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Sheri Williams Pannell named artistic director of Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

A stage director, playwright, theatre educator and performer, Sheri Williams Pannell has been a long-standing member of the Milwaukee theatre community.

Two years ago, Bronzeville Arts Ensemble (BAE) and Milwaukee Repertory Theater (The Rep) joined in partnership through which BAE would become a resident theater company of The Rep. This unique pairing was designed to strengthen both companies with the ultimate goal for BAE to have a long-term, sustainable path given the tremendous challenges that face emerging theater companies.

“Bronzeville Arts Ensemble is fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in partnership with Milwaukee Repertory Theater over the past two years,” said Williams Pannell. “Collaboration helps make theater happen, especially for relatively new companies like BAE. We are grateful to the Rep for their support and mentorship. Yet, the most challenging aspect of theater is fundraising and audience development. We believe Black Arts MKE’s commitment to making local African American arts institutions more financially sound and capable of reaching a larger audience is essential to our growth and survival.”

Founded in 2013, Bronzeville Arts Ensemble strives to illuminate the black experience in America by developing and creating theater while also providing artistic and educational programming opportunities, collaborating with the local and national theatre community, and inspiring healing and positive social change.

With Pannell’s tenure also comes a new residency with Black Arts MKE. Recently BAE and Black Arts MKE collectively agreed to pursue a joint partnership. Black Arts MKE can provide the necessary back office and managerial support for BAE to continue to grow and The Rep can invite another emerging theater company to join in residence.

“This is a great opportunity for BAE. We thank them for their partnership and wish them nothing but success in the future,” said Chad Bauman, managing director, The Rep.

The partnership between BAE and The Rep has resulted in terrific collaborations, not the least of which was a critically acclaimed production of The Mojo and The Sayso in the Stiemke Studio.

“Bronzeville Arts Ensemble is fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in partnership with Milwaukee Repertory Theater over the past two years,” said Sheri Williams Pannell, artistic director, Bronzeville Arts Ensemble. “Collaboration helps make theater happen, especially for relatively new companies like BAE. We are grateful to The Rep for its support and mentorship.”

Bronzeville Arts Ensemble will begin its residency this month in time for planning its 2018 production season. The important collaboration will strengthen great arts efforts in this community.

“Black Arts MKE is excited to welcome BAE to the family as a permanent resident and looks forward to amazing productions,” said Barbara Wanzo, executive director, Black Arts MKE.

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Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

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