The Milwaukee Repertory Theater's Behind The Scenes Tour Recap
By Livia Peterson
As a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater's Social Media Club (SMC), I was able to see the administrative offices, the costume and prop rooms, and the like during the orientation. With that said, I will NOT assign grades (A through F) to Milwaukee Rep productions from now on. Some reasons include it is unfair and the fact they are providing me complimentary tickets to the shows. Indeed, I will still review the productions.
The Behind The Scenes Tour Recap
Theatre is magical. Not just what you see on the stage, but what the designers work on prior to the performance run.
The Rep is Wisconsin's largest non profit professional theater and operates under agreements with the League of Resident Theaters (LORT), the Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the United Scenic Artists (USA) - Local 829, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), and the IATSE.
The Rep constructs most to all the sets, costumes, and props within a given budget. The average rehearsal is three to four weeks.
We toured the back stage of the Quadracci Powerhouse theater. All you gotta know is HISTORY, meaning many photos of past productions. We also witnessed In The Heights and Guards at the Taj sets in construction (all the material laid out to be assembled). Moreover, we witnessed some Stackner Cabaret construction materials in the Stiemke Studio. The Rep is currently undergoing a $1.75 million renovation to put it into context.
We passed where all the Rep employees and artists dine and mingle and briefly witnessed the Stiemke Studio rehearsal room. The Rep has three rehearsal rooms - one for the aforementioned Stiemke Studio, one for the Stackner Cabaret, and one for the Quadracci Powerhouse.
The marketing manager Brianna C. discussed a story about a fountain near the administrative offices. It is one helluva story in the most positive way. I wish I could tell you the story, but no way out of respect to the Rep.
The costume and prop rooms are easily the highlights, as Amy Horst and Jim Guy provided us with immense insight into their respective fields. We discussed the 2017-2018 Season productions, particularly the World Premiere of Catherine Trieschmann's One House Over and Thornton Wilder's Our Town.
The Rep includes four to five floors and indeed, it is confusing how it all combines into one building, excluding the performance spaces. Yet, the Rep provides delightful theatrical experiences that entertain and create conversations.