Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Press Release

Reflections on Long Time Rep Supporter, Betty Quadracci, A True Patron of the Arts

A True Patron of the Arts

By - Dec 10th, 2013 02:29 pm

December 10, 2013 – [Milwaukee] – Milwaukee Repertory Theater was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of arts patron and philanthropist Betty Quadracci yesterday afternoon. Quadracci was 75 and died at her home in Chenequa.

Betty Quadracci was a long time supporter of Milwaukee Repertory Theater. She had a life-long passionate love of the arts and culture which was evident in her ongoing support of The Rep. Quadracci was a member of The Rep’s Board of Trustees during the eighties when The Rep’s new home was built in a cleverly-refurbished power plant in downtown Milwaukee. During the nineties, Betty and her husband Harry made a leadership gift to The Rep’s endowment campaign and The Rep’s 720-seat main stage theater was renamed the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater.

Chad Bauman, Managing Director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater, commented: “Betty Quadracci was involved with The Rep for more than three decades. The Quadracci family’s generosity allowed a significant number of Wisconsinites and visitors over the years to experience the kinds of art she treasured so dearly.” Two of her children, Elizabeth Quadracci-Harned and Richard Quadracci, currently sit on The Rep’s Board of Trustees.

“Anywhere you go in this city, you see Betty’s love of the arts. Even just a couple weeks ago, she was here with us to see our production of Ragtime. Not a day goes by that I don’t walk in this theater and feel her impact on Milwaukee and specifically, on The Rep. She believed that the arts could change a community,” Bauman said.

Rep Board President Judy Hansen added: “Betty always enjoyed attending productions at The Rep. With her sense of humor, she loved to discuss the productions with great intensity after she saw them. What was also so wonderful about Betty is she recognized the importance of The Rep to the community and made sure to let other’s know about it. Everyone here at The Rep has appreciated her ongoing support all of these years. The naming of the Quadracci Powerhouse was quite fitting as Betty herself was such a powerhouse.”

“The last time I saw Betty was immediately after a performance of our production of Ragtime,” said Artistic Director Mark Clements. “She was deeply moved by what she had just seen and told me what a ‘beautiful’ experience it had been. I was aware of how discerning she was in her theater-going, so this comment meant a lot to me . . . even more so now, as that was her last visit to The Rep.”

Former Rep Board President Donna Meyer also added: “My husband Tony and I started attending productions at The Rep with Betty and Harry back in the ’60s at the Fred Miller Theatre. We later added other couples like Anne and Fred Stratton to our group to attend opening nights. We attended Rep productions with the Quadraccis for over 40 years. We always had a great time! Betty joined the Rep Board when I was President of the Board in the late eighties. She and Anne Stratton co-chaired an event at the Pabst Theater for the building renovation called Tops for Presidents. Betty’s commitment to The Rep continued for decades. We are all going to miss her both personally and professionally.”

Betty Quadracci has been a major influence in shaping the Milwaukee Repertory Theater that exists today. From sitting on The Rep’s Board of Trustees, being a long-time Rep subscriber, having The Rep’s main stage theater renamed the Quadracci Powerhouse and sharing her love of theater with her children, another generation of philanthropists and community leaders, Betty has been a true friend to many people involved at The Rep. Managing Director Chad Bauman added: “The Rep sends heartfelt condolences to the Quadracci family in their time of loss. Betty will be sorely missed but never forgotten.”

Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally-recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works, full-scale musicals, housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol at the beautiful and historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, The Rep is committed to creating plays that are meaningful and relevant to the society we live in – plays that are challenging, visceral and engage the community through the issues they explore, demonstrating how a theater deeply rooted in its locality can also enjoy a richly influential and resonant national voice.

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