Milwaukee, WI – August 21, 2018 – First Stage is pleased to announce that THE MIRACLE WORKER by William Gibson will be the final play in the 2018/19 season for the First Stage Young Company, the Theater Academy’s award-winning training program for advanced high school actors. The production runs May 10 – May 19, 2018 at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center and will be directed by Matt Daniels. (Please note: the last play of the Young Company season had originally been announced as THE CRUCIBLE in the March 2018/19 season announcement. THE MIRACLE WORKER now replaces that originally announced title.)
The play tells the story of six-year-old Helen Keller who has been blind and deaf since infancy, trapping her in a silent world of darkness. Enter Annie Sullivan, the teacher who through determination, grit and love, is able to overcome immeasurable odds and find the key to unlock Helen’s world. This Tony Award-winning true story explores the essence of dignity, hope and how people can fulfill their true potential despite the most adverse of circumstances. Suggested for families and young people ages 12+.
The First Stage Young Company is open to high school students who want to take their work to the next level. The students accepted into the Young Company complete college-level training in Acting Theory, Voice, Movement, Viewpoints and Shakespeare as well as electives ranging from Auditioning to Stage Combat to Dialects. These emerging artists, training with some of Milwaukee’s top professional actors, have developed a national reputation for engaging, inspiring work. In addition, the Young Company hosts master classes with guest artists from across the country.
FIRST STAGE’S 2018/19 SEASON:
FAMILY SERIES at the Todd Wehr Theater
Innovative theater experiences for young people and families, teens, grandparents and theater lovers of all ages. Performances are held at the Todd Wehr Theater in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee.
NATE THE GREAT
October 12 – November 11, 2018
Book and Lyrics by John Maclay, Music and Lyrics by Brett Ryback, From the book by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Junior detective Nate the Great has a new case! His friend Annie has just painted a picture, and she can’t find it anywhere. Armed with an appetite for justice and for pancakes, Nate vows to solve this baffling elementary school mystery. From the creators of JUST A LITTLE CRITTER MUSICAL, join the world’s greatest detective in this world premiere musical. Suggested for families with young people ages 4 – 10+.
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER: THE MUSICAL
November 23 – December 26, 2018
Book and Lyrics by Jahnna Beecham Music and Lyrics by Malcolm Hillgartner;
Based on the Play by Barbara Robinson
The horrible Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. The entire town panics when these rowdy six siblings are cast in the church’s annual Christmas pageant. It’s up to good-hearted Mrs. Bradley to help the Herdmans – and the rest of the town – discover the true meaning of Christmas before it’s too late. Silent night? Not a chance, but sometimes a little joyful noise is just right for Christmas. Suggested for families with young people ages 4 – 14+.
Roald Dahl’s MATILDA THE MUSICAL
January 11 – February 24, 2019
Original Broadway Version Book by Dennis Kelly, Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
Broadway’s biggest little hero is about to take Milwaukee by storm! From the amazing mind of Roald Dahl comes the story of a most unlikely heroine. Unloved by her parents and belittled by her child-hating headmistress, Matilda boldly steps up to set things right with her cleverness, the help of her friends and the support of her kind-hearted teacher. Straight from Broadway, this full-length Tony Award-winning musical will prove to audiences that everyone has the power to change their story. Suggested for families with young people ages 8 – 18+.
BIG RIVER: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
March 15 – April 14, 2019
Music by Roger Miller, Lyrics by Roger Miller, Book and TYA adaptation by William Hauptman;
Adapted from the novel by Mark Twain, New arrangements and orchestrations by William Yanesh; Developed and premiered at Adventure Theatre in Maryland in 2019 (Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt and Managing Director, Leon Seemann)
Travel along the mighty Mississippi River as Huck helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom and reunite with his family. Their shared journey of discovery proves hilarious, suspenseful and heartwarming. Mark Twain’s timeless classic comes alive on stage in this coming-of-age musical, adapted from the award-winning Broadway musical for our family audiences. Suggested for families with young people ages 10 – 17+.
April 26 – June 2, 2019
Based on the works of Sir J. M. Barrie, 1ST Baronet, OM; Adapted for the stage by Patrick Flynn
Journey to Neverland as a twinkling new light shines on the adventures of Peter Pan, Wendy, the Lost Boys and the rest – all from the unique and magical perspective of the feisty fairy, Tinker Bell. With enchanting puppetry, original music and a little fairy dust, you’ll see the world of Neverland as never seen before. All aboard this fantastic voyage! Suggested for families with young people ages 6 – 17+.
FIRST STEPS SERIES at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center
First Steps performances introduce children to the theater in an engaging, interactive and lively
environment. Geared towards families with children ages 3 to 7, performances are held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut Street, Milwaukee.
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW
September 22 – November 4, 2018
Created by Jonathan Rockefeller Based on Eric Carle’s Books
Four timeless stories and 75 magical puppets bring Eric Carle’s iconic creatures to life. This colorful stage production faithfully adapts four of Carle’s beloved stories, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, MisterSeahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show – The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Rated “five smiles” by Newsday and “bedazzling” by The New York Times, experience this larger-than-life world of Carle’s charming classics. Suggested for families with young people ages 3 – 7+.
FORGE production at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center
Thought provoking, risk-taking, community building – step into the Forge, and witness the latest and greatest new plays for families. Forge is an expansion of the Foundry, First Stage’s new play development initiative.
January 25 – February 24, 2019
By Jacqueline Woodson
Lonnie Collins Motion has had some tough breaks in his young life. When he discovers a passion for writing poetry, he finds a way to express his feelings about the foster system, his friends and his school, while sharing his unique perspective on the world. Lyrically weaving together Lonnie’s past and present life, this poignant story reveals one boy’s journey of hope from tragedy to a brighter future. Suggested for families with young people ages 9 – 17+.
FIRST STAGE YOUNG COMPANY
First Stage Theater Academy’s award-winning training program for their most advanced young actors presents a season of plays for teen audiences and their families. Performances are held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut Street, Milwaukee.
GIRLS IN THE BOAT
December 7 – 16, 2018
A Young Company world premiere play by Alice Austen
The year is 1975. A group of smart fiery young women fight discrimination and prejudice to compete in the male-dominated sport of rowing, finding an unlikely ally in the taciturn Harvard men’s coach. Together, they confront ridicule and overcome obstacles in a battle that takes this first U.S. Women’s Rowing team all the way to the world championships. Suggested for families with young people ages 13+.
AS YOU LIKE IT
March 8 – 24, 2019
By William Shakespeare
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” When Rosalind is banished from her uncle Duke Frederick’s court, she must flee into the Forest of Arden with her cousin Celia and the fool Touchstone. There, they encounter clowns, noblemen and even Rosalind’s new love Orlando – who will need to learn a few things before he will deserve her. One of Shakespeare’s greatest and most beloved comedies, AS YOU LIKE IT is filled with music, love, laughter and reminders of what is most important in this world.Suggested for families with young people ages 13+.
THE MIRACLE WORKER
May 10 – 19, 2019
By William Gibson
Six-year-old Helen Keller has been blind and deaf since infancy, trapping her in a silent world of darkness. Enter Annie Sullivan, the teacher who through determination, grit and love, is able to overcome immeasurable odds, and find the key to unlock Helen’s world. This Tony Award-winning true story explores the essence of dignity, hope and how people can fulfill their true potential despite the most adverse of circumstances. Suggested for families and young people ages 12+.
Single tickets, discounts for groups of 10 or more and Family Packages (a combination of three or more plays) are all available at www.firststage.org or by phone at 414-267-2961.
ABOUT FIRST STAGE
First Stage is one of the nation’s leading theaters for young people and families. First Stage touches hearts, engages minds and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences through professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten and entertain. Its Theater Academy, the nation’s largest high-impact theater training program for young people, fosters life skills through stage skills and serves over 2,100 students each year. As Wisconsin’s leader in arts-integrated education in schools, First Stage’s dynamic Theater in Education programs promote literacy, character building and experiential learning throughout the curriculum, serving over 20,000 students each year.
First Stage was selected to participate in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2012), and was the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Eureka Award, recognizing creativity and innovation in business, education and the arts for its Next Steps program for students with autism (2013, 2015). First Stage is a member of TYA/USA, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, Theatre Wisconsin, Milwaukee Arts Partners and is a cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).
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