Marc Kudisch, Aaron Posner, Eric Simonson, May Andrales Among Milwaukee Rep's New "Associate Artists"
By Kenneth Jones
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is expanding its organization to include 19 "associate artists" from various disciplines. The newly invited directors, writers, designers and musicians join six of the most recent Rep Acting Company members to be part of what will be called The Milwaukee Repertory Theater Associate Artists. Tony Award-nominated actor Marc Kudisch, Tony Award-winning scenic designer Todd Rosenthal and Oscar-winning filmmaker and Tony-nominated director-playwright Eric Simonson are among those named.
The nonprofit Equity company in Wisconsin has long been known for having a resident actor company, whose members are cast throughout the season, appearing with local and out-of-town performers on The Rep's several stages.
The 19 Associate Artists will include all six of the resident actors — Jonathan Gillard Daly, Lee E. Ernst, Laura Gordon, Gerard Neugent, James Pickering and Deborah Staples — plus Rep veterans May Adrales (director); Timothy Douglas (director); Angela Iannone (actor); Todd Edward Ivins (scenic and costume designer); Dan Kazemi (composer/musician); Kudisch (actor/producer); Reese Madigan (actor); Jeff Nellis (lighting designer); Aaron Posner (director); Rosenthal (scenic designer); Simonson (actor/director/playwright); Lindsay Smiling (actor); and John Tanner (composer/musician).
Associate Artists will begin their tenures with the start of the 2012-13 season. They "will help participate and advise on choosing plays The Rep produces as well as other initiatives," according to The Rep announcement on Aug. 2. "They will contribute to the work seen on all Rep stages, read scripts, engage in education projects, mentor the staff, participate in monthly Artistic Staff meetings when possible, attend an annual retreat and serve as advocates for The Rep in their home communities across the nation."
"Over the past two years, as we have presented more diverse and innovative productions, we've needed to expand our core artistic family," artistic director Mark Clements said in a statement. "Almost all of these artists' work has been seen on our stages in recent years and we felt it was time to formalize their association with The Rep."
Rep board president Judy Hansen said in a statement, "The Rep has long been committed to a core group of artists. Building upon the strong foundation of excellence that was fostered by a Resident Acting Company, this new ensemble of established and emerging theatre artists will continue The Rep's commitment to giving voice to a broad spectrum of cultural, educational and community experiences that serve and reflect the diversity of perspectives found in this region."
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