Skylight Music Theatre
Press Release

Skylight Music Theatre Announces MKE Makes: A New Musical Works Series

2020-2021 Series to Launch with Focus on BIPOC Authors

By - Aug 18th, 2020 01:48 pm

Deadline for Submissions November 1, 2020

Milwaukee, Wis. (August 18, 2020) — Michael Unger, Skylight Music Theatre Artistic Director, announced “MKE MaKEs” – a series to develop and present world premiere music theatre works. The program will encompass a wide range of new musical works from never-before-produced readings to fully produced world premieres.

“Made in Milwaukee” is a proud moniker we will apply to all works under the MKE Makes umbrella,” said Unger. “Skylight feels that it is critical to the survival of the American music theatre to foster new works and new writers and encourage voices and stories that have not yet been heard to take center stage.”

For the inaugural 2020-21 season, the series will focus on never-before-produced musicals by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) writers and composers from across the country, and is seeking submissions for consideration. BIPOC writers should submit their works via an online form at

A diverse team of readers will evaluate all submissions and move selected scripts to the semi-final evaluation stage for review of full scripts and demos of the scores. The submission deadline is November 1, 2020 and writers will be notified by February 1, 2021 if their work has been selected. Skylight hopes to present one or more of the finalists in staged readings in spring 2021 at the Broadway Theatre Center, Skylight Music Theatre’s home in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

“New works are central to Skylight’s future vision,” said Unger. “In light of events in our communities and in the news, this new series is a way to provide support to the Black Lives Matter movement by giving a voice and a platform for stories by and about people of color. This initiative will be the first step in the critical mission of developing new works and new voices culminating in staged readings at Skylight, and, eventually, possible world premiere productions on our mainstage. The eventual goal is to contribute new music theatre works to be seen on stages in Milwaukee, across the country and around the world.”

The team of readers reviewing submissions for the MKE Makes inaugural focus on BIPOC Artists includes Lili-Anne Brown, Dr. Wallace Cheatham, Mike Fisher, David Flores, Sheri Williams Pannell, Bruce Pomahac, Jill Anna Ponasik, Dr. John Ray Proctor, Christie Chiles Twillie, Susan Varela and Michael Unger.

Authors interested in submitting materials should fill out the form at describing the work and submit 15-20 pages of the script and recordings of three songs. It is required that these original works be written by at least one BIPOC writer and not been previously produced in full productions. Photos and bios of all authors are also required. Submission deadline is Sunday, November 1, 2020.

Writers whose work has been selected will be notified by Monday, February 1, 2021.

For more information, please visit

About Skylight Music Theatre

Skylight Music Theatre launches its 61st season in 2020-2021. Skylight’s mission since 1959: To bring the full spectrum of music theatre works to a wide and diverse audience in celebration of the musical and theatrical arts and their reflection of the human condition. Skylight brings fresh approaches or interesting twists to music theatre works, creating meaningful connections, not only between the characters on stage but with the audience as well. Skylight’s home is the beautiful 350-seat Cabot Theatre, modeled after an 18th century French opera house, with great views allowing audiences to feel close to the powerful emotions on stage.


NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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