Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) presents the world premiere of BROKEN AND ENTERED by Madison-based playwright Kurt McGinnis Brown, tonight, September 26 – October 14, 2012. After presenting a staged reading of the piece in 2010, MCT brings this new play, which examines changing neighborhoods and perceptions, to its mainstage. BROKEN AND ENTERED performs in the Broadway Theatre Center's Studio Theatre in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.
In BROKEN AND ENTERED, Wally and Vern have just moved back to their family home in a crumbling inner city community. They soon realize that in order to survive they need to "take what they can get," literally. So each night they guiltlessly burglarize houses in nearby upscale neighborhoods. When Wally falls for a wealthy, attractive neighbor named Jamila, the two brothers are forced to reexamine their perceptions of race while facing demons from their childhood.
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre has produced two staged readings of new plays by Kurt McGinnis Brown as part of the Montgomery David Play Development Series: NOT THE ARTIST in 2008 and BROKEN AND ENTERED in 2010. Both plays were also finalists in the Wisconsin Wrights New Play Project.
Currently a resident of Madison, Kurt McGinnis Brown's plays have been performed in Akron, Chicago, Los Angeles, Madison, Milwaukee, New York, and Valdez, and have won competitions sponsored by Chicago Dramatists, Eclectic Company Theatre, Mercury Players, Reverie Productions, University of Akron Theatre Guild and Wisconsin Wrights New Play Project. Brown's other full length plays include MOSTLY SUNNY EARLY THEN CLOUDS, RAIN; IF LITERATURE IS DEAD, SO ARE YOU; LOVE'S EXILE; and RECOVERING THE REAL ME. He has also written several one-act plays and his award-winning fiction has appeared in numerous national journals and e-zines. He studied at the University of Illinois and Colorado State University and currently works at UW-Madison as the senior editor at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
Detailing the writing of BROKEN AND ENTERED, Brown explains, "It became a play in which I wanted to explore unusual motivations for crime. It's about struggle, an attempt to get even. In which race is involved but it's really about class. It's about a logical madness involved in trying to get even with the world and to eradicate one's past."
BROKEN AND ENTERED marks Suzan Fete's MCT mainstage directing debut. She also directed the 2010 staged reading of the piece. Fete is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Milwaukee's Renaissance Theaterworks where she has directed numerous productions including NEAT, TOPDOG/UNDERDOG and REASONS TO BE PRETTY. The cast includes three Milwaukee-based actors, all returning to the MCT stage: Marti Gobel (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, WELL) as Jamilla, Andrew Edwin Voss (PICNIC) as Wally and Jonathan Leslie Wainwright (CRIMES OF THE HEART, MAURITIUS, TAKE ME OUT) as Vern.
In March of 2010, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre produced a staged reading of BROKEN AND ENTERED as part of the 2009-2010 Montgomery Davis Play Development Series. Suzan Fete directed and Marti Gobel was in the cast. Brown shared his thoughts about the 2010 staged reading, "Working with the actors in rehearsing that reading was very helpful in seeing the play's potential. The reading had the usual electric Chamber audience, the actors played off that energy to give magnificent performances and it all went over very well."
MCT's Montgomery Davis Play Development Series began in 2007 as part of The company's mission to foster and nurture local theatre artists. Since 2007-2008 MCT has produced two staged readings each season through the series including another Kurt McGinnis Brown piece, NOT THE ARTIST. BROKEN AND ENTERED is the third play selected from the Montgomery Davis Play Development Series for a full MCT mainstage production.
The world premiere of BROKEN AND ENTERED will take place tonight, September 26 – October 14, 2012 in the Broadway Theatre Center's Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward. Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online - 24 hours a day at milwaukeechambertheatre.com. Group, student and senior discounts are also available. For more information, visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com. BROKEN AND ENTERED is co-sponsored by Jamshed and Deborah Patel.