Milwaukee Chamber Theater: Milwaukee Premiere: STEW by Zora Howard

MILWAUKEE, WI – October 18, 2021- Milwaukee Chamber Theatre announce full casting and production details for STEW by Zora Howard, a 2021 Pulitzer Prize Finalist play and Milwaukee Premiere. Directed by Malkia Stampley, STEW opens Saturday, October 23rd at 8pm. Preview night is on Friday, October 22nd at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased via the MCT website, or by calling 414-291-7800. 

Zora Howard’s playwright, STEW, reminds us that some of the most memorable and important moments of our lives happen in the kitchen. The Tucker women have an important meal to prepare and barely enough time to pull it together—long-simmering hurt, and unhealed wounds threaten to make a mess of Mama’s special plan.  Three generations of women must work, listen, and learn together—the next generation depends on it.  A celebration of the special bond between women and family, the hilarious and heartfelt breakout hit from the 2020 Milwaukee Black Theater Festival reveals how the secrets we keep can shape the lives of those closest to us.  

STEW is directed by Milwaukee native and audience favorite Malkia Stampley. An actor, director, and producer, she attended Marquette University for Theatre Arts with additional training at Skylight Music Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Malkia began directing in 2016, conceptualizing Black Arts MKE and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts’ annual production, BLACK NATIVITY. She has since directed critically and popularly acclaimed productions for First Stage, Milwaukee Black Theater Festival, Northern Sky Theater, Milwaukee Fringe Festival, American Players Theater, Skylight Music Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and curated and directed the Broadway-themed virtual concert , “If Not Now, When?” for Milwaukee Jewish Community Center.Malkia is a co-founder of Bronzeville Arts Ensemble, established in Milwaukee in 2013, where she served as Producing Artistic Director for three years, and a co-founder of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival, established in 2020. 

“I was fortunate to see the world premiere of STEW at Page 73 productions in New York City with my two daughters in February 2020 shortly before it closed. It was one of those pieces that took my breath away, the kind of work that carries you through every emotion, leaving you to reflect on your place in your family and the legacies we carry and pass on from generation to generation.” Said Stampley.  “You will see yourself in this piece but also your family, flaws and all. I invite you to lean in, let yourself laugh, cry, exhale, engage, and connect.” 

The creative team includes Stage Management by Martinique M. Barthel, Assistant Stage Management by Josh Hart, COVID Safety Management/Production by Isaac Hopper, Scenic Design by Em Allen, Costume Design by Austin Winter, Lighting Design by Colin Gawronski, Sound Design by Zach Berinstein, Properties Design by Lonnae Hickman. 

“To quote every Stage Manager who ever reconvened a rehearsal after a break: “We are back.” As two people who assumed their roles leading Milwaukee Chamber Theatre in spring of 2020, we have waited what feels like an eternity to be able to say that and to welcome you into the theater for our season-opening production” says MCT Artistic Director, Brent Hazelton.  


Olivia Dawson 

Olivia is making her Chamber Theatre debut in STEW. Wisconsin: Milwaukee Rep (INTIMATE APPAREL, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, SOUNDING THE RIVER); Next Act (THE EXONERATED, COYOTE ON A FENCE, BETWEEN MEN AND CATTLE, BEE-LUTHER-HATCHEE); Madison Rep (HOME, SIDE MAN, WIT). Writer: 2021 Milwaukee Film Festival (THE CLEARING); 2020 MBTF for M Power Theater Group (20/20 LOOP). Film/tv: EMPIRE, CHICAGO MED, THE QUAD, COBRA KAI, THE RESIDENT, PROVEN INNOCENT, GREENLEAF, and DOPESICK. Olivia is 2021 Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences Fellow and a 2020 Arts and Social Justice Fellow at Emory University. 

Krystal Drake 

Krystal cultivated her craft of acting at UW-Milwaukee, where she earned a degree in Theatre. Krystal has also studied acting at the renowned Ivana Chubbuck Studio in Los Angeles, CA. Past theater credits include STEW (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre/Milwaukee Black Theater Festival), STRANGE SNOW (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre), PIPPIN (Skylight Music Theatre), THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES (First Stage), and PRIDE & JOY THE MARVIN GAYE MUSICAL (New Day Entertainment).  

Malaina Moore 

Malaina is a Milwaukee-based actress, playwright, and director. She wrote and starred in the award-winning play WHITE PRIVILEGE that premiered on the Marquette University mainstage in 2019. Malaina also appeared in PRINCIPLE, PRINCIPLE at Next Act Theatre, CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY at Marquette, and ELLIS at Cooperative Performance. Malaina also wrote THIS JUST IN which was featured in MCT’s Young Playwrights Festival in 2017. She appeared in JUST FRIENDS for YPF in 2021 as well as her various roles filled during the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival of 2021. Returning to her role as Lil’ Mama this season after the MBTF in 2020, Malaina is excited to see live theatre again and be in the room with an audience to laugh and cry with while sharing this beautiful story. 

Sola Thompson 

Sola is excited to make her Milwaukee Chamber Theatre debut! She most recently appeared as Camae in THE MOUNTAINTOP (American Players Theatre). She’s also worked at Milwaukee Rep, Pegasus Theatre, Know Theatre Cincinnati, and Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. TV: Chicago Med (NBC). Sola graduated from The Theatre School at DePaul University with an MFA in Acting. She is represented by Grossman & Jack. 


STEW premieres at MCT for its first in-person production since 2020. STEW runs from October 22nd until November 7th. Friday, October 22nd Preview is at 7:30pm and 8pm on Opening Night, Saturday, October 23rd. Tickets can be purchased by calling 414-291-7800 or ordering online at More information about MCT, it’s 21/22 season, how to purchase tickets, and how to donate can be found at For Talk Theatre, ViewPoints and TalkBack dates visit


The health and safety of our artists, staff, and patrons is extremely important to us. That is why we have joined dozens of other local cultural organizations in requiring all audience members ages 12 and older be either fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your performance date. Additionally, masks will be required inside the Broadway Theatre Center at all times. For full details of our health and safety plan, go to 


Founded in 1975, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) produces intimate, high-quality, professional theatrical works of literary merit that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists. MCT performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and is a proud Member Group of the United Performing Arts Fund. For more information, visit

We welcome people of all races, all religions, all genders, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, and all abilities. We welcome everyone. We stand with all those who feel unheard or silenced, and we will ensure this is a safe place for all who enter.  

MCT recognizes that we gather on traditional homeland of the Kickapoo, Menominee, Peoria, Potawatomi, and Sioux people, and serve a community where members of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present.