MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee Repertory Theater has named Melissa Vartanian-Mikaelian as its new managing director. In addition, May Adrales and Laura Braza have been appointed as the company’s associate artistic director and artistic producer, respectively.
Vartanian-Mikaelian has worked with Milwaukee Rep since 2002, most recently as the company’s general manager. She holds a B.F.A. in Design & Production from the North Carolina School of the Arts, and serves as a mentee in the LORT EDI Mentorship Program.
“In the six years I’ve been at Milwaukee Rep, the theatre has grown exponentially and in order to realize some ambitious and exciting new goals ahead we needed to rethink our leadership structure,” said executive director Chad Bauman in a statement. “Melissa has been with Milwaukee Rep for 17 years in more positions than anyone on our senior staff. She knows this theatre inside and out and continues to prove herself an influential leader. I’m excited to continue to work with her in this expanded capacity.”
Adrales will transition to a full time position as associate artistic director, directing productions as well as spearheading the company’s new play development program. She has worked primarily as a director of new plays, including Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone (Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Seattle Rep), and has been awarded the TCG New Generations Grant, Alan Schneider Director Award, Denham Fellowship, and Drama League Fellowship.
Braza will return to her hometown to join the team in the newly created role of artistic producer, providing oversight to the artistic department. She currently serves as artistic director for the Attic Theater Company, and has directed four productions at Milwaukee Rep. She also worked as guest director at NYU Tisch, Stella Adler, and University of North Carolina School of the Arts,
“May Adrales has been instrumental to Milwaukee Rep since 2010 and we are thrilled she is moving her family to Milwaukee as our full time associate artistic director,” said Milwaukee Rep’s artistic director, Mark Clements, in a statement. “She brings a fresh global perspective to our work that is needed and necessary to our growth as a theatre company. It is also wonderful to welcome Laura Braza back home to Milwaukee after 15 years working and developing as an artist in New York. Not only does she bring a level of artistic ambition and expertise to Milwaukee Rep, but her intimate knowledge of the community, having grown up here, is invaluable.”