October 21 - November 13, 2022

Written By:
Sarah Treem

Directed By:
Suzan Fete

Elyse Edelman & Mary MacDonald Kerr

Approximate Run Time:
90 Minutes

About the Playwright

Sarah Treem

Sarah Treem, an American TV writer-producer and playwright, is the co-creator and showrunner of the Showtime drama "The Affair," which won the Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Drama Series. She was a writer and co-executive producer on the inaugural season of "House of Cards," nominated for nine Golden Globes, including Outstanding Drama Series. She also wrote on all three seasons of the HBO series "In Treatment."

About the Director

Suzan Fete

Suzan Fete is a graduate of the University of Illinois, co-founded Renaissance Theaterworks in 1993, and currently the artistic director. Favorite Renaissance Theaterworks projects include: directing Top Dog / Under Dog, The Shape of Things, Blackbird, Top Girls, and The Road to Mecca, touring Neat to Port Elizabeth South Africa in 2013 and finishing as finalists with All of Everything and Lucky Numbers in the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, in 2015 and 2019 respectively. Suzan is especially proud that Renaissance Theaterworks won the prestigious 50/50 in 2020 International Applause Award for the 2015-16 season. The Applause Award is given to theaters in recognition of their commitment to women playwrights. Suzan lives happily in Wauwatosa with her husband Jeff.

The Artists

DIRECTOR ............................... Suzan Fete
STAGE MANAGER .......... Bailey Wegner*
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR ......... Tony Lyons
LIGHTING DESIGN......... Noele Stollmack**
SCENIC DESIGN  ................. Madelyn Yee
SOUND DESIGN  .............. Josh Schmidt**
COSTUME DESIGN ... Jazmin Aurora Medina
DECK CHIEF  ................. Natasha Goeller
BOARD OPERATOR ... Lizzie Opperman

*Member of Actors' Equity Association
** Member of the United Scenic Artists of America

About the Play

Two biologists meet on the eve of a prestigious conference. But the two women aren’t quite strangers. They share a complex and mysterious bond.

The up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with the established leader in the field. The older woman has earned fame for her work on the Grandmother hypothesis. The younger wants to present a radical new hypothesis to explain why human females menstruate while most mammals do not. The play deals with the workings of science and its impact on the personal lives of women scientists.

This intimate and keenly perceptive play explores the difficult choices faced by women of every generation.

Evolution and emotions collide in this smart and compelling play about science, family and destiny. 

Special Events:

Preview: Be the first to see the show!
Fri. Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m
Sat. Oct. 22, 4:00 p.m.

Opening Night: Join us for a cast party following the performance.
Sat. Oct. 22, 8:00 p.m. 

Wine Wed!: Enjoy a FREE glass of wine on Wed. evening performances. Arrive early! Must be 21+ to consume alcohol.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 26, Nov 2, Nov 9

Pre-Show Talk: Artistic Director Suzan Fete leads a conversation at 6:45pm.
Fri. Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.

Play Club: a special talkback after the performance includes a digital copy of the script and invitation to the First Rehearsal. Must be a Play Club subscriber or purchase the Play Club add-on to participate.
Sun. Oct. 30 2:00 p.m.

PWYC: “Pay What You Choose”: suggested $10, first-come, first-served tickets, sold only at the theater 6:30pm-7:30pm, before the performance.
Mon. Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Post-Show Talk: Stay after the show to discuss the play.
Sun. Nov. 6, 2:00 p.m.

Contact Community Engagement Manager Ryan Rehak ([email protected]) for information for these dates.
Community Networking Night
Thurs. Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. 

Women’s Happy Hour
Thurs. Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. 

Pride Show Sat. Nov. 5, 4:00 p.m. 


“A moving portrait of a woman meeting with equanimity an unexpected, often painful series of questions about the choices she made in the past.” 

- New York Times

“Sarah Treem’s play brims with ideas and emotional colors that eddy and refract like rivulets in a lively plunging stream.” 

- The Washington Post


PREVIEW: Women Debating Science in Renaissance Theaterworks’ ‘The How and the Why’

Shepherd Express

RTW Opens its Season with Gorgeous "The How and the Why"

Gwendolyn Rice

Renaissance staging of 'The How and the Way' pits two scientists in a dense, smart, punchy discussion that surprises.

Urban Milwaukee

Science gets messy and explosive in Renaissance Theaterworks' 'The How and the Why'

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel