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Jose A. Rufino, Lindsay Smiling and Tracy Michelle Hughes in "The Mojo and the Sayso" at ACT Theatre in Seattle in 2007. (Photo by Chris Bennion)

Milwaukee Rep to Partner With African-American-Led Bronzeville Arts Ensemble

A collaboration between the two theatres begins in January with a production of ‘The Mojo and the Sayso’ by Aishah Rahman.

MILWAUKEE: Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Repertory Theatre (MRT) has announced that it will host the Bronzeville Arts Ensemble (BAE) in residency beginning this season. The BAE, also based in Milwaukee, was founded in 2013 with the intent to provide further theatrical representation of the black experience in America, and it is the expressed hope of MRT and BEA leadership that the union between the two organizations will ignite positive change in the region.

“Bronzeville Arts Ensemble is elated to be in residence at Milwaukee Rep,” said BEA producing artistic director Malkia Stampley. “We are in a time when African-American-led theatres are struggling to stay afloat. This opportunity affords us a chance to focus on our impact, on our art, and on building an organization that will serve Milwaukee.”

“Our company has been looking for some time now at developing a deeper, more meaningful partnership with another arts-based company from the community that offers reciprocal value to both parties while offering added value towards enriching the Milwaukee Arts ecology,” agreed MRT artistic director Mark Clements. “It is exciting for us to be working with the Bronzeville Arts Ensemble in the early stages of their development and it is a privilege to be in a position to offer them a home under our roof.”

BAE will launch their residency at the Rep with The Mojo and the Sayso, playwright Aishah Rahman’s tragicomic exploration of United States race-relations in the wake of a shooting of an African-American man by a white police officer. A coproduction with Madison’s Theatre LILA, the play will run in MRT’s Stiemke Studio from Jan. 27–Jan. 31, 2016.

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