Milwaukee, WI residents have a multitude of options when deciding to go to the theater. But one of the some of the most important and exciting theaters in the city are currently coming out of Milwaukee's university theaters. When deciding what Theater Productions to attend, we tend forget about the gems that come out of university theaters and instead look to big budget productions in Milwaukee or even Chicago. Yet, it is schools like Marquette and The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee that help to show us some of the most interesting, authentic up-and-coming artists.
Marquette University offers several different options for those interested in exploring the wide-ranging roles of theater professionals. The department recognizes that not everyone wants to be an actor or actress and helps to foster a love of all aspects of the theater in their students. Theater arts department students can major in multiple aspects of the theater, ranging from stage and arts management to scenic design. Students are given the opportunity to intern at different theaters in the Milwaukee area and then come back to class with a real world grasp of the theater lifestyle. Department Chair Stephen Hudson-Mairet stated "Our program prides itself on being a strong, professionally oriented B.A. program - we train our students to be professionals who are theatre makers - those able to create projects and understand all aspects of the theater. "
Students at Marquette and other theater programs in the area have moved on to even bigger and better things. Marquette alums are now sprinkled throughout the nation in everywhere from New York City to Los Angeles. Management students have gone on to work at big name venues such as the Milwaukee Chamber Theater and the Goodman Theater in Chicago. Theater arts alumni have also made a name for themselves in the acting community. Alumnus Andy Grotelueschen was recently on Broadway in Cyrano de Bergerac and Nick D'Agosto has been seen in movies such as Fired Up and Final Destination 5.
But the place that you can see their work first is much closer to home: at the Helfaer Theater. This year, the department has decided to dedicate their season to the notion of freedom in different forms. Marquette University has been promoting a program called the Freedom Project that coincides with the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Shows this year include The Foreigner, Fiasco Theater's Cymbeline, The Women of Lockerbie, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, A Doll's House, Urinetown and Gathering Blue. Each of these works grapple with the notion of freedom and how freedom can be interpreted in different situations.
Taking advantage of university theater can be advantageous to any theater lover. This is the best place to not only see future stars, but to be able to see edgy and raw theater programming. Check back in the future to find out more about theater arts programs in the Milwaukee area.
For more information about the Marquette University, visit http://diederich.marquette.edu/COC/Theatre-Arts.aspx
For this years theater lineup and synopses, visit http://diederich.marquette.edu/COC/Mainstage-Season.aspx
Photo Credit: BWW-Staff