Forward Theater Company's 2021-2022 Season

The last year has been quite a journey - but in our 13th season, there is daylight ahead. We can’t wait to welcome you back to Forward Theater and celebrate by telling stories the way we know best - on stage in the Playhouse at Overture Center. This year’s season theme is Nevertheless. This word sums up everything we’re feeling as we look to the upcoming year – a feeling of having survived great challenges, of persevering, of coming through it all with a sense of resolve and conviction. Feelings that are shared by many of the characters in this spectacular season of plays.

Want tickets? Single tickets will go on sale for each play one month prior to opening night for the production.

Our 2021-22 Season Sponsors: Madison Community Foundation, Evjue Foundation, Wisconsin Arts Board - with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts, The Madison Concourse Hotel, Distillery Design, Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin

Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles?

by Adrienne Kennedy & Adam P. Kennedy
September 9 - 26, 2021

Regional Premiere

Directed by Baron Kelly

It’s the Swinging ‘60s in London, and American playwright Adrienne Kennedy finds herself among the rich and ultra-famous when she’s hired to write a stage version of John Lennon’s new book. Told in an interview-style conversation between Kennedy and her son, this autobiographical play shares her sense of awed wonder as she tries to hold her artistic ground in a patriarchal world of show business luminaries.

“Allows us effortless access into Adrienne’s memory, which has been painted with a loving faithfulness that makes London into newly explored territory... …the writing is impressively detailed and echoes with the same poetry of the prosaic that defines (her) best works.”
- Talkin' Broadway

Sponsored by: Custer Financial Services, SVA, Cap Times Idea Fest

The Amateurs

by Jordan Harrison
November 4 - 21, 2021

Wisconsin Premiere
Returning to the stage after cancellation in March 2020!

Directed by Jennifer Uphoff Gray


Hollis is a performer in an itinerant troupe of actors attempting to outrun the Black Plague in this 14th century-set comedy by the author of Marjorie Prime. The Renaissance is still in the future, and so is the concept of self-determination. So when Hollis stops a performance to wonder why Mrs. Noah would get on that ark, she throws her castmates into chaos.

A story set in the past that eloquently reflects our present. This centuries-spanning play delights in the imaginations of theater-makers and theater-goers everywhere. And in a tale as inventive and hilarious as its characters, The Amateurs considers the purpose of art in a dark world.

“Among the themes that light up like fireflies here and there are the nature of sin, the purpose of art, the low status of actors and the low status of humans in general. If history has been a drama, it has consigned almost everyone throughout time to the chorus.”
- The New York Times

Sponsored by: Nancy Ciezki & Diane Kostecke, Steve and Jacqui Suleski, DeWitt LLP, and the State Bank of Cross Plains

The Mytilenean Debate

by Quan Barry
February 24 - March 13, 2022
Single tickets on sale January 27th

World Premiere

Directed by Mark H

Latimer is a successful heart surgeon. When his younger wife, Nina, unexpectedly gets pregnant, Latimer must break the news to his grown daughter, who is struggling to start a family of her own. Written by poet, award-winning author, and Forward Theater Writer in Residence Quan Barry, The Mytilenean Debate raises questions about legacy and the responsibilities inherent in bringing a Black child into a complicated world.

Sponsored by: MG&E

Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy

by Sarah Gancher
April 21 - May 8, 2022
Single tickets on sale March 24th

Regional Premiere

Directed by Jennifer Uphoff Gray

At the infamous (real-life!) Internet Research Agency, professional internet trolls work for days at a time, creating tweets and posts to sow discord and doubt among Americans approaching the polls with high emotion and low information.

Russian Troll Farm imagines the daily lives of these workers as they invent characters, stage conflicts, and create conspiracies. What happens to your grasp on the truth when your whole job is lying? How does your identity shift when you impersonate Americans for a living?

“A trenchant workplace comedy about the folks who tried to promote Pizzagate, confuse Wisconsin and, ultimately, elect Donald J. Trump.”
- The New York Times

Sponsored by: Sybil & Maurice Better