Milwaukee Repertory Theater Announces New Associate Artists
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by BWW News Desk
Milwaukee Repertory Theater announced today that it will grow its Artistic Family to 19 Associate Artists. This new creative initiative will "build upon the indelible legacy of The Rep’s Acting Company, expanding to include directors, writers, designers and musicians and actors, all of whom will be called Milwaukee Repertory Theater Associate Artists."
The 19 Associate Artists will include all six of the most recent Rep Acting Company members – Jonathan Gillard Daly, Lee E. Ernst, Laura Gordon, Gerard Neugent, James Pickering and Deborah Staples – as well as Rep veterans: May Adrales (Director); Timothy Douglas (Director); Angela Iannone (Actor); Todd Edward Ivins (Scenic and Costume Designer); Dan Kazemi (Composer/Musician); Marc Kudisch(Actor/Producer); Reese Madigan (Actor); Jeff Nellis (Lighting Designer); Aaron Posner (Director); Todd Rosenthal (Scenic Designer); Eric Simonson (Actor/Director/Playwright); Lindsay Smiling (Actor) and John Tanner (Composer/Musician).
“Over the past two years, as we have presented more diverse and innovative productions, we’ve needed to expand our core artistic family,” said Artistic Director Mark Clements. “Almost all of these artists’ work has been seen on our stages in recent years and we felt it was time to formalize their association with The Rep. I’m tremendously excited about the energy and talent these Artists have already brought to Milwaukee Rep helping us to bring extraordinary live theater to our audiences.” Associate Artists will begin their tenures with the start of the 2012/13 Season.
The 2011/12 season was filled with many notable achievements for Milwaukee Repertory Theater and its new Associate Artists. The regional premiere of Lombardi by Wisconsin playwright Eric Simonson became the biggest box office seller in The Rep’s history with over a million dollars in ticket sales featuring Lee E. Ernstand Angela Iannone; The Rep’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird directed by Aaron Posner, and featuringDeborah Staples, James Pickering, Jon Daly and Lee E. Ernst, broke all-time attendance records at over 32,800 and the Big Read community engagement program around the production reached over 500,000 people in the metro-Milwaukee area. The critically-acclaimed production of Yellowman directed by May Adralesopened an honest and fruitful discussion with Rep audiences and Milwaukee’s African-American community; and audiences enthusiastically responded to the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal,Scenic Design by Todd Edward Ivins, Lighting Design by Jeff Nellis and Music Direction by Dan Kazemi, during the holiday season, affirming The Rep’s commitment to produce full-scale musicals. The Rep also returned to Shakespeare with Mark Clements’ motorcycle gang themed Othello featuring Lindsay Smiling,Reese Madigan and Gerard Neugent with Scenic and Costume Designs by Todd Edward Ivins and Lighting Design by Jeff Nellis.
“The Rep has long been committed to a core group of artists. Building upon the strong foundation of excellence that was fostered by a Resident Acting Company, this new ensemble of established and emerging theater artists will continue The Rep’s commitment to giving voice to a broad spectrum of cultural, educational and community experiences that serve and reflect the diversity of perspectives found in this region,” says Rep Board President Judy Hansen.
Associate Artists will help participate and advise on choosing plays The Rep produces as well as other initiatives. They will contribute to the work seen on all Rep stages, read scripts, engage in education projects, mentor the staff, participate in monthly Artistic Staff meetings when possible, attend an annual retreat and serve as advocates for The Rep in their home communities across the nation.
For additional information about this unique and diverse group of artists and to read in their own words what being part of this initiative means to them, please visit The Rep’s website at www.MilwaukeeRep.com. Also look for a new section of the website called “Ask Mark.” On this page, visitors will have the ability to ask Mark Clements questions and send him messages directly so that he can address any questions patrons may have about The Rep.