Timely Election Drama State of the Union Gets Milwaukee Rep Revival, to Oct. 12

News   Timely Election Drama State of the Union Gets Milwaukee Rep Revival, to Oct. 12
The Pulitzer Prize-winning political drama State of the Union by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse opens The Milwaukee Rep's 2008-09 Quadracci Powerhouse Theater season. Previews begin Sept. 16 toward a Sept. 19 opening in Wisconsin.

Michael Halberstam directs the new production of the 1945 play, which plays to Oct. 12.

"The Republicans are looking for a new Presidential candidate in 1946, and they pin all their hopes on Grant Matthews, a charismatic, successful businessman with no prior involvement in politics," according to The Rep. "When Matthews' estranged wife encourages him to stand firm with his honest, outspoken style, he soon discovers that he must choose between political ambition and moral principles. This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama offers a shrewd and witty look at affairs of state as well as affairs of the heart."

In a recent interview with The Rep's literary director, Kristin Crouch, director Halberstam said, "It is a luxury to work on a chestnut piece of writing from this time period and genre and even more so to have a play that is so absolutely relevant to the moment . . . there is a scale to this play that can only be realized in environments such as exist in Milwaukee. We are, all of us, very lucky to be exploring this play, in this place, at this time."

Lindsay and Crouse began their careers onstage as actors before enjoying success and popularity as Broadway playwrights and producers. Lindsay and Crouse began their partnership in 1934, and their credits include Anything Goes and The Sound of Music.

State of the Union won Lindsay and Crouse the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1946. Two years later it was adapted into a film by Frank Capra starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Angela Lansbury, "though the film omitted some of the play's witty dialogue and controversial issues," according to The Rep. The Milwaukee Rep cast includes Resident Acting Company Members: Lee E. Ernst (Grant), Laura Gordon (Mary), Torrey Hanson (Spike), Gerard Neugent (Swenson/Waiter), James Pickering (Conover), Rose Pickering (Mrs. Alexander), Peter Silbert (Judge Alexander) and Deborah Staples (Kay). Guest actors in this production are Dan Mooney (Sam Parrish), Steve Pickering (Hardy) and Linda Stephens (Norah/Mrs. Draper).

Members of The Rep's 2008-09 Artistic Intern Company that will appear in this production are Eric Bultman (Ensemble), Samuel Hicks (Ensemble), Joshua Innerst (Ensemble), Dennis Kelly (Ensemble), Jordan Laroya (Ensemble), Brian Rooney (Lauderback/Ensemble), Aaron Shand (Bellhop/Ensemble), Cassandra Stokes-Wylie (Jenny/Ensemble) and Heidi Wermuth (Ensemble).

The production and design team includes Keith Pitts (scenic designer), Rachel Healy (costume designer), Joel Moritz (lighting designer), Josh Schmidt (ssound designer), Kristin Crouch (literary director), Whitney Frazier (stage manager), Amanda Weener (assistant stage manager), Tina Myers (assistant director), Holly Burnell (stage management intern) and Donna Larsen (stage management intern).

For more information or to charge tickets, call (414) 224-9490 or visit milwaukeerep.com.

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