday drive. More than $116,000 was raised to support the Boys and Girls Club, including a $50,000 match from an attendee.

The Cast of A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol photos by Michael Brosilow.

2016/17 Season Impact Report


COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT We launched our bold initiative, Mpact, to use the creative assets of the theater to create positive change focusing on three pillars – strengthening and celebrating Milwaukee; diversity and inclusion; and literacy and social-emotional learning.

Post-Show Discussion participants

Intercultural Dinner participants

Disgraced Building on our successful community conversations series from the 2015/16 Season, we launched our ambitious #TalkIdentity project around Disgraced. The production served as a catalyst for citywide conversations around identity and diversity. Nearly 19,000 people attended the play and more than 5,000 participated in our post-show conversations, including small group dialogues with Zeidler Center facilitators, panel discussions, and actor talkbacks. Additionally, 384 civic leaders and community members broke bread together during Intercultural Dinners in partnership with the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. These dinners were curated specifically so each table represented a broad diversity of age, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

It was wonderful learning about other people’s backgrounds and interpretations of what the play meant to them. Especially those you wouldn’t normally interact with.

– Dialogue participant

Grounded During the run of Grounded, The Rep partnered with veterans’ organizations to create platforms for military-civilian dialogue. Pop-up performances by Feast of Crispian, Carthage College, and youth from our Storytelling Program exposed 273 audience members to local veteran stories. We also partnered with the War Memorial Center to host the first annual Vets Light Up the Arts, featuring nine performances by veterans and an all-veteran art gallery. During the run of the production, The Rep provided post-show panel discussions, hosted a food drive for veterans, and provided on-site counseling support. 8

Jessie Fisher in Grounded Photo by Michael Brosilow

Vets Light Up the Arts participants

Milwaukee Repertory Theater



Our Mpact Council is comprised of civic leaders who guide our community engagement efforts.

Our ten Pillar Partners are community organizations in long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with The Rep.

John Kordsmeier, Chair of Mpact Council Former Rep Board President Former President of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation Dr. Dan Bergen Executive Director, Office of Community Engagement, Marquette University Corry Joe Biddle Executive Director, FUEL Milwaukee La’Ketta Caldwell Senior Program Manager, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee Bridget Clementi VP, Community Health, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Ricardo Diaz Executive Director, United Community Center Karen Gotzler Executive Director, Milwaukee LGBT Community Center Will Harvill English Teacher, Milwaukee Public Schools Katie Heil Community Volunteer Gerry Howze Executive Director, PEARLS for Teen Girls Suzanne Hupy Community Volunteer Deb Jolitz Arts Manager, Milwaukee Public Schools Glenn Kleiman Executive Director, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee Connie Kordsmeier Former Teacher, Community Volunteer Susan Lloyd Executive Director, Zilber Family Foundation Ruth Maegli Chief Academic Officer, Milwaukee Public Schools Abbie Nash Milwaukee Rep Trustee, Community Volunteer Retired – Journal Communications Tonen O’Connor Former Managing Director of Milwaukee Rep Resident Priest Emerita, Milwaukee Zen Center Paula Penebaker President & CEO, YWCA Tina Quealy Executive Director, Burke Foundation Tom Schneider Executive Director, COA Youth & Family Centers Marcus White VP, Community Engagement, Greater Milwaukee Foundation Dr. Katherine Wilson Executive Director, Zeidler Center for Public Discussion 2016/17 Season Impact Report


PROFESSIONAL TRAINING We see it as our privilege to both present the best theater in the region and train and mentor the next generation of great artists.

Professional Training Institute This new training program brought together 17 8th-12th grade students from across Milwaukee’s diverse neighborhoods. These students received free year-long training from The Rep’s top artists, preparing them for careers in the theater. The program culminated in a public performance of So Thrive My Soul, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, where the students made their debut as paid, professional actors.

Emerging Professional Resident Program Our professional training program for post-collegiate pre-professionals bridges the gap between academic theory and professional practice in a supportive environment. During the 2016/17 Season, eight acting and two directing emerging residents worked on our stage as understudies, actors, and assistant directors. Their annual showcase, Rep Lab, continues to set attendance and sales records playing to sold-out audiences.


Milwaukee Repertory Theater

EDUCATION Rep Education programming takes students beyond the experience of watching a live performance and uses an arts-integrated approach to foster an emotional connection and purposeful, enduring understanding of the text. The Rep teaches more than 20,000 students across 250 schools key skills such as reading comprehension, empathy, and communication.

In-School Residencies The Rep’s in-school Reading Residency program worked with 1,200 middle and high school students across 43 classrooms. Teaching artists go into each classroom for 10-20 one-hour sessions and use theater as a tool to teach students reading comprehension, social-emotional skills, and instill an appreciation of theater, based on a production from our season. Overall, 46% of students increased their ability to correctly use text evidence and more than half increased their appreciation for theater.

“ “

[I learned] that everyone should be able to express themselves.

”“ “ ”

What I gained from this program is being comfortable in expressing my feelings and what I gained is learning how to act.

Fun and stress free from school, it gave me a reason to come to school. I really like that this program allowed me to be more open and participate more. I got to actually meet people who work in theaters, so it was quite fun.

” ”

Rep Immersion Day Nearly 3,500 students attended five Rep Immersion Days and experienced behind-the-scenes demonstrations from Rep staff before watching a matinee performance. During the 2016/17 Season, Immersion Days were provided during Man of La Mancha, The Glass Menagerie, and Jane Eyre. 2016/17 Season Impact Report


EDUCATION After School Program More than 100 students at eight schools and youth-serving agencies around Milwaukee explored the themes of The Royale, making connections to their own experiences through the creation of theater, spoken word, and visual art. Students presented their work at a Student Showcase in our own Stackner Cabaret.

Storytelling Program In partnership with the Milwaukee Public School’s Office of Violence Prevention, The Rep’s youth Storytelling Program provides a positive outlet for youth expression. In connection with Grounded, 60 youth from four sites interviewed local veterans and transformed their stories into performance pieces, culminating in a community performance event. Students simultaneously received leadership skills training and learned the power of storytelling to influence a community. 12

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Amani Neighborhood Initiative To build stronger communities, The Rep implements intergenerational resident-driven programs in the Amani Neighborhood that engage, empower, and inspire. This is achieved through three distinct program components throughout the neighborhood: 1) Summer programming for families to come together in Moody Park 2) Reading Residencies in neighborhood schools to improve academic performance 3) The creation of the Amani Storytellers to provide intergenerational community-based and after-school programming, as well as give residents the opportunity to gather and share neighborhood stories Residents are brought together to celebrate the positivism of the neighborhood and engage with their own community through storytelling, performance, arts-integrated education programs, and shared arts experiences.

2016/17 Season Impact Report


FINANCIALS (u n a u d i ted )


TOTAL EXPENSES: $10,967,000 Artistic & Community Programs - 55% Marketing & Development - 23% Admin/General - 10% Food & Beverage - 6% Occupancy - 6%


TOTAL REVENUE: $12,212,000 Ticket Sales - 54% Contributions & Grants - 37% Food & Beverage - 6% Other Sources - 3%

SOURCES OF CONTRIBUTIONS UPAF - 37% Individuals - 29% Foundations - 14% Corporations - 7% Events - 4% Government - 2% Friends of The Rep - 1% Endowment - 6% For the third year in a row, The Rep was awarded a four-star ranking by Charity Navigator for its transparency and sound financial management. We are currently the only performing arts organization in the state to be ranked as a four-star charity. 14

Milwaukee Repertory Theater




Patrick Gallagher

Ed Seaberg

Rockwell Automation VP of IT Operations Vice President, Development

CBRE Capital Markets Executive Vice President Secretary

Community Volunteer Vice President, Trustees

Robert W. Baird & Co. Senior Investment Consultant Immediate Past President

Stacy P. Williams

Jane Chernof

Gregory C. Oberland

James E. Braza

Northwestern Mutual President

Davis & Kuelthau


At Large

Judy Hansen

Robert H. Manegold

Catherine Robinson

Broadway Producer

Community Volunteer

Community Volunteer

TRUSTEES Patsy Aster

Andre Gordon

Community Volunteer

Matt Bartel

Shelley Paxton

Northwestern Mutual

Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Financial Advisor

VP Global Marketing & Brand

John Halechko

Digital Measures

Adam J. Peck

Associated Bank

Founder and CEO

Mark Benskin

Exec VP, Director of Branch Banking

Senior VP, Managing Director

Hunzinger Construction Company

US Bank Private Client Reserve

Wendy W. Blumenthal Melanie Booth

WEC Energy Group Executive Vice President

Warren Buliox

David J. Kundert

Attorney at Law

Mark J. Diliberti

Foley & Lardner LLP Partner, Vice Chair-Trademark, Copyright & Advertising Practice

Robert H. Duffy Partner, Labor & Employment Practice, Banking & Financial Institutions Practice

Katherine M. Gehl Former CEO Gehl Foods Business Leader

Stephen A. Gigot

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP Managing Partner, Milwaukee

Cecilia Gilbert

Department of Public Works City of Milwaukee

MiraMedia3 Principal

Micky Sadoff Community Volunteer

Aileen Smith* Community Volunteer

JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management

Patrick Smith

Retired Chairman

Community Volunteer

Kristine Lueders

Marvin Spears

Estates & Trusts Specialist

Senior Director, Sales Force Enablement

Linda Marcus

Stephen VanderBloemen

Foley & Lardner

Linda Marcus Design

Quarles & Brady

Caran Quadracci


J. Patrick Keyes

MWH Law Group, LLP

Principal and CIO

John Hunzinger, P.E.

Blumenthal & Associates Community Volunteer

Riverwater Partners

Johnson Controls

VanderBloemen Group



Randall McKennie

Nicholas P. Wahl

Vice President

President and Managing Partner

Dwight L. Morgan

Howard Williams

Abigail J. Nash

Regional Managing Director

Aurora Healthcare

Godfrey & Kahn

Community Volunteer Community Volunteer

Dr. Mark Niedfeldt, M.D.

Wells Fargo

* ex-officio

ModernMed, LLC


T. Michael Bolger · James E. Braza · Joyce Broan · Lloyd A. Gerlach · Judy Hansen Jacqueline Herd-Barber · Larry Jost · John L. Kordsmeier · Frank Krejci · Susan A. Lueger Robert H. Manegold · Vincent L. Martin · Patricia Brash McKeithan · Donna Meyer · W. Kent Velde 2016/17 Season Impact Report


BACK COVER: Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Professional Training Institute (PTI) ensemble presents So Thrive My Soul. Photo by Sara Risley. FRONT COVER: Nathaniel Stampley and Michael J. Farina in Man of La Mancha. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater 108 E. Wells St Milwaukee, WI 53202

2016/17 Season Impact Report  

2016/17 Season Impact Report