Sunstone Studios
Press Release

Sunstone Studios to Present Terrence McNally’s The Lisbon Traviata

A sharply funny – yet deeply tragic – story, The Lisbon Traviata centers on a revealing conversation between Stephen, a depressed literary editor and opera fanatic, and Mendy, a flamboyant opera queen.

By - Sep 2nd, 2022 01:05 pm

Sunstone Studios is proud to announce the first production of its second-ever season: The Lisbon Traviata by Terrence McNally. The production runs September 9th through 22nd at the intimate Sunstone Studios space at 127 E Wells St in Milwaukee. Tickets are $33 and available online at

A sharply funny – yet deeply tragic – story, The Lisbon Traviata centers on a revealing conversation between Stephen, a depressed literary editor and opera fanatic, and Mendy, a flamboyant opera queen. The two dish late into the night, distracting Stephen from his failing relationship with hilarious riffs on records, divas, and more. But when Stephen returns home to confront his boyfriend the next morning, a tragedy unfolds on the scale of the grand opera he loves so much.

The play is the work of four-time Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, “whose outpouring of work for the theater dramatized and domesticated gay life across five decades” (New York Times). A play from earlier in his career, The Lisbon Traviata was hailed as “one of McNally’s more daring plays and one of his best” by the Washington Post, showcasing his “flair for crackling dialogue” (Variety) and making “a defiant attempt to confront demons” (NY Times). Mr. McNally passed away in March 2020, an early victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was introduced to the play over eleven years ago and had the privilege of holding a table read at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center when it was still on S 2nd Street in Walker’s Point,” recalls director Alan Piotrowicz. “Over the years, I’ve returned to the script, each time finding new depths and truths in its pages. I’m absolutely thrilled to finally have the chance to bring it to life with Sunstone Studios.” Piotrowicz makes his home in Milwaukee, where he has designed for many companies, but has also directed for Cooperative Performance, Village Playhouse, The World’s Stage Theatre Company, Falls Patio Players, Pink Banana Theatre Co., Soulstice Theatre, and the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center. He is an artist-in-residence with Sunstone Studios in Milwaukee and Brief Cameo Productions in Ivoryton, CT.

Onstage, the performance features the talents of Bryan Quinn, Cory J. O’Donnell, Joshua Biatch and Deshawn A. Thomas in the intimate Sunstone Studios storefront space. An all-female production staff includes scenic design by Maggie Marks, costume design by Nikki Heiniger, lighting & sound design by Delaney Regan, fight direction by Kara Penrose, and intimacy direction by Victoria Hudziak.


  • September 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, & 24th, 2022 @ 7:00pm

  • September 18th, 2022 @ 2:00pm


  • Tickets are $33.00 for all performances.

  • The September 19th performance features “Pay What You Will” pricing.

  • Season “flex passes” (four admissions) are also available for $99.

  • Tickets are on sale now and available online (, by phone (414-763-5720), or at the door up to 30 minutes prior to showtime. Seating is limited to 50 people per performance; we recommend purchasing tickets early, if possible.


The Lisbon Traviata was originally Produced by Theatre Off Park, Sherwin M. Goldman and Westport Productions at Theatre Off Park in New York City, in 1985. The play is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC, servicing the Dramatists Play Service collection.


Sunstone Studios MKE is a small, independent theater space conveniently located in downtown Milwaukee, WI, bursting with personality and quirk with an art-deco vibe. We are passionate about our craft and about sharing the magical experience of live theatre in an equitable and ethical way. We boast a full season of shows, and our space is rentable – if you have your own idea for a production, open mic, or community arts event, we welcome you to our space to give you the opportunity to showcase the creativity of the city of Milwaukee on our intimate stage. For more information, visit

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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