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Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama

Collected Stories

January 17 - February 3, 2013

WRITTEN BY Donald Margulies

DIRECTED BY C. Michael Wright

Featuring FTC advisory company member Sarah Day, and Milwaukee actress Laura Frye

In collaboration with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

Ensconced in her Greenwich Village apartment, acclaimed writer and professor Ruth Steiner decides to take on Lisa, a 26-year-old graduate student as her assistant. Over the course of six years, Ruth and Lisa’s relationship evolves and a friendship blossoms as the prickly, temperamental author shepherds her star-struck student toward her first success in the publishing world. But when Lisa’s new book exposes intimate details of Ruth’s life, and her fame threatens to overshadow her teacher, the mentor-mentee relationship is turned on its head.

C. Michael Wright, Producing Artistic Director for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and the director of this production, characterizes the story as an intimate study of a unique relationship. He explains that Ruth and Lisa “start as strangers, they get very, very close and then we see this delicate dance they do as they try to figure out how to grow together. It’s a very complicated relationship that develops. . . Really a juicy story about people and how we dance together, how we give and take, how we keep secrets from each other, how we help and hurt each other because we’re all just such vulnerable beings.”

Commenting on her character (Ruth Steiner), Sarah Day added, “I think it’s a good story about friendship, about mentorship, about coming to terms with how you deal with the people in your life. If we’ve been lucky we’ve had a mentor, somebody who really was asking the very best of us. That challenged us. That loved us in a way that was parental or avuncular and wants really to strengthen us. If we’re lucky, we’ve been either Lisa or Ruth, or maybe both.”

After an initial three-week run in the Broadway Theatre Center as part of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s season, the entire production of Collected Stories moved to Madison. This is the second half of a two-year collaboration between Forward Theater and Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.

“We’re thrilled to be continuing this partnership,” said Jennifer Uphoff Gray, Artistic Director of Forward Theater. “Our companies have brought two plays to life on two different stages, in two distinct communities – a feat in itself! And it’s such a win-win for all involved. By sharing expenses, designers, sets, and directing duties, we mounted the world premiere production of A Thousand Words in 2012 and this year we realized a brilliant production of Collected Stories, featuring tour-de-force performances by two of southern Wisconsin’s most amazing actresses. Ultimately our audiences may benefit the most.”

Overture Center for the Arts

201 State St,
Madison, WI 53703

Sponsored By:
Qual Line Fence
Our Lives Magazine

About the show


Performance Dates:
January 17 – February 3, 2013

Age Recommendations:


We strive to make our performances available to the entire community. This guiding principle captures the theater we aim to be.

We’re proud to be a resident company at Overture Center, which provides practical accessibility for a variety of needs.

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Sarah Day
Ruth Steiner
Laura Frye
Lisa Morrison
Creative Team
Stephen Hudson-Mairet
Set Designer
John Frautschy
Lighting Designer
Christoper Guse
Sound Designer
Kim O'Callaghan
Costume Designer
Nikki Kulas
Props Designer
Kim Patch
Stage Manager
Marja Barger
Kevin Zimmer
Technical Director

More from this season

Good People
April 4 – 21, 2013
44 Plays for 44 Presidents
September 20 - October 7, 2012
Soul Food - Forward Theater Company's Monologue Festival
November 9-11, 2012