Capital Campaign
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Building A New Home!

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Over the decades, Milwaukee Rep has grown into one of the largest theaters in the country and the largest performing arts organization in Wisconsin, serving 300,000 people including 20,000 students annually with 700 performances coupled with award-winning educational programming. However, we are facing a critical challenge.  While it has served us well for four decades, our aging and inefficient Patty & Jay Baker Theater Complex severely limits the productions we stage, the plays we develop, and the kind of educational impact we have — and will soon jeopardize our mission.

We now embark on the Powering Milwaukee Campaign to raise $75 million which will define the standard of theater in Wisconsin for generations to come. The Campaign will fund the creation of a new complex, including three state-of-the-art performance spaces, a large unified lobby providing ample opportunities for community events, an expanded offsite production center employing hundreds of local artisans, and venues with modern audience amenities.

In the fall of 2022, Associated Bank provided a 20-year $10 million sponsorship to support Milwaukee Rep’s vision and in recognition of its leadership gift, the new theater complex will be named the Associated Bank Theater Center.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ASSOCIATED BANK THEATER CENTER

» Read the full features of our new Theater Center.

Mainstage Theater
Our new flagship performance space will be one of the finest theatrical venues in the world and will include:

  • Flexible Theater Configuration. The option for a classic thrust configuration or a proscenium theater will be part of the design allowing each director to choose what works best for their production.
  • Fly Loft. The ability to “fly” in larger pieces of scenery which our current venue does not provide. 
  • Improved Seating and Sight Lines.  Reducing the audience capacity with configurations offering between 550 and 650 seats, widen the proscenium arch, and install much more comfortable seats to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience.
  • Better accessibility. Accessible seats in prime orchestra and access to those seats from the ground floor, steps away from valet parking on Wells Street without the need to navigate stairs.
  • Modern production technology.  Offering advance digital sound, laser projection capability, automated scenery, live-streaming capabilities and programmable intelligent lighting.

Studio Theater
Our new flexible, black-box space will better serve intimate dramatic productions and boundary-pushing theatrical events. Features include:

  • Easily transformable performance space. New seating technology will allow us to reconfigure the seating and performance spaces more easily. 
  • Increased seating capacity. All configurations will offer additional inventory.
  • Welcoming lobby. Expanded restrooms, an acoustical barrier between performance space and lobby, and a beautiful, fully functioning bar and gathering spaces.

Education & Engagement Center
A state-of-the-art rehearsal, performance and classroom spaces to serve the 20,000+ students in our in-school, after-school programs as well as our various community initiatives.  

The Sandra and William Haack Grand Lobby. Uniting all three of our performance spaces as well as all of our other public spaces will be a beautifully open and cascading lobby.

Northwestern Mutual Riverwalk.  Newly reconceptualized, this space will be an attractive space to gather pre- and post-show and for events, receptions and celebrations. 

Rehearsal Halls & Support Functions. Rebuilt to feature three spaces with sound barriers allowing for a wide-variety of work to rehearse at the same time, along with light production capabilities to support public readings, discussions and other events.

World-class production facility. A relocated production shop, housed in a new 35,000 square foot production center to build our 12-15 annual productions. 

» Read the full features of our new Theater Center.

» Browse our Frequently Asked Questions.

» View the Press Coverage.

Join The Campaign Today!

There are many ways to support the Powering Milwaukee Campaign. Several naming opportunities are available including our Mainstage and Studio Theaters, and donations can be paid over up to 5 years and made with appreciated assets like stock.

Private tours and giving discussions can be arranged at your convenience.

To learn how you can support the campaign please contact Chuck Rozewicz, Chief Development Officer at 414-290-0717 or crozewicz@milwaukeerep.com.

New Building Renderings and Video

Click on an image below for a larger view of initial renderings of the Associated Bank Theater Center.

Leadership Gift Donors

As of November 2022, we have raised $43 million toward a $75 million goal in just nine months. We thank the following supporters for their extraordinary visionary gifts.

  • $10 million Associated Bank for the Associated Bank Theater Center
  • $5 million from a soon-to-be named foundation for the Education & Engagement Center
  • $2.5 million The Haacks for The Sandra and William Haack Grand Lobby
  • $1.5 million from Northwestern Mutual to name the Riverwalk Entrance
  • $1.5 million from We Energies Foundation

Several other visionary gifts have also been made to the campaign and will be announced soon.

Naming opportunities are still available that can be paid out over the course of five years. Please contact Chuck Rozewicz at 414-290-0717 or crozewicz@milwaukeerep.com for more details.

Founders Circle Donors

Members of the Founders Circle have donated $50,000 or more toward the Powering Milwaukee Campaign. Join them today to help reach our goal of $75 million. Contact Chuck Rozewicz at 414-290-0717 or crozewicz@milwaukeerep.com.

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George Banda and Lorraine Ann O’Malley
Associated Bank
Astor Street Foundation
Donald and Donna Baumgartner
Jo Ann and Richard Beightol
Karen and Mark Bitzan
BMO
William and Barbara Boles
Melanie and Steve Booth
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Tony and Andrea Bryant
Elaine Burke
Julia and Bladen Burns
Mike Carter
Jane and Steve Chernof
Croen Foundation, Inc.
Larry and Eileen Dean
Molly and Tom Duffey
Dr. Eric Durant and Scott Swickard
Mary Lou Findley 
Ralph Evinrude Foundation
Flesch Family Fund
Four-Four Foundation
Rob Gardenier and Lori Morse Gardenier
Peter and Beth Gottsacker
Jason and Diep Graham Charitable Fund
Greater Milwaukee Foundation
William and Cheryl Guc

Sandra and William Haack
John J. Halechko and Marc Colletti
Paul and Gloria Halverson
Judy Hansen
John and Susan Harrits
Carla and Robert Hay
Jay Franke and David Herro
Howard and Susan Hopwood
Bryan and Rebecca House
Hunzinger Construction Company
Frieda & William Hunt Memorial Trust
Husch Blackwell
Dorothy Inbusch Foundation
Tom Irgens and Christine Culver
Debra and Peter Johnson
Michael and Deborah Kaerek
Mary & Ted Kellner
Christine and Patrick Keyes
Judith A. Keyes Family Fund
Krista Kile
David J. Kundert
Lubar Family Foundation
David and Madeleine Lubar
Joan Lubar and John Crouch
Sheldon and Marianne Lubar
Susan Lubar
Vince Martin and the Martin Family Foundation
John and Linda Mellowes & Charter Mfg. Co.
David and Abigail Nash

Northwestern Mutual
Chris and Anne Noyes
Greg and Rhonda Oberland
Marlene Ott
Peck Foundation
Anthony and Beverly Petullo
Jim Phillips
Ann and Warren Pierson
Plunkett Family Foundation
Drs. Alan L. Pohl and Carol C. Pohl
Catherine and Buddy Robinson
Gayle Rosemann and Paul McElwee
R.A. Stevens Family Foundation
Meredith and Thomas Scrivner
Bud & Sue Selig
Ed Seaberg and Patrick Smith
Clark and Diane Slipher
Scott and Mary Ellen Stanek
A.J. Star
Bert L. and Patricia S. Steigleder Charitable Trust
Craig and Mara Swan
Christine A. Symchych and James P. McNulty
David and Julia Uihlein
United Performing Arts Fund
Harry and Mary Beth Van Groll
Kent and Marcia Velde
David and Cheryl Walker
We Energies Foundation
Kate and Don Wilson

An All-Star Team Raising Funds

Nearly 100 trustees and community leaders are leading the effort to create our new home, including campaign co-chairs Tammy Belton-Davis, Bill & Sandy Haack, Jeff & Sarah Joerres, and Craig & Mara Swan.

Campaign Co-Chairs

Tammy Belton-Davis
Tammy Belton-Davis
"I am honored to serve as a co-chair for the Powering Milwaukee campaign for Milwaukee Rep, which is so near and dear to my heart. Milwaukee Rep and the people who power it amplify the stories of the rich cultural and human experiences we share on and off the stage. Walking with this team on an immersive equity journey was transformational, and I know that this work will continue to shape the theater's artistry and influence for generations to come."
Bill & Sandy Haack
Bill & Sandy Haack
"We're excited to support Milwaukee Rep's new theater project. Milwaukee Rep has grown to reach over 300,000 people every year and with this growth, new and updated spaces are required for performance, education and community. There is a clear educational benefit for thousands of students each year and this is a generational project that will be serving our community for decades to come. Supporting this project is such a great way to do something meaningful for our city and beyond."
Jeff & Sarah Joerres
Jeff & Sarah Joerres
"We are privileged to be part of the campaign for a new Milwaukee Rep theater. Milwaukee Rep is truly a national gem that strengthens Milwaukee and its downtown vibrancy."
Craig & Mara Swan
Craig & Mara Swan

“Milwaukee Rep’s educational programs are exceptional. Come to Immersion Day and witness our area students discovering the magic of theater.  This is why I became involved as a trustee and why I am pleased to play my part in securing the Milwaukee Rep’s future for generations to come. Talent is the heart beat of a city. The quality of what Milwaukee Rep does to entertain and educate us signals to talent that this is a place where I want to live, work and thrive. Let’s make the greater Milwaukee area’s heartbeat stronger.”


Capital Campaign Cabinet

Patsy Aster
Wendy Blumenthal
Bladen Burns
Julia Burns
Jane Chernof
Steve Chernof
Amy Croen
Fred Croen
Frank Gimbel
Jason Graham
William Guc

Judy Hansen
John Hunzinger
Tom Irgens
John Kordsmeier
Joan Lubar
Vince Martin
Jim McNulty
Linda Mellowes
Donna Meyer
Rebecca Mitich
Gregory C. Oberland

Tonen Sara O’Connor
Jim Phillips
Karen Plunkett
Ed Seaberg
Patrick Smith
Christine Symchych
Rich Tennessen
Nic Wahl
Sally Wahl
Peggy Williams-Smith

Milwaukee Rep Board of Trustees and Presidents' Council

Officers
Judy Hansen
Amy Croen
James Phelps
James Phillips
Bryan House
Andres Gonzalez
Joan Lubar
Robert H. Manegold
Adam J. Peck

Trustees
Ayad Akhtar
Tammy Belton-Davis
Ivor Benjamin, MD
Wendy W. Blumenthal
Melanie Booth
Julia Burns
Michael Carter
Jane Chernof
Marybeth Cottrill
Robert H. Duffy
John Halechko
Chris Hermann
Tom Irgens
Lynda Johnson
Michelle Kolp
David Kundert
Kristine Lueders
KerryAnn Minton
Dr. Jeanette Mitchell
Joseph Pickart
Karen Plunkett
Beth Ridley
Ken Robertson
Clark Slipher
Craig Swan
Deborah Tomczyk

Presidents' Council
James E. Braza
Joyce Broan
Judy Hansen
Jacqueline Herd-Barber
Larry Jost
John L. Kordsmeier
Frank Krejci
Susan A. Lueger
Robert H. Manegold
Vincent L. Martin
Patricia Brash McKeithan
Donna Meyer
Gregory C. Oberland
Edward Seaberg
W. Kent Velde

Powering Milwaukee Kick-Off Event

On November 29 Northwestern Mutual hosted the kick-off for our Capital Campaign. Nearly 200 people attended to learn about our future new home.