Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
Press Release

Young Playwrights Festival Showcase 2018-19

January 10-13, 2019. Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre

By - Dec 3rd, 2018 12:20 pm

Milwaukee, WI… Milwaukee Chamber Theatre will present its eighth Young Playwrights Festival Showcase this January, celebrating the winners of our local high school playwriting competition. Each of the three winning plays – PINTA EL FUEGO by Markia Silverman-Rodriguez from Pius XI Catholic High School, 1-800-123-BOYS by Jazmin Reyes from Ronald Reagan High School, and THE DIVINE KOMEDY by Max Engel from Pius XI Catholic High School – will be presented at each performance. This year’s presentation will also feature an afternoon of Honorable Mention Staged Readings from three runner-up playwrights.

MCT’s YPF Showcase provides an opportunity for three young playwrights to see their works fully produced on stage, and to learn from the emerging actors, designers and directors that are part of the creative team. Karen Estrada directs PINTA EL FUEGO, in which a teen visiting her grandmother expects two weeks of monotony but leaves instead with a deeper understanding of her culture, family history, and the power of her own creativity. Joshua Pohja directs

1-800-123-BOYS, where three siblings forced to spend some time outside discover their minds – and hearts – altered by the arrival of a dreamy new neighbor. Marie Tredway directs THE DIVINE KOMEDY, a comic and witty re-imagining of the medieval poet Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy in which Dante and his mentor Virgil travel through hell, talking politics, religion, and melting glaciers.

MCT’s Young Playwrights Festival Showcase is the culminating event in a series of free playwriting workshops at several Milwaukee-area high schools. Ten plays are chosen each year from an annual competition that encourages students to write original one-act plays exploring themes, genres and relationships from their unique perspectives.

Of the top 20 plays chosen over two years, three are selected by a panel of local theatre artists, educators and past winners to receive full productions, along with a cash award and invaluable professional guidance and feedback. This year, three additional plays were selected for public readings during the run of the showcase: BURYING HAMLET, written by Jennie Babisch from Nicolet High School and directed by Mitch Bultman; IS IT NOW, OR HAS IT EVER BEEN?, written by Ava Gessner from Ronald Reagan High School and directed by Nabra Nelson; and HANDMADE OR GO HOME, written by Katerina Macheel from Pius XI Catholic High School and directed by Jennifer Vosters.

“A quick and intense process, the YPF Showcase is a celebration of local talent—and a potential launch pad for YPF artists’ further work in Milwaukee and beyond,” says Marcella Kearns, MCT’s Associate Artistic Director, who also serves as YPF Producer. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to gather so many up-and-coming artists to share our playwrights’ stories: six established and emerging directors; a host of emerging designers and production staff; and two dozen actors. “

“The work of the winning young playwrights is touching, raw, hilarious, and insightful,” Kearns adds. “Many of the plays were written through an in-school MCT Playwriting Residency, and we owe a debt to the careful guidance of the playwrights’ classroom teachers throughout the process. Their shepherding from school to the MCT stage is the first, most crucial part of the collaborative process.”

[ PERFORMANCE INFORMATION ]

January 10-13, 2019
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
10

7:30 p.m.

11

7:30 p.m.

12         *2:00 p.m.

7:30 p.m.

13

2:00 p.m.

* YPF Honorable Mention Staged Reading, featuring three runner-up plays:

BURYING HAMLET by Jennie Babisch; IS IT NOW, OR HAS IT EVER BEEN? by Ava Gessner; and HANDMADE OR GO HOME by Katerina Macheel.

[ PINTA EL FUEGO CAST ]

Abuela (Julieta Jimena Hernandez)…………………………………………………………….. Sandra Hollander

Mom (Isabel Hernandez)…………………………………………………………………………… Ashley Rodriguez

Alessandra Perez …………………………………………………………………………………….. Karina Rodriguez

[ 1-800-123-BOYS CAST ]

Aspen …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Paige Bourne

Clara…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Paige Landrum

Geo………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Jarrod Langwinski

Blair ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. Sherrick Robinson

[ THE DIVINE KOMEDY CAST ]

Satan/Beatrice…………………………………………………………………………. Hannah Klapperich-Mueller

Dante ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Adam Qutaishat

Virgil…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Shayne Steliga

[ YPF SHOWCASE PRODUCTION TEAM ]

Lead Educator/Producer ……………………………………………………………………………… Marcella Kearns

Production Manager/Company Manager……………………………………………………………. Brandy Kline

Assistant to the Producer …………………………………………………………………….. Samantha Martinson

Scenic Designer ……………………………………………………………………………………………… Katie Hauger

Costume Designer …………………………………………………………………………………….. Rebecca Gardner

Lighting Designer …………………………………………………………………………………………….. Steve Tonar

Propmaster ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. Moira Tracey

Sound Designer ……………………………………………………………………………………….. Colin Gawronski

Stage Manager …………………………………………………………………………………………… Lauren Instenes

The Young Playwrights Festival Showcase 2018-2019 performs January 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and January 13 at 2:00 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Each performance will feature all three one-acts and a talkback. (The three honorable mention scripts will be read on January 12 at 2 p.m. These readings will be offered Pay-What-You-Choose.) Tickets for the showcase are $18 for adults and $12 for students, seniors and MCT subscribers. Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online – 24 hours a day at milwaukeechambertheatre.com.

The Young Playwrights Festival Showcase 2018-19 is sponsored by The Woman’s Club of Wisconsin Foundation, Bader Philanthropies, Morgan Stanley Foundation, the United Performing Arts Fund, the City of Milwaukee Arts Board, and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATRE

Founded in 1975, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) produces intimate and accessible theatrical works that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright and Managing Director Kirsten Finn, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

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