Education The Fran Bauer Young Critics Project

Fran Bauer Young Critics' Project logo

The Fran Bauer Young Critics Project (FBYCP) is our arts education program. Named after our beloved Board member and journalist Fran Bauer, FBYCP was created to form the next generation of theater critics.


FBYCP seeks to encourage young womxn of high school age to enthusiastically explore and use their voice in creative and powerful ways through theater critique and professional writing. FBYCP is designed to introduce aspiring thespians to the métier and nuances of theater while creating space for self-expression and inward love, fostering healthy relationships and dignity in community through the art of critique.

Participants will have a chance to attend a Renaissance Theaterworks’ performance and monthly workshops taught by local arts educators, journalists and theater critics. During workshops, students will discuss each play’s themes and elements of production with directors, actors and other members of our production team.


 Upon completion of FBYCP, students will be able to:

  • Understand the foundational elements of theater;
  • Understand the contrast between opinion and critique;
  • Utilize engaged thinking to discuss themes and analyze and interpret written and performed theatrical works;
  • Hold honest, respectful, and meaningful conversations about themselves and peers;
  • Set and meet both personal and professional goals for themselves and peers;
  • Actively practice self-efficacy and autonomy increasing confidence, productivity, and professionalism.
Fran Bauer Young Critics Program, a Renaissance Theaterworks education program designed to introduce Milwaukee high school girls to theater criticism and professional writing.

We are grateful to have partnered with PEARLS for Teen Girls for this project! In previous years we have been able to provide their students with dynamic teams of local theater artists, including Arts Educator Trevor Rees, MFA; Writer, Poet and Founder of Still Waters Collective Dasha Kelly; Shepherd Express Theater Critic, Selena Melenski; Former Footlights Editor Amanda Schumacher; and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Theater Critic, Michael Fischer.

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About Fran Bauer

Fran Bauer

Fran Bauer was a trailblazing reporter for the Journal Sentinel for over thirty years. She was an important voice for the underdog –an advocate for the elderly and the disabled. She was also a single mom, raising three children while pursuing her career in a male-dominated world. Fran was a fierce activist for women’s rights and worked very hard to empower women in everything she did. She was a Renaissance Theaterworks' Board member for many years.

Fran was also a gifted artist. She painted the world through her eyes with incredible spirit and joy in living. Her kind, generous and caring soul, and her funny spirit, touched all who had the good fortune to know her.

Fran passed away in July, 2016, at the age of 79. We miss her deeply! We are overjoyed to honor her memory through the Young Critics Project.

We are deeply committed to Milwaukee's future generations of theater lovers!
Our goal with FBYCP is to foster a new and more diverse group of theater critics.

Please contact us for more information.