While the stages remain dark during the COVID-19 global pandemic, Milwaukee Rep is rallying its creative resources to bring the world-class theater audiences have come to know and love directly into homes.
In addition to the HD streaming of “Eclipsed” available through April 12, Milwaukee Rep has devised several ways to not only serve its audience. Over the next few weeks, Milwaukee Rep will bring theater from “Our Home to Your Home” in several unique ways.
Even during the pandemic, Milwaukee thrive as a cultural community of artists. Ten of Milwaukee Rep’s most beloved artists, including Nova Y. Payton from “Dreamgirls,” Benjamin Scheuer from “The Lion,” Jeffrey Kringer from “West Side Story,” Zonya Love from “The Color Purple,” Gavin Gregory from “Ragtime,” and Matt Rodin from “Hedwig” will sing a song on video exclusively for Milwaukee Rep, bringing a Broadway caliber performance into the comfort of Milwaukee family rooms.
The Milwaukee Rep’s website and social media channels with update the schedule every Monday and Thursday.
In keeping with its mission to create original performances through the John (Jack) D. Lewis New Play Development program, Milwaukee Rep has commissioned 10 playwrights to write 3 to 5 minute monologues centered on the themes of connectivity, hope, and the need of community. Some of the playwrights include Dael Orlandersmith (“Until the Flood”), Rick Cleveland (“Five Presidents”), BreakBeat Poet Idris Goodwin, Marie Kohler (“Boswell”), Catherine Trieschmann (“One House Over”), Joanna Murray Smith (“American Song”), and A. Rey Pamatmat (“after all the terrible things I do”).
Every Monday from April 6, Milwaukee Rep will provide an artist written prompt inviting the public to engage with its staff. The responses can be anything, like a visual, a GIF, a song, a monologue, dance, picture, or a TikTok. Responses will be gathered to create a digital community story to be part of a #SharingSaturday series.
Milwaukee residents will also have the chance every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. to visit with Artistic Director Mark Clements, and different featured artists in a series called “What the Tea!” Guests will include playwrights Ayad Akhtar and Andrew Bovell.
Staying connected to Milwaukee Rep neighborhood partners continues to be a priority, especially when circumstances prevent everyone from gathering in person. Milwaukee Rep will be offering art kits and activity packets that feature crossword puzzles, costume sketches, and scenic drawings directly from previous Milwaukee Rep productions. These packets will keep young creative talents engaged and connected to Milwaukee Rep’s artistry right from home.
Milwaukee Rep will offer a series of online classes that assists people in expressing their creativity, and nurturing the mind and soul of participant. Free classes will be taught by Artistic, Community Engagement, and Education staff members.
“We have looked at this time not just to survive, but to thrive and be as creative as possible,” said Artistic Director Mark Clements. “And until we can have the true shared experience of being in a theater together again, which we hope will be as soon as possible, we ask you stay at home, stay healthy and to keep creating.”
As a nonprofit arts organization, Milwaukee Rep relies heavily on the support of donors, subscribers, and single ticket buyers. The individual support is crucial to the organization’s existence as Milwaukee Rep and other arts organizations are realizing significant losses due to the impact of COVID-19.