First Stage announces a season filled with music, joy and adventure for 2022-23

Credit: Paul Ruffolo

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- First Stage is excited to announce their 2022/23 season.

The full season kicks off in October at the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater with the fun world premiere musical "Arthur and Friends Make a Musical" written by First Stage Resident Playwright John Maclay, with music and lyrics by Brett Ryback.

Then in November, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical" returns to the Todd Wehr to get audiences young and old into the holiday spirit.

The new year begins with a loving ode to family, "Carmela Full of Wishes," an adaption by First Stage Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios and based on the book by Matt de La Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson.

In March, the delightfully quirky and hopeful "The Spongebob Musical" newly adapted for Young Audiences comes to the Todd Wehr, a production bursting at the seams with optimism and loaded with songs from popular musicians like Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend and Panic! At The Disco, to name a few.

The final production at the Todd Wehr will be Bob Marley’s "Three Little Birds," a timeless tale of peace and love filled with music from the legendary reggae artist.

Meantime, First Stage has scheduled a variety of offerings in the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center’s newly remodeled theater-in-the-round Goodman Mainstage Hall. Opening in early February 2023 will be the "The Hobbit," an energetic adaptation by Greg Banks and based on the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Directed by Jeff Frank, the play follows Bilbo Baggins on an epic magical journey showing us that courage is about taking on a challenge despite our fears while also reminding us of what it is to be a true friend.

First Stage’s award-winning Young Company will also present two Performance Projects at Milwaukee Youth Arts Center beginning with William Shakespeare’s enchanting comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in December. That will be followed by a production in March of "Little Women," by Kate Hamill, adapted from the celebrated coming-of-age novel by Louisa May Alcott.

The final Young Company presentation for the 2022/23 season will be the fully mounted world premiere production of "The Gracious Sisters," by First Stage Resident Playwright Alice Austen, and freely adapted from The Eumenides, by Aeschylus. It is an exploration of the balance of a desire for vengeance and the need for grace. This play is part of World Premiere Wisconsin, a statewide festival celebrating new plays and musicals.


First Stage offers three ways to purchase tickets for its 2022/23 season. The All-Access Membership will give families the opportunity to purchase tickets at 25% off regular single ticket prices, receive discounts on Theater Academy classes, invitations to special Preview Events and more. The cost of the All-Access Membership is $75 per household and are on sale now. Families can also purchase the traditional Family Package, which offers a 30% discount off regular single ticket prices when building a season package of three or more plays. Family Packages are also now on sale. Single tickets to First Stage’s 2022/23 season will go on sale Aug. 1, 2022.

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