September 28th, 2020

To our valued subscribers and single ticket buyers,

THANK YOU for your investment in our season and your support for our ground-breaking production of The Lifespan of a Fact. We treasured all the messages we received from you and could tell that you, like we, have been hungry for good theater.

Now that Lifespan has closed, it's time to share some big news with you: we've made a switch for our mainstage production this winter. We promised you last spring when you were buying your subscriptions or considering single tickets that we would make all of this season’s productions available to you digitally, even when we are able to return to producing in the Playhouse – we want you to be able to make your own decisions about what feels safe to you during this pandemic.

We secured permission from the professional theater unions to make this promise, and worked with all the season’s playwrights to get their signoffs. All stakeholders agreed, except for the author of our show scheduled for January-February 2021, Admissions. Obviously, we were disappointed by his decision. But our primary commitment is to you, our audience, and to your safety. So we made the difficult decision to let Admissions go and select a different play. But that’s where our disappointment ends, because we are thrilled to announce that we will instead be producing Eleanor Burgess’s brilliant and timely play, The Niceties!

by Eleanor Burgess
Streaming online
January 22 - February 7, 2021

In The Niceties, Zoe, a Black student at a liberal arts college, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her paper about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history, and power.

The Niceties will be co-directed by Jen Uphoff Gray and Milwaukee-based artist Di’Monte Henning (seen on our stage in Skeleton Crew). The cast includes Sarah Day (seen recently in Life Sucks, and at American Players Theatre), and Samantha Newcomb (seen recently at American Players Theatre and in A Christmas Carol at Childrens Theater of Madison).

This production of The Niceties, like our production of The Lifespan of a Fact, will be entirely virtual. While we wish that the spread of coronavirus in our community was contained, there are clearly still significant public health concerns about gathering in indoor spaces that are not likely to have gone away by January. So we will put all our energies towards making this an exceptional online experience, while keeping you and our artists safe.

We hope after seeing how well Lifespan worked you will be excited for another production in a digital format and eager to support our hard-working team of artists. However, as always, we are happy to refund your individual subscription tickets for The Niceties if you do not wish to attend a virtual production. Reach out to Audience & Donor Relations Manager Samara Safarik ( for refund assistance.

Please note that refunds must be requested by January 18, 2021.

The remainder of our season (Lewiston/Clarkston, in April and 45 Plays for America's First Ladies in May) is unchanged and we are hopeful that these productions will be able to safely take place in the Playhouse. We will continue to keep you informed about any changes, as we have done since theaters closed last March. Open communication is so important to us!

Please stay safe, and do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions.

Jen Uphoff Gray
Artistic Director

View new dates for 45 Plays for America's First Ladies and Within These Walls: Stories of Home monologue festival