Celebrating 10 Years!

Forward Theater Company's 10th Anniversary 2018-2019 Season

Welcome to our 10th anniversary season celebration! With each production, we’ll pay tribute to our history of presenting diverse kinds of storytelling in plays that are socially meaningful, that use theater to get to the heart of challenging issues, and that showcase artists at the peak of their craft. Each play this season will continue those traditions in grand fashion. As we launch our 10th season, we are filled with gratitude for the artists that create the work, the audiences that create the conversation, and the community that creates the support it takes to provide a sustainable home for professional theater in Wisconsin. This season is our gift to you!

Single tickets


Our 2018-19 Season Sponsors: Madison Community Foundation, CUNA Mutual Group, The Shubert Foundation, The Evjue Foundation, The Madison Concourse Hotel, ARTIS Reit, Dane Arts, Distillery Design, Wisconsin Arts Board, Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television

Skeleton Crew

by Dominique Morisseau
September 6 - 23, 2018

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Jake Penner

At the start of the Great Recession, one of the last auto stamping plants in Detroit is on shaky ground. Faye, Dez, and Shanita are a tight-knit family of workers navigating the likelihood of
losing their jobs, while their foreman Reggie is torn between his team and his career.

As power dynamics shift, they are all pushed to the limits of forgiveness. When the line between blue-collar and white- collar gets blurred, how much are they willing to risk for each other?

“Like Lorraine Hansberry and August Wilson before her, Morisseau creates characters who don't merely speak, they sing with the vernacular of their community. Rarely has dialogue ever felt so much like eavesdropping on an actual conversation." – TheatreMania.com

Cast: Marti Gobel (Faye), Di’Monte Henning (Reggie), Sherrick Robinson (Dez),
Candace Thomas (Shanita)

Sponsored by: ATC, Sybil & Maurice Better, Custer Plumb Financial Services, Boardman Clark, The Cap Times

Fun Home

Music by Jeanine Tesori | Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron
Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel
November 1 -25, 2018

Featuring Tony Award Winner Karen Olivo | Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Jennifer Uphoff Gray

Graphic novelist Alison Bechdel’s father was a volatile and brilliant man whose secrets defined her family and her life. Bruce taught high school English, ran the family’s funeral home business, and was obsessed with restoring their old house. When he dies unexpectedly, Alison digs deeply into her childhood memories to try and understand how his choices may have influenced her own.

This unique, funny and heart- shattering new musical zig-zags across Alison’s past and present as she tries to make sense of her parents’ lives, her own sexuality, and how she maps the terrain of her adult world.

“FIVE STARS. Fun Home has enormous intelligence and sensitivity. It's not your ordinary Broadway musical, because it is extraordinary.” - TIme Out New York

Cast: Karen Olivo (Alison), Rachael Zientek (Medium Alison), Chantae Miller (Small Alison), Clare Arena Haden (Helen), Matt Daniels (Bruce), Solana Ramirez-Garcia (Joan), Andy White (Roy, etc.), Tryg Gundersen (Christian), Donavan Lonsdale (John), Walker Stephenson (Christian/John cover)

Sponsored by: DeWitt Ross & Stevens, NGL, Nancy Ciezki & Diane Kostecke, Our Lives Magazine


by Simon Stephens
January 17 - February 3, 2019

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Laura Gordon

A chance encounter between Georgie (flirtatious, mysterious) and Alex (a much older man) starts with a kiss that changes both of their lives. What does Georgie want? And can she be trusted?

These two strangers, set adrift by life and loss, embark upon a fascinating game of cat and mouse that changes course with each new revelation. There are many possible lives we can live – but each choice we make alters the journey.

“On its surface, [Heisenberg] is a satisfyingly sentimental, life-affirming mating dance between two people who are so utterly dissimilar that of course they are made for each other. But if you choose to tune into the quieter frequencies, you’ll detect the presence of a probing work that considers the multiplicity of alternatives that could shape our lives at every moment.”
- The New York Times

Cast: Colleen Madden (Georgie), Jim Pickering (Alex)

Sponsored by: MG&E, Steve & Jacqui Suleski, Stafford Rosenbaum, Brava Magazine

Life Sucks

March 28 - April 14, 2019

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Jennifer Uphoff Gray

In this bold and funny reworking of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, a group of old friends, ex-lovers, estranged in-laws, and lifelong enemies lurches between love and lust, laughter and longing, and the many ways in which life does, and doesn't ... suck.

Both brash and warm-hearted, Madison native Aaron Posner's romp of a play reminds its seven hapless characters—and us—that to feel deeply is the price of a life well-lived.

Cast: Bill Bolz (Vanya), Reese Madigan (Dr. Aster), Brian Mani (Professor), Marcella Kearns (Pickles), Sarah Day (Babs), Elyse Edelman (Sonia), Rana Roman (Ella)

Sponsored by: Foley & Lardner LLP, Isthmus

Two Steps Forward Monologue Festival

June 20 - 22, 2019

One Weekend Only!

Presented in Promenade Hall at Overture Center
Tickets are General Admission

Forward Theater’s biennial monologue festival is back! Featuring a dozen original pieces written just for us by playwrights from across our community and around the nation, this festival celebrates the many different ways creative authors can approach a common subject. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Wisconsin’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, our Two Steps Forward festival will encompass a wide variety of perspectives on and interpretations of our state’s long progressive tradition.

The deadline for the Two Steps Forward Monologue Festival has passed.
For more information, visit the Submissions Page.

Sponsored by: The Cap Times, First Business Bank, Steve Brown Apartments, Wegner CPAs