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COLLEEN BURNS MEMORIAL FUND

Colleen Burns, founding member

The Intimitable
Colleen Burns

Colleen Burns – one of Forward’s founding artists – is no longer with us. A professional actress for more than 30 years, Colleen first graced the local stage at the Madison 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) and the record-breaking production 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. 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.

Award Recipients

FTC 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 Sarah Milestone at smilestone@forwardtheater.com or 608-234-5001.

2023-24
Dana Pellebon, for her role in Clyde’s

2022–23
Laura Gordon, for her role in Artemisia

2021–22
Olivia Dawson, for her role in The Mytilenean Debate

2020–21
Mary MacDonald Kerr, for her role in The Lifespan of a Fact

2019–20
Clare Arena Haden, for her role in Mary Jane

2018–19
Marti Gobel, for her role in Skeleton Crew

2017–18
Judy Kimball, for her role in Marjorie Prime

2016–17
Susan Sweeney, for her role in 4000 Miles

2015–16
Carrie Hitchcock, for her role in Silent Sky

2014–15
Tracy Michelle Arnold, for her role in The Other Place

2013–14
Colleen Madden, for her role in Or,

2012–13
Celia A. Klehr, for her role in Good People

2011–12
Sarah Day, for her role in A Thousand Words