Milwaukee Public Theatre's work has been acclaimed by audiences throughout the country for its artistry, creativity, diversity and accessibility. Since its inception in 1974 as Friends Mime Theatre, MPT has been one of the very few professional theatres in the state to commit to free-to-the-public programming that makes the arts accessible to all of our citizens. Each year, the company reaches around 70-90,000 people of all ages, cultures and abilities/disabilities with socially and culturally relevant theatre, large-scale community events and parades, commissioned work for businesses and corporations, and educational workshops and art residencies for all art forms.

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Instructor Bony Plog-Benavides leading participants at UCC Senior Center, photo by Nicole Acosta

Conjunto de Oro

Milwaukee Public Theatre's Conjunto de Oro is a 10-week intergenerational drum and dance performance group that involves the Bem-bé Drum & Dance youth and the seniors at the UCC Senior Center. Throughout the summer, youth will help teach basic drum and dance alongside their Bembé teachers. The classes involve basic concepts in music and movement therapy for the elderly, involve spending quality time together, listening and sharing, and performances. 

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Spring Showcase 2017 performance, photo by Eric Kleppe-Montenegro

Bem-Bé : Drum, Beats & Dance

Milwaukee Public Theatre's Bem-Bé : Drum, Beats & Dance is an Afro-Latino percussion-based performing arts program for the Milwaukee Community. Bem-Bé uses applied ethnomusicology techniques within a positive youth development model to inspire musical and performance skills, youth leadership and self-respect, and cultural identity exploration through Afro-Latino musical culture.  

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Co-Directors Barbara Leigh, Ph. D. Founder Emeritus and Azeeza Islam- Writer, Director, Actress, Musician and Teacher. Photo by: Nicole Acosta

Grand Avenue Club

Mental illness is common everywhere in the world, with one person in every fourth or fifth household struggling with the disabling symptoms of mental illness, loss of confidence, and isolation. Despite the prevalence of mental illness, there is still a social stigma attached to the disease that makes diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation more difficult for the patient and the
community. The Grand Avenue Players Project is designed to address that stigma by working with GAC members to develop performance material that illuminates their resilience and creativity that surmount their disabilities—and to share that material with the general public—live and on video.