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We’re in it for the long haul.

The last several years have shown us all how important it is to have a solid foundation. Forward’s healthy reserves and early planning allowed us to continue offering dynamic productions, paying artists, and staying connected with audiences despite the turbulent conditions since 2020. At a time when many theaters in the country are struggling, Forward has remained stable.

Now we are excited to be building for the next stage of our life in Madison, with the reliable additional source of income from an endowment that will allow us to weather the next storm and expand our mission-driven work.


The Match

Pleasant Rowland, through the Madison Community Foundation, has created a unique opportunity to put Forward on equal footing with our sister Resident Companies at Overture Center. She has initiated a one-to-one MATCHING GIFT CHALLENGE for the Future Forward Endowment Fund for Forward Theater.

For every dollar raised before December 31, 2024, Pleasant Rowland will match the gift, up to $2 million.

What does your donation do?

A one-time endowment gift will generate additional general operating support for every year in the future.
This increase in annual resources will enable us to expand our work in these mission-driven areas:

Investing in Wisconsin artists

Our mission is to provide a home for Wisconsin’s professional theater artists. Over 80% of our hires are based in Wisconsin, and we are proud to pay all of our performers and technicians a living wage.

Championing new work

Forward is a state leader in creating and showcasing new work through our Wisconsin Wrights New Play Festival, Monologue Festivals, and our participation as a founding member of World Premiere Wisconsin – one of the largest statewide theater festivals in the US.

Moving the community forward

We have a social, cultural, and economic impact on the community. In addition to forging partnerships with local organizations, we actively work to increase the diversity of those engaging with and employed by our work.

We are over halfway to our goal!

Our endowment plan:

Our goal is to fully realize the matching gift challenge offered by Pleasant Rowland through the Madison Community Foundation by raising $2 million by December 31, 2024.

Sound fiscal stewardship:

From our first season budget of $80,000 to our 15th Anniversary season budget of $1.5 million, Forward Theater Company has successfully balanced being artistically bold while financially conservative. We’ve built modest cash reserves, balanced our budgets, and have ZERO debt.

Your donation will support a fiscally-responsible and local organization that keeps the arts strong in Wisconsin.
Every dollar counts.



Contact Development Director Sarah Milestone via phone at 608.234.5001 or via email at