Header image

Join us for an immersive exploration of Milwaukee like you've never seen it before! Set against the backdrop of Downtown, local playwright Marisa Carr, writer Deanie Vallone, sound designer/composer Andre Pluess and director May Adrales take us on an aural journey through the streets of the city. Experience the history, humor, and hidden treasures of beloved landmarks and locales as you listen to imagined plays and fascinating "Soundbytes" during a socially distanced walk or from the comfort of your own home. Part audio play, part walking tour, SoundStage MKE is an entirely unique way to take a deep dive into the city.

Executive Producers: Judy HansenCamille & David Kundert

Media Sponsor:

Audio Files Now Available
The audio files are available free of charge and are posted below where they will remain through the summer of 2023. Listen on your smartphone as you walk and be sure to bring your headphones.

SoundStage MKE begins at the Central Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library (814 W. Wells St.) and ends at the War Memorial Center (750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive). The tour has been divided into four audio sections and can be enjoyed in any order, or split up into multiple days/listening sessions or all in one session.

This entertaining and informative audio experience of downtown Milwaukee can be enjoyed at your own pace! The total tour is roughly 3 miles long with many stops along the way.

Creative Team

Headshot photo of Marisa Carr
Marisa Carr
Headshot photo of Deanie Vallone
Deanie Vallone
Headshot photo of Andre Pluess
Andre Pluess
Headshot photo of May Adrales
May Adrales
Headshot photo of
Marisa Carr
Headshot photo of
Deanie Vallone
Headshot photo of
Andre Pluess
Headshot photo of
May Adrales

Audio Plays

The Audio walking tour has been broken down into 4 sections. Each section includes an individual original audio play written by Marisa Carr and informative “Soundbytes” written by Deanie Vallone.  The plays include:

  • The Books performed by Raymond Lee and Sola Thompson.
    Jessie and Alex ditch school to go to...the library? A series of misunderstandings lead these two high schoolers to the most unexpected place.
  • Bridge Wars, A Short Historical Comedy on the Origins of the City of Milwaukee performed by Lillian Castillo, Sun Mee Chomet, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart and DeLanna Studi.
    Bridges. Bombs. Beavers. The history of Milwaukee's founding--and why none of the streets or bridges line up--is more ridiculous than you can imagine!
  • The Night Shift performed by Michael Doherty and James Austin Williams.
    Gary has worked at the Pfister for 30 years; Kurt’s on his first day. What the two of them discover on their night shift together will surprise them both.
  • The War at Home performed by Jake Hart and DiMonte Henning.
    Against a background of uprising and social unrest, two Iraq veterans search for their roles in the war being fought in their own backyard.

Welcome to SoundStage MKE! 

This is a self-paced audio tour broken up into four parts, so feel free to listen to the entire tour at once or save sections for another time. The points on the map correspond with the physical locations where the plays and Soundbytes take place. While we invite you to encounter each piece in the presence of the site it pertains to, you may find it helpful to walk to the next location as you listen. Below are some helpful FAQs.

What’s the distance of the route?

The tour is just shy of 3 miles walking. It starts at the Central Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library 
(814 W. Wells St.) and ends at the War Memorial Center (750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive). 

How long will the tour take?

This self-paced tour will take between 2-3 hours if you complete it from beginning to end. 

Is it accessible?

Yes! This route has been planned with accessibility in mind.

Are there bathrooms or places to rest?

Yes! On your map you’ll notice three bathroom locations. Throughout downtown Milwaukee you will notice park benches and other places to sit and rest. You could also take a brief “intermission” from your walking tour and enjoy refreshments or a meal from one of the many restaurants or cafés along the route. 

What technology do I need to participate?

You’ll need a personal device with a cellular data option. Headphones/earphones are also highly recommended. 

Do I need to listen to it all at once?

Absolutely not! The tour is broken up into four segments. While we encourage you to listen to the segments in the order they’re listed, feel free to pause as you please, as well as stop and finish listening to segments at later dates and times. 

I’m not in Milwaukee/Wisconsin. Can I still listen?

Yes! In fact, if you’re not able to do the walking tour we highly recommend listening and giving yourself a Google Maps tour starting at the Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch. While the tour is site-specific in its content, the four plays are fantastic to listen to on their own, and the Soundbytes offer fun facts about everything from social justice and pirates to beer barons and ghosts! 

Where should I park my car?

Here is a link to parking options in Downtown Milwaukee: http://www.parkmilwaukee.com/