Milwaukee Repertory Theater Resets Their 2020/21 Season part 1

This morning I received an email from the Milwaukee Repertory Theater about COVID-19 imposed changes to their already modified 2020/2021 season. Essentially the season has been reset to 2021/2022 with subscriber tickets being moved accordingly. This is incredibly disappointing but not unexpected news. But I was personally wondering if I would feel safe this season and was working out the logistics in my head. Sigh.

In the meantime, five plays will be presented during the season in the Quadracci Powerhouse and Stiemke Studio theaters…to much reduced capacities. The Stackner Cabaret will not have any performances this season. There will be a part 2 post to cover the new season program.

In the meantime, here is an excerpt of the Rep’s announcement and here is the link to the full announcement on their website.

We have important news to share about our 2020/21 Season. We’ve been working diligently to reopen in a way that is safe for both audiences and artists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 constraints, we cannot present the season as scheduled and will move the entire season to the following year.

Our 2020/21 Season was designed to be experienced as a whole by our more than 200,000 patrons and when it became apparent that we couldn’t produce some shows fully due to safety protocols, and would have to significantly limit seating to socially distance, we concluded the entire lineup should move to the 2021/2022 Season.

For the convenience of current Subscribers, we have automatically shifted their 2020/21 Subscription forward to the 2021/22 Season.

But we are determined to still have a 2020/21 Season. We’ve developed a creative way to bring you amazing theatrical experiences via our 2020/21 Season Reset. The Season Reset features five plays that provide entertaining and uplifting stories in theaters that are socially-distanced and revamped for the safety of everyone. We recognize that returning to the theater will be a personal decision. To aid you in this decision, we have developed a RISK-FREE Reset Pass:

Experience shows live in theaters with capacities limited to 35% OR via high-definition recordings delivered directly to your screens at home (your choice).

If COVID-19 causes cancellations, you will automatically receive a refund.

When you purchase a Reset Pass, you will be seated in socially-distanced locations with the best seats offered on a first come, first served basis. As a thank you, all Reset Pass options come with a free ticket to A Christmas Carol presented by Wells Fargo.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Mark Clements : Artistic Director

Chad Bauman : Executive Director

More details on the 2020/21 Season Reset right here!

Updates On The Milwaukee Repertory Theater 2020/21 Schedule

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am certainly disappointed. But this makes sense to protect the actors and staff of the theater and of course the guests and audience. My email today produced this note about changes to MRT’s 2020/21 season.

We hope that this letter finds you healthy and weathering the current public health crisis well. While we cannot welcome you to our theaters, please know we miss you and that you are in our thoughts.

More than 10,000 Milwaukee Rep Subscribers have renewed their season tickets for 2020/21, which demonstrates an incredible devotion to our theater during uncertain times. With our stages dark, we are pouring all of our energy into roaring back in the fall including investing in paying more than 100 employees during the shutdown.

Due to the increasingly complex challenges of COVID-19, Milwaukee Rep will delay the start of the 2020/21 Season which will now begin October 30, 2020 and play through June 27, 2021 and will include three substitutions of previously announced plays, three cancelled off-subscription plays and a revised schedule. Milwaukee’s favorite Holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, celebrating its 45th anniversary in the Historic Pabst Theater, will continue as planned. 

Steel Magnolias, directed by May Adrales will replace John Proctor is the Villain in the Quadracci Powerhouse and will play June 1 – 27, 2021.

Antonio’s Song / I Was Dreaming of a Son, which was cancelled this past March due to COVID-19, will have its world premiere March 24 – May 2, 2021 replacing Tender Age in the Stiemke Studio.

The world premiere event Piano Men featuring Milwaukee’s favorite piano man himself Steve Watts will replace Blues in the Night in the Stackner Cabaret and will play May 14 – June 27, 2021. 

The off-subscription offerings of Rep Lab, Kathleen Turner: Finding My Voice and Lockdown are cancelled.

Once we announce a season, changes are rarely made, but we are living in highly unusual times. A delayed start is the only way we can increase the likelihood that we will be able to present an entire season of 11 shows in theaters that are well prepared to welcome you back safely. Additionally, given cancellations worldwide, artist availability shifted significantly so adjustments were needed to bring you the world-class work we are known for.

The safety of our patrons is our top priority and we will work with health officials to make any prudent changes to our operations. Social distancing may continue through the fall and if that occurs, we will reduce the capacities of our theaters to provide appropriate distancing.

To read about our entire 2020/21 Season click here.

For additional FAQ’s around our upcoming season please visit our COVID-19 page here.

Thank you for your support and keep an eye on our website, eNewsletters and social media for all the latest on your Milwaukee Rep – including the From Our Home To Your Home series. We look forward to seeing you in the fall. 

If you have any questions please contact our Ticket Office at 414-224-9490 weekdays Noon to 6pm or at tickets@milwaukeerep.com

Mark Clements, Artistic Director Chad Bauman, Executive Director

emphasis mine

If you would like to revisit our original announcement of the Rep’s 2020/21 season, click here!

Murder, Mayhem, and the Modern World, The Milwaukee Rep’s 2020/21 Season

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater announced their 2020/21 season back in February. But I was waiting to have An Intuitive Perspective up and running before I wrote about it. I would have gotten lost in the original wave of articles anyway. But now that we are in the heart of the Age of Pandemic and the remainder of the 2019/20 season has been canceled, it is a pleasure to look ahead to next season with hope and excitement!

Murder you say? Well, yes, the Quadracci Powerhouse will feature Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express from November 10 to December 13, 2020! I imagine everyone will be looking forward to this classic of theater. And who can ever get enough of Hercule Poirot?

And Mayhem? Yes the mayhem of the sinking of the Titanic, as Titanic, The Musical opens the Quadracci Powerhouse season from September 15 to October 25, 2020. The winner of five Tony Awards, Titanic continues the Rep’s tradition of opening with a blockbuster musical.

And the modern world? By all means! I am going to outline the rest of the season by stage!

Also at the Quadracci Powerhouse:

Toni Stone which was named Best New Play of 2019 by the Wall Street Journal. Hey, this one’s about baseball…one of the most attended sports in Milwaukee. So certainly this play displays a portrait of America by discussing America’s pastime. But it also is going to bring to the fore some of the divides in society prevalent for much of the nation’s history. Toni Stone is a talented baseball player who becomes the first woman to play in the men’s Negro Leagues. So certainly this story is fraught with her struggles to be accepted and to be treated like an equal. A very tough act in the male-dominated arena of baseball and in a racially divided nation. Toni Stone runs from January 12 to February 7, 2021.

For a short run in March, John Proctor Is The Villain. This is being billed as a Rolling World Premiere. I am just going to lift the tagline from the Rep here: This challenging, contemporary post #metoo response to “classic” literature explores the power of young girls who fight to tell their own stories. The classic lit they are describing here is “The Crucible” as it is being studied in a present day Appalachian high school.

And the closing feature at the Quadracci, is William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, running from April 20 to May 23, 2021. But there’s a twist or maybe a Twist. The locale is 1960’s British Columbia with cross-dressing lovers and mistaken identities and mishaps and laughs. And the Twist? Well the play will feature 20 songs from the Beatles. This should get interesting.

Now, I will admit that the Stiemke Studio has been my favorite stage at the Rep for years. Not only is the theater intimate but it usually features the most stimulating and challenging plays of the season. So don’t miss these:

The Tasters opens the Stiemke season – September 22 to November 1, 2020. To protect high ranking government officials, three women are employed to taste their food…well until one of them goes on a hunger strike…how appropriate? Billed as equal parts Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Food Network, this is a dark little comedy to enjoy!!

And after the holidays, Tender Age brings us into contemporary America as Martin takes a job at a refugee detention center, where children have been separated from their parents. And when this was written, it could have hardly anticipated the events of 2020, but the story intensifies when an epidemic starts to sweep through the center. Billed as a harrowing, unflinching portrait of modern-day America, it will certainly reverberate even more with the audience than originally planned.

And then everyone’s favorite, the Stackner Cabaret! And don’t forget to make dinner reservations for pre-show…the food is simply delightful here.

But opening the season is My Way and you’ll never guess the subtext: A Musical Tribute To Frank Sinatra. So, you’ll get to hear the best of Frank in a cabaret setting. What simple magic that’s going to be. And I bet there are going to be some signature cocktails on the menu. And you won’t have to go to Vegas or New York, New York to enjoy!  Frank holds court from September 17 to November 8, 2020.

And this next one will be a story for all of Wisconsin and will bring heartfelt joy to some families and maybe a bit of dismay or regret to others…but it all sounds like fun. Dad’s Season Tickets tells the story of inheritance…of dad’s season tickets to the Green Bay Packers! This is one of the most popular plays from Northern Sky Theater and I am sure that it will translate well in Milwaukee’s Packersland.

And then an encore performance of Blues In The Night. A Tony and Olivier Award nominated musical that illuminates the songs of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and more. Just the perfect cure for Wisconsin mid-winter blues from January 22 to March 21, 2021. This visited the Stackner in 2012.

And then the season finale is the perfect bookend to My Way, as Get Happy plays from March 25 to May 30, 2021. A bookend to Frank? My goodness, yes, Get Happy = Angela Ingersoll Sings JUDY GARLAND. This is the live stage performance of Ms. Ingersoll’s Garland PBS concert.

Well there you have it! But if feels like I am missing something.

Oh wait! Yes, I almost did. The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is staging its 45th Anniversary Production of A Christmas Carol at Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Theater. And to lend an additional special cache to the 2020 version, Milwaukee favorite, Lee Ernst is returning as Scrooge in the Mark Clements adaptation of the story. He hasn’t played the role at the Rep since 2006. This will be a special treat this year.