Madison Community Foundation: Awards $127,250 for theater in Overture


Robin Reid, Communications Director


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Madison Community Foundation recently awarded $127,250 from the Pleasant Rowland Great Performance Fund for Theater to four theater companies who will be performing in the Overture Center for the 2011-2012 theater season.

“Theater greatly enhances the cultural and economic vibrancy of our community,” said Kathleen Woit, Madison Community Foundation President. “These grant awards support a variety of theater experiences for all ages, including not only the performances themselves, but also school and retirement facility outreach, workshops and talk backs.”

The Fund for Theater endowment provides competitively awarded annual funding to Wisconsin-based professional theater companies to present work in the Overture Center.

The awards and amounts for 2011 are:

Children’s Theater of Madison
Lord of the Flies

As the Midwest premiere of this powerful stage adaptation of William Golding’s classic, Lord of the Flies will target audiences who are currently underserved by Overture offerings – high school and college students. Funding will allow the project to have high production values, including procurement of professional actors and fight and movement choreographers to work with 2 local actors and 12-15 youth.

Forward Theater Company
The Farnsworth Invention, A Thousand Words, Love Stories, and a New Play Development Series

The Farnsworth Invention

Forward Theater will collaborate with UW Madison Department of Theatre and Drama/University Theater to produce the fascinating story of the two men who dreamed television into existence and changed the world in the process.

A Thousand Words – World Premiere

When Miguel Fuentes opened a long-sealed storage room in his family’s Havana tavern, he was not expecting to uncover boxes of personal effects from one of the bar’s most famous patrons: Ernest Hemingway. Produced in collaboration with Milwaukee Chamber Theater.

Love Stories

Three one act plays about love by George Bernard Shaw, Dorothy Parker, and Bertold Brecht, featuring Jim Ridge and Colleen Madden.

FTC New Play Development Series

FTC will host two staged readings of original plays. One script will be developed by the Wisconsin Story Project, based on interviews about the bombing of Sterling Hall on the UW Madison campus in the early 1970s. The other will be a winning entry from the Wisconsin Wrights playwriting competition, sponsored by the UW Continuing Studies Program.

Four Seasons Theatre
Rent, The Irving Berlin Songbook, A Little Night Music


A rock opera based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème, Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side. Produced in collaboration with Madison Theater Guild.

The Irving Berlin Songbook The second installment of Four Seasons’ Great American Songbook Series, this production will also tour surrounding communities, including presentations at retirement facilities.

A Little Night Music

One of Broadway’s most neglected masterpieces, A Little Night Music deals with the universal subject of love, in all its wondrous, humorous and ironic permutations. The production will showcase musical theater and orchestral talent from across the Madison area.

Opera for the Young
Hansel and Gretel in the Playhouse

This new production of the beloved classic opera Hansel and Gretel will provide a professional theater and music experience for children at Overture Center at no cost to participants. Funding will provide involvement of elementary school children in all aspects of the production, from design to performance. The two performances in Overture will also be complemented with workshops in theater, music and design, with assistance from the Madison Children’s Museum and Madison Youth Choirs.

Eligible applicants to The Pleasant Rowland Great Performance Fund for Theater must be not-for-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status professional theatres operating primarily in the State of Wisconsin. Applicant organizations must also meet several other requirements to apply.

Madison Community Foundation has long been a supporter of the arts in the Dane County. Through competitive grantmaking, donor distributions and endowment investment, MCF has distributed over $13.2 million to local arts organizations in just the last six years. Projects supported include exhibitions, performances, art education, capital campaigns and the building of arts organization endowments. The Fund for Theater Endowment will ensure that professional theater at the Overture Center continues to be supported for generations to come.