Your Regional Guide To The Performing Arts

25 Quick Facts About Renaissance Theaterworks

 25 Quick Facts About Renaissance Theaterworks
Photo Credit: Renaissance Theaterworks

Since that cold day in February 25 years ago, dreams have become realities.
Here is just a sample of what the women at Renaissance have achieved: 

1) Since 1993, 66 full productions and 40 staged-readings have been produced, including…

2) …nine original works by Wisconsin playwrights…

3) …Seven world-premieres…

4) …and one North American Premiere!

5) Renaissance introduced Milwaukee audiences to the work of Suzan Lori Parks…

6)…Neil LaBute…

7) and Rebecca Gilman.

8) Over the past 25 years, 65% of the plays Renaissance have produced have been written by women, with 95% of the plays produced having been directed by women. When Reniassance Theaterworks was founded, there were no female producers in Milwaukee, and less than 5% of plays produced were written by women.

9) Renaissance has provided opportunities for over 700 theater professionals, 70% of those professionals have been women.

10) For the first 18 years of operation, the co-founders of Renaissance Theaterworks didn’t get paid. Instead, they invested their funds into a supportive staff to elevate the organization.

11) Cops were called on their rehearsal for Criminal Hearts – because they were rehearsing in an empty store front (generously donated by a board member) and neighbors were alarmed by their stage guns seen through the large class windows.

12) In 2005, Renaissance became a resident theater company of the Broadway Theatre Center

13) Produced the first – and only – all-Latina show in Milwaukee (Enfrascada, 2012)

14) Renaissance has performed at the Taycheedah Women’s Correctional Facility…

15) …and had their first Cultural Exchange Project with Isithatha Theatre in South Africa

16) In 2013, launched Br!NK, a new play development series and annual festival focused on promoting the work of Midwestern women playwrights

17) In 2014, their production of Gwen Rice’s Lucky Numbers was a finalist (out of 1500 + submissions) in the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Festival in New York City.

18) In 2016, Renaissance won the prestigious 50/50 in 2020 Applause Award, which is presented annually to theater companies in recognition of their commitment to women playwrights. Renaissance Theaterworks is the only Wisconsin theater to be nominated.

19) in 2016, Renaissance launched Groundworks, an experiment in alternative theater spaces in a hope to broaden the range of work and cultivate the next generation of theater artists.

20) In 2017, added Br!NK Br!EFS, a ten-minute play festival in addition to the Br!NK New Play Development series

21) Created The Young Critics Project, an arts education program focused on introducing young women in 10th and 11th grade to theatre criticism and professional writing – launching in fall 2017!

22) Remains the second oldest professional theater company in the United States with a commitment to gender equality.

23) Only Wisconsin theater company with a playwright-in-residence


24) Renaissance has achieved all of this with a staff size of 4-6 (and sometimes as small as 2!)

25) All with 25 years of debt-free operation!

Renaissance Theaterworks kicks off their 25th year March 27, 2017 at the Broadway Theatre Center for their first annual S.W.A.N (Support Women Artists Now) event. Details about the event, as well as a full list of Renaissance Theaterworks’ accomplishments from the past 25 years, can be found at

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