Next Act Theatre Announces the 2018-19 Season

Milwaukee, WI – For 28 seasons, Next Act has generated lively conversation about a broad variety of ideas, topics and happenings. The 2018-19 season will again feature a unique selection of Milwaukee premieres that will entertain and have you thinking and talking. All productions will take place at Next Act’s home located in Walker’s Point at 155 S Water St.

This season will open with OUTSIDE MULLINGAR by John Patrick Shanley. Deep within Irish turf country, Anthony is an introverted farmer and Rosemary, next door is the woman who secretly vows to have him at all costs. They are nearing their middle years and uneasy with what hte future might hold. When Anthony’s crusty father threatens to disinherit him, Rosemary steps into the middle of a land feud and family eccentricities to prevent disaster. Only an Irish heroine, as strong and down-to-earth as Rosemary, could hope to secure the land, and her love. OUTSIDE MULLINGAR will run September 27 – October 21, 2018.

Next Act favorite Edward Morgan will direct the play, featuring David Cecsarini, James Pickering, Carrie Hitchcock and Deborah Staples.

“Since its premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2014, I have wanted to bring this play to Next Act. The humor is dierce and the stakes are high, up close and very personal,” says Producing Artistic Director David Cecsarini.

Next Act’s second offering will bring a cheery, change-of-pace glow to your holiday season. THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS by Ginna Hoben will run November 15 – December 9, 2018. Dumped on Thanksgiving Day by her fiancé, Mary stumbles back into the dating world, where “romance” ranges from weird and creepy to absurd and comical. Over the course of an epic year of mismatches, Mary’s cynicism grows. Luckily, the charm and innocence of a five-year-old boy unexpectedly brings her a new outlook on life and love – just in time for Christmas.

For extra fun, Next Act is adding live music and special holiday doo-wop duo, featuring Jack Forbes Wilson and the Doherty Sisters.

Mary Burruss from Culture Nuts says, “…if you prefer to have your Christmas message wrapped in a show with a punch more like a vodka tonic than a sugary sweet candy cane, TWELVE DATES is for you – whether you are dating or not.”

After the new year, Next Act will stage BLOOD AT THE ROOT by Dominique Morisseau, January 31 – February 24, 2019. In December 2006, six black teenagers were arrested on aserious charges after assaulting a white student in the school cafeteria. The case was precipitated by previous incidents, including nooses being hung from a tree on school grounds – called a prank by the school administration, but potentially rooted in somtehing much darker. Morisseau explores the conditions, causes and consequences of these incidents through the eyes and voices of six students at Cedar High. Like many students today, they are challenging the world their parents have prepared for them.

BLOOD AT THE ROOT will be directed by Marti Gobel“Morisseau’s use of Neo-Soul and Rap intertwined with Jazz serves as a stark reminder that the old often gives rise to an unexpected new. Her use of the characters’ direct address to the audience reminds us that it is often individuals, with their own back stories, that will serve as instruments of change. Her use of dance and movement reminds us that when we move together, under the same rhythm, we can find a deeper more complex harmony,” says Gobel.

To close out the season, Next Act will produce HOW TO WRITE A BOOK FOR THE BIBLE by the writer of EQUIVOCATION, Bill Cain. David Cecsarini will direct the production, featuring Linda Stephens, which will run April 4 – 28, 2019. Writers are told to write what they know. But as Cain discovers in writing about his own family, sometimes those we are closest to are the biggest mysteries of all. This beautiful new play is taken from Cain’s own experiences caring for his dying – but oh-so-feisty – mother. Through flashbacks, time jumps and poignant realism, we meet Dad, mom, Brother and Bill – four smart, passionate people, acutely aware of their everlasting connection. Cain asks the questions that speak to the heart of every family: What will never change…and what has to…so we can love?

“Cain brings a fascinating perspective to this simple, powerful illustration of why the details of our lives and loves matter,” says Cecsarini.

Season tickets are on sale now, and may be purchased by calling the Next Act Ticket Office at 414-278-0765. Single tickets will go on sale Monday, August 6, 2018 at noon.

The mission of Next Act Theatre is to engage the hearts and minds of audiences with compelling and intimate theatre productions to stimulate thought, foster the exchange of ideas and promote the development of new perspectives. Next Act Theatre celebrates 29 years of professional theatre.

Next Act Theatre’s 2018-19 Season is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Next Act Theatre is a proud member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).

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