About Forward Theater Company
To provide a home base for Wisconsin theater professionals and audiences that will expand the cultural and economic life of the greater Madison area.
What is Forward Theater Company?
Forward Theater Company is a not-for-profit professional theater company founded to provide exceptional theater experiences for area audiences and give professional actors, designers, and directors an artistic home.
This company was founded on a commitment to the civic life of our community. We felt that the Madison area, home to the University of Wisconsin and the state government, needed locally produced, professional theater to add to the cultural fabric of our city.
It was also founded in order to create jobs for many of the talented actors, designers, technicians, directors, and other theater artists who live in this area. Our work not only supports Wisconsin playwrights, it provides hands-on experience for students in area college theater programs.
Madison and its surrounding communities have always been supportive of the arts in many forms — theater, music, dance and visual arts presented by amateur, semi-professional, and professional organizations. Forward Theater Company is proud be a resident organization in the beautiful Overture Center for the Arts, providing opportunities for artists and audiences to explore great dramas and provoke conversations about the issues that matter the most.
We are proud to partner with groups like Wisconsin Wrights, Overture Center for the Arts, the University of Wisconsin , Madison Department of Theatre and Drama, American Players Theatre,The Wisconsin Story Project, Wisconsin Public Radio, Dane County Libraries, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Milwaukee Chamber Theatre to bring exciting, engaging, and challenging theater experiences to an ever increasing audience.
Forward Theater Company has a unique three-branch organizational structure, created to reflect our core belief in the importance of communication and maintaining a balance between the artistic choices and financial health of our company.
The first branch is our administrative staff which is responsible for the daily operations of the theater.
The second branch is our board of directors which is responsible for financial oversight of FTC and long-term fiscal planning.
The third branch is our advisory company, made up of local professional theater artists, which is responsible for guiding FTC’s long-term artistic plans.
Our bylaws have mandated paths of communication between these three branches and a system of checks and balances to keep FTC strong, focused on our artistic role in the community and fiscally responsible.
Jennifer Uphoff Gray most recently directed Good People, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, A Thousand Words, The Farnsworth Invention, Moonlight & Magnolias, In the Next Room..., Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, and All About Eve. Regionally, she has directed for Madison Rep and Milwaukee Shakespeare. Also: National Tour of Copenhagen, and Associate Director of Copenhagen, Cabaret, The Blue Room (starring Nicole Kidman) and The Life on Broadway. Jen holds a degree in Dramatic Literature and Stage History from Harvard College, and with her husband Peter is raising her family on Madison’s west side.
Sarah Marty oversees the business functions of the company and serves as FTC's production manager. She is the 2008 recipient of the Bartell Award for Excellence in the Arts. She has a Master’s degree in business from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration, an MS in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. For UW-Madison Continuing Studies, Sarah is the Director of Theatre and Dance Programs, including Wisconsin Wrights New Play Development Project and Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival. In addition she has worked with several of arts organizations in the Madison area including Four Seasons Theatre, UW Varsity Band Spring Concert, Madison Early Music Festival, and Madison Opera.
Director of Development
Julia Nicholas manages individual giving, grants, and fundraisers. Julia has a Master’s degree in arts administration from the Bolz Center, as well as an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She previously led marketing and public relations efforts for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and marketing research for Lands’ End. In addition, she has worked in marketing and public relations for the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival at Yale’s Summer School of Music and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.
Scott Haden manages the marketing and advertising life of Forward Theater. He returns to Madison after serving as Managing Director of the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre for the last three years. Scott has also enjoyed acting for various regional theatres across the country, including the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Writers’ Theatre (Jeff Nomination), Madison Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Theatre at the Center and the American Players Theatre. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, and a founding member of the Wisconsin Story Project, the Dolphinback Theatre, and the Lovewell Theatre Project, an ensemble of artists that conceive and compose original musicals during intensive three-week collaborations. Scott holds a BFA in Acting from the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis.
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Celia A. Klehr started her professional life as a non-Equity actor in 1976. Because she believes that theater is most relevant when it is for, by, and of a community, Celia has made Madison her home, both professionally and personally. She was a founding member of Forward Theater Company and the Madison Repertory Theatre Acting Company. During her 14 years with the Rep she appeared in more than 20 productions, served as company manager for three years, and earned her Equity status. She has played leading roles in three feature-length films and several documentaries, and has served on the Madison Arts Commission, Madison Sesquicentennial Committee, and the State Street Committee. Celia is dedicated to creating work for theater professionals in Madison and strongly believes that theater is a vital part of Madison’s culture. Most recently, Celia was seen onstage in FTC productions of All About Eve, Moonlight & Magnolias, and Good People.
Kimberly Megna Yarnall most recently worked as artistic coordinator for Fusion Science Theater, a Madison-based company that developed interactive drama programs to educate young people on scientific concepts. Previously she worked as a copywriter and supervisor at Epic, and dramaturg with the Madison Repertory Theatre for The Journey to Sakhalin, and The Diary of Anne Frank. Before making her home in the Midwest, Kimberly was the literary assistant for the Blue Heron Theatre in New York City (2001-2004) where she worked with many playwrights including New York Times Notable Author, John Dufresne on his first play, Trailerville. She curated the Juggernaut Theatre's First 100 Years reading series. Kimberly was also an assistant writer on Broadway’s Tony nominated A Class Act. A published and produced playwright, Kimberly holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Theater from the University of Notre Dame and was a member of the Actors Theatre of Louisville apprentice company.
Alex Moskoff handles bookkeeping, maintains FTC's database, and manages the office. He has a Bachelor's degree in legal studies (and studied film and television) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Most recently, Alex was a production accountant at Warner Bros. Television in Los Angeles, where he also worked in the finance and post-production departments. A native Madisonian, Alex recently moved back to the area with his wife, a professional chef/baker.
Board of Directors
Responsible for financial oversight of Forward Theater Company.
Chad Bartell is thrilled to part of the FTC board of directors. Chad’s past "roles" include a corporate attorney at a major Milwaukee-based law firm; an instrumentalist in various music ensembles performing around Madison; and Tiny Tim in Children’s Theater of Madison’s A Christmas Carol. He is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin’s law and business schools, Wesleyan University, and Madison's West High School. When not supporting local fine arts organizations through his attendance at performances, Chad is the Associate General Counsel of the Springs Window Fashions Company in Middleton, and the father of two rather theatrical little boys.
Donna Beestman executive career strategist, has more than 20 years of experience helping clients address career issues and challenges. Prior to founding her company, Career Success Strategies, Donna worked for regional and international career management firms. She was SVP and managing director for an East Coast consulting firm with 20 offices. Earlier, she worked as a performance improvement business consultant, non-profit executive director, and educator. Donna grew up in Madison and earned degrees from Macalester College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During her many years living and working in Missouri and Delaware, she served on non-profit boards dealing with business and education initiatives, public radio, church governance, and regional public policy. She was on the boards of Junior Achievement, the Forum of Executive Women, and the Delaware Repertory Theater. Since returning to Madison in 2002, she has served on the boards of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, Downtown Rotary, Oakwood Foundation and TEMPO Madison (board member and president). A life-long theatergoer, she is honored to serve on the FTC board.
Jane Elder is the executive director of the Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. She has also been actively engaged in communicating about environmental issues and advocating for protection of the natural world and human well-being over the last 30 years. She was the founding director of Biodiversity Project – a non-profit communications organization dedicated to raising public awareness about the diversity of life on earth, and the urgent need to take action to protect it. In 2002 she received a Bay Foundation Biodiversity Leadership Award given to “individuals with proven capacity to help stem the loss of biological diversity.” Previously, Jane worked for the Sierra Club, heading up its Midwest office for many years, where she founded the Sierra Club’s Great Lakes program, and later served as the national director of Ecoregion Programs. She holds degrees from Michigan State University (BA, communications) and the University of Wisconsin, (MS, land resources). Her background includes extensive experience in non-profit management, program development, and social change strategies. She currently consults on strategic communications for social change, with an emphasis on complex environmental challenges such as biodiversity loss, global warming, ecosystem restoration, and the role of participatory democracy in achieving effective solutions.
The arts have always been an important part of Jane’s life. She was an active member of the Friends of APT and the theater’s advisory group for many years. Jane is also involved with modern dance, enjoys music and the visual arts, and dabbles in watercolor painting and quilting. She enjoys writing, from song lyrics to policy analysis, and recently completed a manuscript for a book about the challenge of protecting the Great Lakes ecosystems.
Ellen Foley is vice president of corporate communications at WPS. She has combined work as a communications professional, journalist, and college administrator with community service for more than two decades. Ellen worked in Philadelphia, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula before joining the Wisconsin State Journal as editor-in-chief in 2004. Active in Tempo Madison, she also holds a seat on the board of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, and works as a volunteer with the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s Center for Journalism Ethics at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Ellen is also committed to raising awareness and funds for cancer efforts, including the Carbone Cancer Center. She continues her journalism efforts with a column, “Foley at Large,” published on Channel3000.com, and also consults with small companies and non-profits on communication strategy. Ellen and her husband have two grown daughters: Kait, who does collage art in her free time, and Maura, who performs improvisational comedy in Chicago as a hobby. They are teaching Ellen that it’s as much fun to be in the audience as it is to be on stage.
Charles N. Ford is currently UW Emeritus Professor of Surgery in the Division of Otolaryngology, where he served as chair of the department from 1995-2007. His interest in theater dates back to his teenage and early college years, and his academic career has been influenced by a longstanding fascination with the human voice. At the University of Wisconsin he has assembled a world-class team of voice clinicians and scientists. His clinical practice encompasses medical and surgical care of actors, singers, and other voice professionals. Chuck’s research focus is laryngology and voice disorders. Currently he is collaborating with researchers in the application of surgical intervention and tissue engineering approaches to restoring damaged vocal folds. His curriculum vita reflects numerous awards, eponymous lectures, leadership positions in national medical associations, and membership on five leading editorial boards. Dedicated to supporting the arts locally, he recently served on the Madison Symphony board and currently he is an active member of the Madison Opera board of directors.
Jon Furlow is a partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, and has practiced law for almost 27 years where his practice focuses on litigation and regulatory matters. Jon represents clients in courtrooms across the country, and is vitally interested in education, training and maintaining the professionalism of the practice of law. He is devoted to mentoring young lawyers at Michael Best, and for over 15 years has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Gail Kohl joined the board of Forward Theater Company with great joy. She has worked in fundraising for more than 30 years with both local and state-wide organizations, such as American Players Theatre; the Taliesin Preservation Commission; Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage Tourism Program; United Cerebral Palsy; The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters; the Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy; Big Top Chautauqua; and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. She has been responsible for major gifts, project and operations funding, membership development and enhancement, strategic partnerships and alliances, event planning and coordination, special projects, and proposal and grant writing.
Shana Lewis is an attorney with Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. She represents public and private sector employers in the areas of Labor & Employment Law and School & Municipal Law. Shana is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and, before that, she earned a BA in political science and a certificate in women’ studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Shana has been involved in theater since the age of six, when she played the youngest child in the royal family in a community theater production of The King and I. Despite childhood dreams of a career on Broadway, Shana now participates in theater primarily as an audience member at productions across the country. She is thrilled to join the Forward Theater Company board of directors and to support professional theater, locally. Shana and her husband, Rob Magasano, and their pets, live just outside of Madison on Lake Waubesa.
Erika Monroe-Kane is the director of communications for MMoCA, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
Previously Erika founded Firecracker Consulting, formulating communications strategies for a variety of clients, worked for United Way of Dane County, the National Center for Media Engagement, and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Erika is a city girl who moved to Madison ten years ago from Chicago, and proudly reps her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. As lovers of the arts, Erika and her family enjoy the richness of Madison’s arts community.
Kathie Nichols has been the business manager for First United Methodist Church since 1990. She holds a BA in history, with a minor in literature from Binghamton University, and an MBA in economics and public policy from The George Washington University. She has been an active supporter of civic and cultural organizations in Madison. In addition to her work with Forward, she serves on the board of directors for the Madison Foundation for Public Schools and is a trustee for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Kathie moved to Madison in 1982. Her two sons, Nick and Andy White, were born and raised here. Her son, Andy, is a musical theater actor, currently living in New York City.
Carol “Orange” Schroeder and her husband Dean have been co-owners of Orange Tree Imports since 1975. In addition to running the store, Orange does translating from Danish to English and freelance writing in the fields of medical terminology, Danish cuisine, and retailing. Orange founded the Monroe Street Merchants Association and the Monroe Street Library League, and continues to serve as chair of both organizations. Orange has served two terms on the Madison CitiArts Commission, has been involved with American Players Theatre for many years, and is now a board member of the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society. She has also served on the boards of the Madison Youth Choirs, Madison Children’s Museum, Friends of WHA-TV, and Susan G Komen for the Cure, as well as volunteering for United Way of Dane County as a member of its board and marketing committee. As a footnote, Orange’s son Erik grew up in a theater-loving household in Madison (obviously!), and he is now director of marketing at Chicago's Lookingglass Theater.
Joe Shumow is an attorney with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. He sifted and winnowed his way to a BBA in real estate and urban land economics from the great University of Wisconsin, Madison. He then received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Joe serves a number of other non-profits in Madison, including The Rodney Scheel House Foundation (as past president) and the Jewish Federation of Madison. When he's not seeing Forward Theater shows, you might find Joe cheering on his beloved Brewers or Badgers.
Brent Wagner is a certified public accountant with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, where he works with various retail companies. He is a member of the AICPA and WICPA. Brent graduated from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, with a degree in accountancy. He has lived in southern Wisconsin his entire life, and currently resides in Pardeeville with his wife Sara and their three children. Brent and Sara have a great appreciation of music, art, and theater.
Responsible for artistic oversight of Forward Theater Company.
William Bolz has long been active in Madison theater. Forward Theater audiences may have seen him in The Farnsworth Invention and the Soul Food monologue festival, and heard him calling bingo numbers in Good People. He has acted with many area theater companies, including APT, Madison Rep, Madison Theatre Guild, Strollers, and Mercury Theatre. He recently earned his MFA in Acting from The University of WI, and frequently appears in online comedy videos from Madison's own Blame Society Productions.
Jim Buske has acted in, or directed more than 110 plays in Off-Broadway, regional, summer stock, dinner, and community theater. With Forward Theater, he has appeared in All About Eve, Moonlight & Magnolias, and (briefly!) The Farnsworth Invention, as well as the staged readings of Kiritsis, Uncivil Disobedience, Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, and Oatesland. Jim was also an original member of the Madison Repertory Theatre’s acting company and appeared in 11 productions there, including Marshall in the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s What Corbin Knew. Other favorites include Ken Talley in The 5th of July, Joseph Surface in School for Scandal, Elwood in Harvey, George in Moon Over Buffalo, Rev. David Lee in The Foreigner, and Sergius in Arms and the Man. He also directed Beyond Therapy for The Rep. Jim lives in Sun Prairie with his wife Stephanie and their son, David. He sends special love to Eily and Sara.
Sarah Day is a Madison native and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She began her professional acting career at Wilson Street East Dinner Playhouse while a student at the university, 30 years ago. She performed with both Madison Civic Repertory and Madison Repertory Theatre. Other Wisconsin theater credits include: The Fireside Dinner Theatre in Fort Atkinson, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Next Act Theatre and First Stage Children's Theater. She has been a guest artist at the University of Wisconsin Madison and Milwaukee campuses, and taught at UW-Richland. She has been a member of the acting company at American Players Theatre in Spring Green since 1986 and is a member of Actors' Equity Association. With Forward Sarah has appeared in All About Eve; Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them; A Thousand Words; Collected Stories, and the staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays.
Richard Ganoung is a founding member of Forward Theater Company and has appeared in FTC productions of All About Eve; Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them; In the Next Room or the vibrator play; The Farnsworth Invention; Good People; and the staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays; in addition to assistant directing FTC's Going to St. Ives and directing two original monologues by Christopher Durang in The Love That Changed My Life monologue festival. He has also appeared regionally with the Folger Shakespeare Theater in Washington D.C., Madison Repertory Theatre, First Stage Children's Theater, and Milwaukee Shakespeare. Film credits include starring roles in the independent films Parting Glances, Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, and Scrooge & Marley. He is also the voice of Astro Boy's father in the popular Japanese cartoon series. Richard holds an undergraduate acting degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and also attended New York's Circle in the Square Professional Training Program. He is a proud member of both the Screen Actors Guild of America and Actors' Equity, the union of professional stage actors and stage managers. Richard makes his home in Madison.
Michael Herold came to Madison in 1986 and was cast in The Foreigner, the first of more than 16 plays with the Madison Rep. For Forward, Michael has appeared in All About Eve, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them; The Farnsworth Invention; Sons of the Prophet; the staged reading of Oatesland, and both monologue festivals. Elsewhere, Michael has performed in more than a dozen productions at the Milwaukee Rep, as well as acting with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Next Act, and Milwaukee Shakespeare. He appeared in Laughter on the 23rd Floor at the Briar Street Theater in Chicago, and has been featured in productions with New American Theater and Artists’ Ensemble in Rockford, and New Court Theatre in Beloit. Michael has also toured nationally and regionally, and has performed at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis and the Horton Grand Theatre in San Diego, as well as several Shakespeare festivals around the country. In addition to being featured in regional and national television commercials, Michael also appeared in the recent film Baraboo. Originally from Ohio, he holds an MFA from the University of Akron. Michael lives in Sun Prairie with his wife Tracy and their children, Olivia and Gabriel. Michael is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.
Jessica Bess Lanius is an actor, director and proud native of Wisconsin. She is the co-founder of Theatre Lila, an ensemble-based theatre company created in New York City. As a director Jessica explores and expands the theatrical terrain, incorporating the physical body, text, music, video and imagery to create a multi-dimensional fusion of storytelling. With Theatre Lila she has created the original works: Shakespeare’s Women: Under the Corset, Wrecked, Julie, Firecracker, & The Waltz of Elementary Particles. Wisconsin Directing/Choreographic works include: Spring Awakening & Big Love at UW-Stevens Point, Four Season’s Theatre Les Miserables, CTM’s Anne of Green Gables, Wisconsin Wrights Discovering Austen and Theatre Lila’s No Child. As an actor Jessica has worked in stage, film and television. Favorite roles include: Catherine in Forward Theater's In the Next Room or the vibrator play , Jill in The Big Funk , Julie in Julie , Nina in Nina Variations, Ophelia in Under the Corset, and Edgar in The Leer Project . She has also appeared in numerous national network commercials including Claritin, Toyota, Special K, Babybel, and V-8. Jessica graduated with a BFA from UW-Stevens Point and an MFA in Acting from Rutgers University. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association.
Georgina Mckee is delighted to be part of the advisory company of Forward Theater, where she has previously appeared in 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, The Soul Food Monologue Festival, A Thousand Words, and the staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays. A native of Madison, Georgina now lives in Milwaukee where her recent acting credits include; Mom in Jackie & Me (First Stage Children's Theater), Yvonne in Sunday in the Park with George (Skylight Music Theatre), Meg in Crimes of the Heart (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre), the title roles in Sylvia and Mary’s Wedding (Next Act Theatre), Viola in Twelfth Night (Optimist Theatre), Carly in Reasons To Be Pretty (Renaissance Theaterworks), Eve/Barbara/Ella in The Apple Tree and Lori in Romantic Fools (In Tandem), and ensemble roles in Bombshells and A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Rep). Regional credits include productions with American Players Theatre, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The Fireside Theatre. Georgina holds a BFA in acting from Southern Oregon University.
Karen Moeller has worked at the Bartell with Strollers Theatre and Mercury Players Theatre, at Broom Street Theater, Madison Rep, Alley Stage, Children's Theater of Madison, and of course, Forward Theater. Forward credits include All About Eve; In the Next Room or the vibrator play, The Farnsworth Invention, Sons of the Prophet, both monologue festivals, and the staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays. In other media, she has performed in internet series, and television and radio commercials, both locally and regionally. Karen studied theater at the University of Iowa and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She then moved to New York City, where she worked on stage and in television and film. A native of Door County, she is proud to call Wisconsin (and especially Madison!) her home. Karen is constantly amazed at how rich our community is with actors, designers, writers, and directors, all of whom possess such a deep commitment to the art and craft of theater.
Frank Schneeberger is currently a theater technician for Overture Center for the Performing Arts. His set designs for Forward include Love Stories, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, and All About Eve. From 1978-2002, he was the resident designer/technical director for Madison Repertory Theatre, helping it to grow from a small community theater to a nationally-recognized, professional, regional company. During this time, Frank designed and built more than 140 sets. Between 1974-1978, he was the resident designer/technical director for the Children's Theater of Madison. In addition, Frank’s designs have been seen at American Players Theatre, Cider Mill Playhouse (Binghamton, NY), Theatre X (Milwaukee), Racine Theatre, University of Wisconsin, Madison Opera, Strollers Theatre, Mercury Players Theatre, Madison Theatre Guild, Madison Savoyards, Edgewood College, and Wisconsin Youth Theatre.
Kirk Stantis has been actively working in theater since he was 15 years old, when he talked his way into a job as a “junior” stagehand at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. After being plucked from the sun-drenched land of Southern California in 1971 and planted in the frozen tundra of Madison, continued his education and work in theater with the Madison Theater Guild, University Players, Madison Civic Repertory Theater, Madison Savoyards, Phi Beta, and of course, Forward Theater. Highlights of his career include stage managing the first amateur production of Company and being part of several Forward Theater production teams. Kirk is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 251.
Michele Traband got hooked on theater in high school, after following a boy to an audition for South Pacific. She currently works as a development specialist for American Players Theatre, and has more than 25 years of experience as an arts administrator. Previous positions include general manager of the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s University Theatre, program manager for the National Theatre Conservatory (Denver, CO), program director for both the UW-Milwaukee’s Professional Theatre Training Program, the University of Hartford’s Hartt School Theatre Division, and the director of ticketing services for the Lied Center at the University of Kansas. Michele holds an MFA in arts administration from Brooklyn College. She is a proud founding member of Renaissance Theaterworks in Milwaukee, and has served as a board member for several not-for-profit organizations around the country.
Charles J. Trieloff II received his MFA in set design from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. For Forward Theater Charles previously designed sets and/or props for 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Good People, Love Stories, A Thousand Words, The Farnsworth Invention, and Going to St. Ives. Charles has also designed both sets and props for dozens of productions at the Children’s Theater of Madison, University Theater, Madison Ballet, and Madison Opera’s Opera in the Park. He was the prop master at Madison Repertory Theatre for nine years, and is currently the prop master at American Players Theatre. Outside of the theater world Charles designed the themed reception areas for the Old Sauk location of Children’s Dental Health.
Sam White has worked in professional, academic, and community theater for more than 35 years. He studied theater at Edgewood College and "cut his teeth" at the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival. His professional credits include performances at the Madison Rep (he was the first addition to the Rep’s original acting company in 1983), TAPIT/new works, the University of Wisconsin, Madison's summer theater seasons, and of course Forward Theater, where he appeared in All About Eve, and the Soul Food Monologue Festival. In Milwaukee Sam has appeared with In Tandem Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Next Act Theatre, and the former Theater Tesseract. He is also familiar to almost every community theater group in Madison as an actor, director, and playwright. The former artistic director of Madison Theatre Guild, he was also a founding member and former president of Madison’s Playwright’s Ink. In addition to more than 150 theater productions, Sam has appeared in more than 120 commercials and industrial training films, including the original Hulu series "Battleground." Two of Sam's plays have been workshopped through the Wisconsin Wrights program, and Forward did a reading of Oatesland as part of its New Play Development Series in 2012.