Milwaukee Repertory Theater recently received two major gifts, totaling $1 million, to help fund a complete renovation of the Stackner Cabaret.

The generous gifts come from two longtime Rep supporters, including a $750,000 gift by former Board President Vince Martin and his wife Jan and a $250,000 gift from the Stackner Family Foundation.

Since its opening in 1987, the Stackner Cabaret has been one of Milwaukee’s most in-demand performance venues playing to near capacity crowds for an average of 300 performances a year.

The renovation will increase the number of seats by over 35%, address aging infrastructure issues, provide a completely new kitchen, and better maximize space and opportunity both within the theater as well as in the outer lobby. The result of the changes are expected to increase the Stacker’s brand as a destination venue.

“We are so grateful to the Martins, who in their thirty plus year involvement with The Rep have made an exceptional impact on the theater and our community,” said Chad Bauman, Managing Director. “With this extraordinary gift and the generosity of the Stackner Family Foundation and others, we will ensure that the Stackner Cabaret remains one of Milwaukee’s most treasured and unique performance venues for decades to come.”

Given the unique nature of architectural designs completed by Uihlein-Wilson Architects, audience members and longtime Subscribers will be able to keep their exact same seats all while experiencing a new world-class venue. More information about the project start and end date will be announced soon, however construction will not disrupt the previously announced 2017/18 Season.

“Jan and I have personally always enjoyed the Stackner shows and have felt that the Stackner fills a unique space in the very rich Milwaukee theater scene. We expect this gift will provide needed refurbishing and allow and encourage more people to share the Cabaret experience,” said Vince Martin.

Milwaukee Rep is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works and full-scale musicals housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret.

“A theater company not only needs strong shows, but also a strong venue to host these productions,” said Artistic Director Mark Clements. “With the ever-growing popularity of the Stackner Cabaret, a remodel will guarantee that the physical aspects of the theater match the productions themselves. We thank the Martins and the Stackner Family Foundation for their generous support in creating an opportunity for more people to experience the art on our stages.”

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Milwaukee Repertory Theater