PSA: FIRST STAGE announces a season filled with music, joy and adventure for 2022/23  

This past season was my first experience with First Stage. And I was more than pleasantly surprised by the quality of the plays presented and the youthful cast members and the skills and enthusiasm that they bring to the stage in every performance.

So I am more than happy to publish their schedule for the 2022/2023 season and recommend them to our readers:

Milwaukee, WI – May 17, 2022 – First Stage, one of the nation’s leading theaters for young people and families, is excited to announce their 2022/23 season. The full season kicks off in October at the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater with the fun world premiere musical ARTHUR AND FRIENDS MAKE A MUSICAL! written by First Stage Resident Playwright John Maclay (THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS), with music and lyrics by Brett Ryback. Then in November, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER™: THE MUSICAL returns to the Todd Wehr to get audiences young and old into the holiday spirit. The new year begins with a loving ode to family, CARMELA FULL OF WISHES, an adaption by First Stage Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios (ON THE WINGS OF A MARIPOSA) and based on the book by Matt de La Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. (LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, another play adapted from a Matt de La Peña book, is currently running at Milwaukee Youth Arts Center through June 12, 2022.) In March, the delightfully quirky and hopeful THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL newly adapted for Young Audiences comes to the Todd Wehr, a production bursting at the seams with optimism and loaded with songs from popular musicians like Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend and Panic! At The Disco, to name a few. The final production at the Todd Wehr will be Bob Marley’s THREE LITTLE BIRDS, a timeless tale of peace and love filled with music from the legendary reggae artist.  

First Stage has scheduled a variety of offerings in the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center’s newly remodeled theater-in-the-round Goodman Mainstage Hall. Opening in early February 2023 will be the THE HOBBIT, an energetic adaptation by Greg Banks and based on the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Directed by Jeff Frank, the play follows Bilbo Baggins on an epic magical journey showing us that courage is about taking on a challenge despite our fears while also reminding us of what it is to be a true friend.  

First Stage’s award-winning Young Company will also present two Performance Projects at Milwaukee Youth Arts Center beginning with William Shakespeare’s enchanting comedy A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in December. That will be followed by a production in March of LITTLE WOMEN, by Kate Hamill, adapted from the celebrated coming-of-age novel by Louisa May Alcott. The final Young Company presentation for the 2022/23 season will be the fully mounted world premiere production of THE GRACIOUS SISTERS, by First Stage Resident Playwright Alice Austen (GIRLS IN THE BOAT), and freely adapted from The Eumenides, by Aeschylus. It is an exploration of the balance of a desire for vengeance and the need for grace. This play is part of World Premiere Wisconsin, a statewide festival celebrating new plays and musicals.  

From: The Watsons Go To Birmigham (2021/2022 season) courtesy of First Stage

FIRST STAGE’S 2022/23 SEASON OF PLAYS 

ARTHUR AND FRIENDS MAKE A MUSICAL! 
Book and Lyrics by John Maclay, Music and Lyrics by Brett Ryback
Adapted from the books and characters created by Marc Brown 

Directed and Choreographed by Khalia Davis
Music Direction by Brett Ryback 

October 7 – November 6, 2022
Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater 

Sponsored by Children’s Wisconsin  

Big things are happening at Lakewood Elementary School! Mr. Ratburn’s class is asked to write and perform a big show for all of Elwood City. Everyone is so excited! Everyone, except for Arthur. What should he do? Arthur feels more nervous as the big performance gets closer and closer. With the help of his family and friends Buster, Brain, Francine, Muffy – and even little sister D.W. – Arthur learns the importance of being his best, unique self. All aboard for an incredibly fun ride with this world premiere musical! Suggested for families with young people ages 5+. 

From Director Khalia Davis: “Arthur was such a beloved part of my childhood so to get the opportunity to celebrate the legacy of the books and television series by expanding the world into a fun, family-friendly musical, is a dream! I am most excited for audiences to see their favorite characters in new, timely stories that maintain the beautiful essence and spirit of the work.”

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER™: THE MUSICAL

Based on the animated television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and the stage production directed and conceived by Jeff Frank and First Stage

Script adaptation by Robert Penola. Arrangements and orchestrations by Timothy Splain.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” animated television special adapted from a story by Robert L. May and the song by Johnny Marks, music and lyrics by Johnny Marks. All elements © and ™ under license to Character Arts, LLC.

Directed by Jeff Frank

November 25 – December 24, 2022

Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater 

Sponsored by Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren and Associated Bank.

And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows! The beloved TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and returns to our stage this holiday season. From fleeing the Abominable Snow Monster to saving Christmas, join Rudolph and his friends, Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius, as their adventures teach us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the little misfit in all of us. Suggested for families with young people ages 4+. 

From Jeff: “This joyful holiday tale will once again come to life at the Todd Wehr courtesy of some clever staging, the remarkable design work of Brandon Kirkham and our incredible production department who crafted this piece with such care and detail. Rudolph, Hermey and the Toys remind us all that there is a place for everyone. There really is no such thing as a misfit – just a world that needs to learn to welcome people as they are. No one should have to worry about covering up who they are to seek acceptance. After all – it turns out that even the Bumble is misunderstood. From the incredible music of Johnny Marks, to the adventures with the Bumble, to the lovable inhabitants of the Island of Misfit Toys, to the hilarious antics of Yukon Cornelius, to the heartwarming storytelling of Sam the Snowman – Rudolph has something for the entire family to celebrate this holiday season.”

CARMELA FULL OF WISHES 
Adapted by Alvaro Saar Rios
From the book by Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers 

“Carmela Full of Wishes” was Co-Commissioned by and received its World Premiere Productions at Chicago Children’s Theatre, Jacqueline Russell, Artistic Director;  

and The Rose Theatre of Nebraska, Matt Gutschick, Artistic Director 

Directed by Michelle Lopez-Rios

January 20 – February 12, 2023
Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater 

Sponsored by PNC.

It’s Carmela’s birthday, and her wish has already come true – she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands! As they travel through the neighborhood, Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. Before she can blow its puffy white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make. Delight in this moving ode to family, to dreamers and to finding hope in the most unexpected places. Suggested for families with young people ages 3+. 

From Director Michelle Lopez-Rios: “In CARMELA FULL OF WISHES, we take a big journey with Carmela on her birthday. Like the book, the play delivers a world that stimulates all the senses. The imaginative set, costume, sound and lighting designs of the production will play a vital role in bringing this world to life. There are fields of bright orange marigolds, tastes of paletas (popsicles), smells of fresh laundry and the beauty of life by the sea. As she tags along to run errands with her Big Brother, we travel through the vibrant community that is their home. We watch as Carmela dreams up the perfect wish for her birthday and reveals what life is like for her family. Family is at the heart of this journey. . . . It is a story that we all need to know and understand. As Carmela dashes along the streets on her worn green scooter taking in the world around her, we witness the deep and endless love of this family and we feel the resilience of hope.”

THE HOBBIT 
Based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Licensed by Middle-earth Enterprises
Adapted for the Stage by Greg Banks
Produced by special arrangement with Plays for New Audiences 

Directed by Jeff Frank 

February 3 – March 5, 2023
Goodman Mainstage Hall, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center 

Our unlikely hero, Bilbo Baggins, would much rather be sitting in their cozy Hobbit Hole with a cup of tea and a plate of bacon and eggs. However, they somehow find themselves on a magically mystical adventure. Staged with speed and surprises, you’ll be delighted as things change before your very eyes. Discover what happens as Bilbo travels on an epic journey over freezing mountains and a frightening forest, meeting all sorts of fierce creatures – some who want to eat them, others who turn into dear friends. Suggested for families with young people ages 8+. 

From Jeff: “5 actors. 1 musician. 32 characters. 90 minutes. 1 epic tale brought magically to life on a theatrical adventure unlike anything seen before at First Stage! I love the fast-paced, energetic adaptation by Greg Banks with actors switching characters at the drop of a hat or the donning of a costume piece. He has distilled the adventure to its essential elements and the audience is quickly swept up along with Bilbo. The intimate nature of the Goodman Mainstage Hall with the audience surrounding the stage, invites them to join Bilbo’s adventure. I envision the production set in the broken down, war-ravaged remains of a library. When reason has left us and greed and a lust for power have taken over – the pillars of society have crumbled – knowledge, truth, self-growth, empathy and understanding that our stories have provided us have been lost and must be looked to again. Bilbo shows us that courage is about taking on a challenge despite our fears and reminds us what it means to be a friend. They are the hero we all long to be.” 

From: The Legend Of Rock, Paper, Scissors (2021/2022 season) courtesy of First Stage

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL for Young Audiences 

Based on the series by Stephen Hillenberg

Book by Kyle Jarrow

Original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny and Andy Paley

Additional lyrics are by Jonathan Coulton, with additional music by Tom Kitt

The musical production was conceived by Tina Landau

Directed by Tommy Novak

Choreographed by Katelin Zelon

March 3 – April 2, 2023
Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater 

Sponsored by the Molitor Foundation  

Are you ready, kids? Dive into the undersea town of Bikini Bottom with SpongeBob and his quirky circle of friends and neighbors – Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabs and even Plankton – in this dynamic stage musical with songs from music’s most legendary artists. Chaos erupts when SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation at the threat of Mt. Humongous. Just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. The power of optimism really can save the world! Suggested for families with young people ages 6+. 

From Director Tommy Novak: “‘Who lives in a pineapple under the Sea?’ SPONGEBOB SQUARE PANTS!!!!!” The thing about SpongeBob is that he is a simple sponge with a huge heroic heart. When the world is a horrible, miserable place, we need optimism and positivity that only SpongeBob can bring to the any situation. SpongeBob is the biggest example of “I can’t is not in my vocabulary.” There is no task too large or too scary. Any task can be accomplished with teamwork and a community of support. This show reminds us that we are a community responsible for working together and taking care of each other. Today is a gift and tomorrow is not promised so live each day as if it is your last with a full heart of kindness, joy and laughter.” 

Bob Marley’s THREE LITTLE BIRDS 
Based on a story by Cedella Marley
Music and Lyrics by Bob Marley
Adapted for the stage by Michael J. Bobbitt 

Arrangements, Orchestrations, Additional Musical & Lyrics by John L. Cornelius II
Directed by Samantha D. Montgomery
Choreographed by Sonya Thompson of Ko-Thi Dance Company April 21 – May 21, 2023
Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater 

Ziggy’s afraid to leave the house. He’s too busy worrying about tropical storms, evil spirits, and the sneaky, hair-grabbing trickster, Duppy. With the help of his feathered friends, Ziggy will learn that “every little thing is gonna be all right!” With music from the legendary reggae artist, get jammin’ with this timeless tale of peace and love. Suggested for families with young people ages 3+.

From Director Samantha Montgomery: “Ziggy is fearful about what might happen to him and this restricts him from living and enjoying the adventures of life. This play, Bob Marley’s  THREE LITTLE BIRDS, adapted for the stage by Michael J. Bobbitt, encourages us to enjoy the adventures of life by not allowing our fears to stifle us. Instead, we must rebuild ourselves and overcome our fears by finding the strength within ourselves to make bravery our only choice.” 

FIRST STAGE YOUNG COMPANY PRESENTATIONS 

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM 
By William Shakespeare

December 9 – 18, 2022
Goodman Mainstage Hall, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center 

Sponsored by UPAF 

Follow the misadventures of fairies, nobles, and craftsmen through the forests of Athens over the course of one magical evening. Love triangles, mistaken identities and alarming transformations are abound in Shakespeare’s most enchanting comedy. Suggested for families with young people ages 11+. 

From Director of the Young Company Matt Daniels: “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM is one of Shakespeare’s most enduring and popular plays for a reason. It is full of fun, fantasy, mischief and beautiful language, making it a perfect fit for our award-winning Young Company. I first encountered this play as an actor when I was in high school, and it left an indelible mark, setting me on a path to a life rich in Shakespeare’s work. I trust it will be the same for these seasoned young artists.” 

LITTLE WOMEN 
By Kate Hamill
Adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott

March 24 – April 2, 2023
Goodman Mainstage Hall, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center 

Sponsored by UPAF 

Jo March isn’t your typical Victorian lady. She’s ruthless and headstrong, and destined to be a great American novelist. As Jo and her sisters grow up in the middle of the Civil War, they strive to be brave, intelligent and imaginative young women, while reconciling their own ambitions with society’s expectations. Alcott’s celebrated coming-of-age novel comes to stage in this modern and relevant adaptation. Suggested for families with young people ages 12+.

From Matt: “Kate Hamill’s adaptation of this essential American story manages to be startlingly modern even as it explores a long-gone era. This play is about whip-smart, resilient, sparkling young women looking to make their mark on a world that may not be ready for them. Sounds like an ideal match for YC’s excellent performers! This version of the story is intimate, beautiful and surprising, just as Alcott’s novel is to anyone who picks it up for the first time.” 

THE GRACIOUS SISTERS 
By Alice Austen 

World Premiere
A free adaptation of The Eumenides, by Aeschylus 

Directed by Matt Daniels

May 5 – 21, 2023
Goodman Mainstage Hall, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center 

Sponsored by UPAF. 

When archaeological intern Alice falls down an ancient Greek rabbit hole, she discovers the aftermath of a violent murder, with the goddesses of vengeance, or “Furies,” chasing down the accused to exact bloody retribution. Athena, the goddess of wisdom (and war), persuades the Furies that the accused should have a fair trial before a jury. When the jury is divided in a split decision, all must come to terms with the balance of a desire for vengeance, and the need for grace. Suggested for families with young people ages 13+. 

From Matt: “I love ancient Greek plays almost as much as I love Shakespeare, so the opportunity to partner with one of First Stage’s playwrights in residence to bring one of these pieces into our modern age was too good to pass up. After her amazing work on GIRLS IN THE BOAT, I knew Alice Austen was the ultimate fit for creating a play for our young people that highlights their unique blend of curiosity and determinism. Especially as we all traverse this incredibly unstable era of modern history.”

This play is part of World Premiere Wisconsin, a statewide festival celebrating new plays and musicals. 

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and LITTLE WOMEN are Young Company Performance Projects. These actor-driven presentations use elemental production values, enhancing the connection of actor to audience, allowing the words of the play to come alive in exciting ways. These award-winning students will showcase their graduate level skills with full-length material, from Shakespeare to American classics to pieces commissioned specially for them.

Tickets 

First Stage offers three ways to purchase tickets for its 2022/23 season. The All-Access Membership will give families the opportunity to purchase tickets at 25% off regular single ticket prices, receive discounts on Theater Academy classes, invitations to special Preview Events and more. The cost of the All-Access Membership is $75 per household and are on sale now. Families can also purchase the traditional Family Package, which offers a 30% discount off regular single ticket prices when building a season package of three or more plays. Family Packages are also now on sale. Single tickets to First Stage’s 2022/23 season will go on sale August 1, 2022. 

I suggest reading through these offerings and select those that fit your family age groups and plan your outings to First Stage. From my personal experience and observations while attending shows this past season, children are simply enthralled with these plays and ask some pretty pertinent and aware questions during the talk backs that follow many of the shows. And as an adult, I too was entertained! No reason to feel this is only a kids thing!!

and once more: For additional information about the 2022/23 season, please visit to firststage.org/ or call (414) 267-2961. 

From: The Amazing Lemonade Girl (2021/2022 season) courtesy of First Stage

P.S. Amplify Reading Series

Understanding the power of connection that young people feel when they see themselves and their stories on stage, First Stage is excited to begin the next phase of the Amplify series featuring new and developing work from traditionally underrepresented playwrights and directors whose voices offer an opportunity to expand First Stage’s artistic horizons and develop its audience’s perspective. During the 2022/23 season, the focus shifts from producing short plays to presenting readings of three plays in various stages of development. The Amplify Reading Series gives First Stage a chance to explore new work that is being considered for a full production while also engaging the community in discussion about the process of developing new plays. Please note: Dates and title are still being finalized for the Amplify Reading Series. Please visit firststage.org/ for the latest updates. 

PSA: World Premiere of James DeVita’s “The Amazing Lemonade Girl” at Milwaukee’s First Stage

This could be the coolest play for young people in this spring season. Written by American Players Theatre stalwart, James DeVita, Milwaukee’s First Stage is bringing us his The Amazing Lemonade Girl! Details from this morning’s email:

First Stage is honored to present the world premiere production of THE AMAZING LEMONADE GIRL, written by award-winning playwright/ author, First Stage Resident Playwright and Wisconsin actor James DeVita and directed by First Stage alum and Northern Sky Associate Artistic Director Molly Rhode, with costume design by Austin Winter, sound design by Josh Schmidt and scenic and lighting design by Jason Fassl, USA. In this heartfelt, uplifting play, First Stage audiences will meet Alex Scott. She has a story to tell – about her life and her legacy, her humor and her heart. Alex is young girl who is fiercely determined to make a difference despite the challenges she faces. Alex’s true story reminds us all that a single person can change the world – one act, or even one cup, at a time. Sponsored by Northwestern Mutual. 

“We are honored to partner with First Stage in the development of THE AMAZING LEMONADE GIRL, bringing the courageous story of Alex and her mission to accelerate the search for a cure for childhood cancer to the stage. Alex’s legacy is one that inspires many and will reach so many families throughout southeastern Wisconsin in seeing this play at First Stage,” stated Audra Brennan, Sr. Director of Philanthropy at Northwestern Mutual. 

THE AMAZING LEMONADE GIRL runs April 22 – May 15, 2022 at the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater, located at 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets start at $21 and can be purchased in person at the Marcus Center Box Office at 929 N. Water Street, by phone at (414) 273-7206 or online at firststage.orgPerformance runtime is approximately 70 minutes, with no intermission. Suggested for families with young people ages 7+. 

Director Molly Rhode shared her thoughts about the play: “My favorite thing about this script is how the character of Alex is in total control of the story. When an ensemble bursts forth to assist her, it becomes like an epic play date, with her directing and re-directing their efforts. There is a great sense of joy and playfulness, while still remaining direct and honest about this hard topic. The show is a celebration of Alex’s legacy and James DeVita crafts the journey beautifully, taking great care of the audience along the way.” 

Added Artistic Director Jeff Frank: “Every time I hear Alex’s story, it kindles deep inside me a desire to be better and to do more. She reminds us all that we are capable of doing great things.”  

Please check First Stage for more details and ticket information.

• Friday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. – OPENING NIGHT  

• Saturday, April 23 at 1:00 & 4:00 p.m. 

• Sunday, April 24 at 1:00 & 4:00 p.m.  

• Friday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. – PAY WHAT YOU CHOOSE PERFORMANCE 

• Saturday, April 30 at 1:00 & 4:00 p.m. – SENSORY FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE AT 4:00 p.m. 

• Sunday, May 1 at 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.   

• Friday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m.  

• Saturday, May 7 at 1:00 & 4:00 p.m. 

• Sunday, May 8 at 1:00 & 4:00 p.m. 

• Friday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m.

• Saturday, May 14 at 1:00 & 4:00 p.m.  

• Sunday, May 15 at 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. – ASL INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE at 4:00 p.m. 

See you there!!

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors At First Stage

A legend has got to start somewhere!

screen capture for the First Stage website

This is just a rocking full on depiction of many a young persons imagination. Silly characters, seemingly fraught one on one confrontations, and music and dance to warm anyone’s heart…and get those toes tapping under the Marcus Center Todd Wehr Theater’s seats (mine were). And quite literally this musical had the kids jumping up and down in their seats. What a fun accomplishment for these players and this theater company.

The backstory? We have the featured three protagonists or champions or eventual opponents…all facing down other characters on their home turf. After not finding anyone able to ‘challenge’ them, they move on from their comfort zones…until the three of them…Rock, Paper, and Scissors square off and find out exactly how the game rock, paper, and scissors works. It’s an amazing journey. And I won’t give away the other characters that they face or how they eventually defeat them. And a legend has to start somewhere!

But besides our three ‘heroes’, we also have the MC who leads us through the story and fills us in on any of the action that they think we might miss…including a number of dad jokes that provoke the requisite number of giggles!

Max Larson (center) and cast in THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. First Stage, 2022. Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

As you can see from the photos that I’ve selected to accompany this article, this is just simply a fun combination of disco, Vegas, futuristic, Sci-fi, wrestling, and Soul costuming…I haven’t see just such a collection of patent leather shoes or lame’ material in years. Completely in sync with the show tunes vibe that The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors maintains for 70 solid minutes. So a special hats off to Jenny Thurnau, Costume Shop Manager for bringing this all together.

Karen Estrada (center) and cast in THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. First Stage, 2022. Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

And as you can see the lighting and imaginative stage really supports the tone and whimsy of the songs and book for this play! Kudos to Jason Fassl, Lighting Designer and Arnold Bueso, Scenic Designer.

And what I said about kids bouncing in their seats was absolutely true…the cast and play totally reach youngsters where they live! And I saw a number of family groups playing rock, paper, scissor as we walked along the Marcus Center grounds on the way to our transportation. The story has ‘legs’.

The highlight of the show that I attended was the MC (Max Larson ) asking a rhetorical question…how do you spell pterodactyl? But before he could answer himself, a young audience member just went ahead and started spelling it aloud. Bravo!! I won’t tell you the dad joke that follows, but Max wasn’t quite able to deliver that punchline before his audience did! What sheer fun!

My other big plaudit goes out to choreographer Molly Rhode who had a lot of different songs and tempos to deal with, a large cast and ‘chorus’, and special one on one dance moves during the various ‘battle scenes’! It all fit and worked far more smoothly that I would have expected with all of the players involved.

Daisha Lafford and Rick Pendzich in THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. First Stage, 2022. Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

But none of this would have worked without the amazing staging by Director Kelly Doherty and of course the story, lyrics, and music from John Maclay and Eric Norden.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors runs at the Marcus Center through April 3, 2022 and is recommended for theatergoers aged FOUR and older!!

Here is the Link to First Stage for more information and please pay attention to their current COVID protocols.

Oh goodness gracious, I almost forgot Paper!

Austin Nelson, Jr. in THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS. First Stage, 2022. Photo by Paul Ruffolo.

And last but not least: extra credit reading: The Playbill!