First Stage Announces 25th Season!

For me our 25th season is about celebrating 25 years of great stories. I was looking for the best and most poignant stories to share with our audience. Some stories we’ve brought to the stage before, some we’ve longed to tell, and some are brand new, but there is definitely something for everyone.

As we celebrate our 25th season, we are thrilled to bring back one of our most popular shows in our illustrious history – SEUSSICAL. This family classic, based on the works of Dr. Seuss, will be directed by Tony Clements. This show reminds us that “a person is a person no matter how small” — something we at First Stage believe with all of our hearts.

I am also very excited about the world premiere of DON’T TELL ME I CAN’T FLY. Nationally recognized playwright Y York has created an amazing play inspired by the life and art of Milwaukee collage artist Della Wells. The play celebrates family and the power of art with a lot of humor along the way. This play marks the beginning of our Wisconsin Cycle. Over the next six seasons, First Stage will develop and produce six plays that celebrate the history and the people of Wisconsin. It is our way of honoring our state and our community for the incredible support that they have shown us over the last twenty-five years.

Junie B. is back, and this time she brings her own brand of holiday cheer in JUNIE B. IN JINGLE BELLS BATMAN SMELLS. I love Junie’s zest for life. As you would expect, the play is hilarious, but you’ll be surprised along with Junie B by the power of her discovering her holiday spirit.

Before Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, there was Meg Murry, the original sci-fi/fantasy heroine of A WRINKLE IN TIME. We last produced this classic piece in 2000. Actor/director Mark Metcalf is at the helm for this production in a new adaptation by Jon Glore. The production promises to be highly theatrical with actors playing multiple roles and live sound effects throughout. Join us for an amazing ride through time and space.

I couldn’t be more excited to bring CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY to our stage for the very first time. Our design teams are ready for the challenge of bring this world of pure imagination to life for you. How will we make Violet turn violet? What about the Chocolate river? Or the Oompa Loompas? The Wonkavator? I can’t wait to see it myself!

Previously, Joan Cushing has created musical adaptations for two of our most popular shows - JUNIE B. JONES AND A LITTLE MONKEY BUSINESS and MISS NELSON IS MISSING. For our 25th season she brings us DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER AND A FLY. These hilarious books by Doreen Cronin became instant classics with young people and parents because of the clever look at a bug’s eye view of the world. Who knew we could learn so much from a worm, a spider and a fly.

Our First Steps series for audiences ages 3-6 and their families began in 2007 and was an immediate success. Next season we will present, DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS by the hottest author for young people in the country today – Mo Willems. It will be up to the audience to decide just what the pigeon can do in this very funny show.

All in all, this is a season that promises a lot of laughs and a lot of heart –the two cornerstones of the joyful spirit that First Stage embodies. We hope that you will join us in celebrating our 25th Anniversary Season!

Jeff Frank
Artistic Director

Click here for more information on our 25th season!

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