Your Regional Guide To The Performing Arts

A Brief History and Company Overview

Founded by Steven Marcus in 1988, Marcus Promotions has grown into a trusted theater program producer and promotional partner for performing arts groups throughout the Midwest. 




Marcus Promotions is the publisher of Footlights, the in-theater program over 140 performing arts organizations and presenters in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison use every season year after year. Footlights is a full-color, professionally designed and printed theater program that is distributed to audiences who attend performing arts events such as musicals, plays, and concerts.

Footlights' online complement serves the entire performing arts scene in all three markets, as well as surrounding and outlying areas.

In 2009, Marcus Promotions reinvented their business model with a bold investment in the latest technology in press and finishing equipment for program printing. This bold investment allows Marcus Promotions to continually offer improved, cost-effective printing services designed to enhance theater client's programs.

Marcus Promotions currently operates out of a 4800-sq. ft. office and production space surrounding two digital presses and state-of-the-art finishing equipment.

Marcus Promotions is also the sole publisher for Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward Guide, Summerfest Guide, Lake Express Ferry's Lake Effect magazine, Milwaukee Masterpiece, and other contracted publishing projects.


Visit the NEW Marcus Promotions, Inc. Website!

Our Mission and Beliefs

Mission Statement:

Footlights Performance Magazine strives to offer theaters a professional playbill and audiences a comprehensive arts performance guide in the Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago areas.

Why Footlights Sets Us Apart:

We are in business to serve the arts

A wise person once said, “the Earth without art is just ‘eh’.” However silly that may sound, the sentiment rings extremely true. Without the arts, the world would truly be a boring place. The arts help us to question our humanity, escape our daily challenges, and make us cry or laugh among new friends. Most importantly they remind us of how beautiful life can truly be, and we can’t think of a better reason to be in business. 

We cheer for the underdog

Some of the best theater we have seen has been inside intimate storefronts in Chicago or hidden away on stage at a local university. A theatre company doesn’t need to produce a big Broadway production to be credible, which is why we spend so much time advocating for the storefront theaters, the up-and-coming companies, area college programs, high schools, and youth theatre education.

We are with you every step of the way

Small, non-profit theatre companies usually don’t have a staff dedicated to their programs alone. As a small company ourselves, we understand that the many roles that come into play-especially in the theater arts world. Which is why with us, we put on the multiple hats so you can save more time and energy for the show at hand.

Our product is high quality-which makes you look good

The program is one of the first things that greet audiences when they enter your theater, and it can honestly set the tone for the show and their entire evening. If a patron is handed an unprofessional-looking program they may question the quality of the production that they are about to see. We take the time to carefully craft a high-quality, professional-looking playbill because your hours of rehearsal and days in tech week deserve it.

Why the name 'Footlights'?

Traditionally, footlights were the lights at the foot of the stage that helped illuminate the actors, before modern stage lighting took hold. While most theaters no longer possess footlights, our Footlights have carried on the tradition by illuminating the actors, technical crew, and theatre company with our in-house theater programs and playbills.

St. John's on the Lake Krause - Superblock Capri