Forward Theater Company was founded to provide inspiring and entertaining theater experiences to our audiences; establish an artistic home base for area actors, designers, and theater technicians; and expand the cultural and economic life of the greater Madison area. To fulfill this mission, Forward Theater produces full seasons of plays in Overture Center using an array of professional local and regional talent, encourages new work through its new play readings and Monologue Festivals, and engages with the community through educational outreach programs, pre-show talks, and post-show talk backs.

Your PLANNED GIFT Creates a Lasting Impact

Please consider including Forward Theater Company (FTC) in your will or estate plan to ensure the impact you're having today will continue for generations to come. By including FTC in your plans, you are leaving a legacy of professional contemporary theater for the Madison community and its artists.
If you would like more information about making a planned gift, please contact Julia Nicholas, Director of Development, at or 608-234-5001.

Your IRA DISTRIBUTION Gives You a Tax-Free Way to Contribute

Are you 70½ or older and will be taking a required minimum distribution from your IRA this year?
Please consider supporting Forward Theater Company - a 501(c)(3) organization - with your direct tax-free distribution. MORE INFORMATION

Your ANNUAL FUND Gift is Vital Each Year

Each year we rely on the generous support of our donors. Ticket sales cover just half of what it costs to mount our high-quality productions of compelling and thought-provoking stories.

Make a Sustaining Gift
A sustaining gift is one that you can pay in a convenient, ongoing way. Each month, we will charge the amount you specify. Your regular support provides a strong foundation we can rely on. Click on the DONATE button and choose the recurring frequency option to start now.

To contribute online, click the "Donate" button above.
Or, you may mail a check made out to "Forward Theater Company" to us at:
Forward Theater Company, P.O. Box 14574, Madison, WI 53708.
Forward Theater Company is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Tax ID #: 26-4576271.
Thank you!
For any questions regarding donor benefits or your acknowledgement, please contact
Julia Nicholas at or 608-234-5001.

2020-2021 Donor Benefits
Annual Fund supporters provide fundamental support to Forward Theater with annual gifts up to $1,000.

$25 - $99
• Recognition in performance programs.

$100 - $249 (beginning at $8.34 a month)
The above, plus...
• Priority subscription processing.
(in recognition of gifts received in the 12 months prior to June subscription seating)
• Season magnet.

$250 - $499 (beginning at just $20.84 a month)
All of the above, plus...
• An invitation to the first rehearsal of one of the season’s productions, including the opportunity to see preliminary costume and set designs and learn about the designers' inspirations.

$500 - $999 (beginning at just $41.67 a month)
All of the above, plus...
• An invitation to a Forward Theater special event. Meet and mingle with our Artistic Director, Managing Director, members of our Board of Directors, and artists from our Advisory Company.

Forward Leaders show a strong personal commitment to Forward Theater’s mission by making annual gifts of $1,000 or more.

$1,000 - $2,499 (beginning at just $83.34 a month)
All of the Annual Fund donor benefits, plus...
• Recognition on Forward Theater’s lobby donor wall.
• Invitations to exclusive Forward Leader events -- you'll get more access to artists and stay up-to-date on Forward's strategies, plans, and exciting next steps.
• A pair of “house seats” on the main floor for one show during the season for you or your friends.
(dates subject to availability)

$2,500 - $4,999
All of the above, plus...
• We'll make your life easier by personally handling your ticket exchanges when your schedule changes.

$5,000 - $9,999
All of the above, plus...
• Annual lunch for two with Forward Theater's Artistic or Managing Director.

All of the above, plus...
• Sponsor one of our plays. You'll receive recognition and fun perks associated with the show. Or, let's talk about how we can customize an experience exclusively for you based on your interests.

Theater artists and members of the community talk about why Forward Theater is important to them:

“I value Forward Theater because it provides great opportunities for talented local actors, directors, writers, set people, and a whole host of others. I think Forward Theater really raises the bar for all the arts groups in Dane County, not to mention benefiting the economic fabric of not only the downtown, but the entire area.

I love the fact that I laugh until I can barely breath at one production and then yet two months later, I’m struck by a very serious and profound topic that leaves me contemplating what I just saw for days and possibly even weeks or sometimes it’s a combination of both, but one thing that’s consistent - the common thread is that it’s very very high quality in the sets, the acting, and the production and that’s really great. It’s a great whole package." ~ Pete Lundberg, subscriber, businessman, and community leader


The inimitable Colleen Burns - one of our original collaborators - is no longer with us. A professional actress for more than 30 years, Colleen first graced Madison stages at the Rep in 1974. Over the decades she performed in many plays and musicals there, including Nunsense, Baby, Consumer Affairs (which she co-authored with longtime musical partner Jack Forbes Wilson) the record breaking A...My Name is Alice. Colleen not only helped create Forward Theater Company in 2009, she played the lead in our first production, the radio play All About Eve. In the following season, she directed and performed in another radio drama, The 39 Steps. Colleen’s enormous talent, her professionalism, her laughter, and her dedication to her art will be the legacy that lives on in all our hearts.

FTC has created a special fund to underwrite the salary for one actress per season as a tribute to Colleen, who brought so much joy to Madison audiences. Through this endowment, we look forward to many more creative collaborations in the years to come. For more information, or to make a contribution, please contact Julia Nicholas at or 608-234-5001.

Award Recipients
• 2011-2012 Sarah Day, for her role in A Thousand Words
• 2012-2013 Celia A. Klehr, for her role in Good People
• 2013-2014 Colleen Madden, for her role in Or,
• 2014-2015 Tracy Michelle Arnold, for her role in The Other Place
• 2015-2016 Carrie Hitchcock, for her role in Silent Sky
• 2016-2017 Susan Sweeney, for her role in 4000 Miles
• 2017-2018 Judy Kimball, for her role in Marjorie Prime
• 2018-2019 Marti Gobel, for her role in Skeleton Crew
• 2019-2020 Clare Arena Haden, for her role in Mary Jane