Renaissance Theaterworks is a professional theater company founded and run by women. Since 1993, it has been dedicated to promoting the work of women, onstage and off, becoming a leader in the global movement toward gender equity in the arts. Renaissance Theaterworks creates provocative, courageous theater, connecting audiences with their shared sense of being human, making them feel more, think harder, and laugh louder.
Recognizing a gender imbalance within professional theater, Renaissance Theaterworks was founded in 1993 to actively promote the careers of women onstage and off.
Gender Parity in the Arts
Renaissance Theaterworks continues to be a leader in the global movement toward gender parity.
We tell stories you wouldn’t hear otherwise!
Each season, we stage three bold, challenging, relevant plays that put women’s stories center stage. We hold artistic excellence at the heart of our work, with a commitment to choosing, hiring, and producing the best. Each production showcases distinct and diverse viewpoints, with the goal of broadening the artistic landscape in our community.
We share stories that move audiences: to a new understanding of timely issues, to reflection, and to action. To name a few:
- RUSSIAN TRANSPORT by Ericka Sheffer (2018) put a spotlight on human trafficking.
- ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN by Reina Hardy (2019) used sci-fi storytelling to shine a light on families affected by mental health.
- 'RAIN ON FIRE by Karen Saari (Br!NK Award Winner 2019) gave voice to those impacted by the opioid crisis in the rural Midwest.
In addition, our Br!NK New Play Festival showcases the cutting-edge stories of women playwrights from the Midwest, emerging on the scene with innovative, boundary-pushing work. Br!NK is the only such incubator program in our region — many of these playwrights have gone onto achieve national recognition through the Kilroy List, the National New Play Network, Samuel French Off Off Broadway New Play Festival, and other platforms.
Since our founding in 1993, we have:
- Maintained 100% women producers as a women-led company;
- Provided opportunities for over 700 theater professionals, 75% of whom are women;
- Nurtured the careers of many local – and now nationally recognized – female theater professionals, including Laura Gordon, Angela Iannone, Carrie Coon, and Tanya Saracho.
For almost 30 years, we have done all of this at the highest level of artistic quality, and without ever taking out a line of credit or falling into debt.
Glowing critical reviews, a dedicated subscriber base, sold-out performances, and national interest in our mission have amplified our work.
Now we are looking to expand our audience and our impact in the community.
A new scene change — spreading our wings
The curtain is rising on an exciting new era! Our move to the 255 South Water Street performance space in 2021 will provide us with the opportunity to build capacity and expand our reach. We can now welcome 152 patrons to every performance — this 50% increase allows us to share women’s stories with even more Milwaukee audiences for years to come.
We are committed to Milwaukee and its thriving arts community!