Forward Theater Company's 2022-2023 Season

If you’ve ever been in the Playhouse for one of our opening night performances, you already know our signature toast—“Onward! Upward! Forward!” After the last few years, we are really ready to resume our focus on the future, and all the exciting places we want to go both onstage and out in the community.

So that’s what we focused on as we planned our 2022-2023 season: the future. Big, bold stories that will remind us all of what we value about live theater. Shows with thrilling design elements to delight your eyes and ears. Genres we haven't explored before (Ghost stories! Rock music!). All chosen to highlight the aspects of Forward Theater you’ve told us you value most highly—creativity, thought-provoking content, exceptional stagecraft, and great performances.


Individual tickets are also on sale:

Our 2022-23 Foundation and In-Kind 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

The Wanderers

by Anna Ziegler
September 8-25, 2022

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Mikael Burke

Esther and Schmuli are young Orthodox Jews whose future is written in scripture. Abe and Sophie believe they can write their own destiny. On the surface, these two couples couldn’t seem more different. But when a Hollywood actress upends Abe’s world, the hidden connections between all of them start to appear. This funny and mysterious drama explores the question of whether happiness lies in what we have, or on the road not taken.

"As perfect a piece of theater as I’ve seen in many years. The script by Anna Ziegler is a revelation, touching on family truths, marriage, and personal histories...Go see this show. It’s magnificent."
- DC Theatre Scene

Sponsored by: Custer Financial Services, MG&E

Feeding Beatrice: A Gothic Tale

by Kirsten Greenidge
November 3-20, 2022

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Jen Uphoff Gray

June and Lurie are the proud new owners of an old gothic home that takes “fixer-upper” to a whole new level. For starters, they have a haunting new houseguest - and she’s ravenously hungry. They do their best to keep her fed and happy, but the insatiable Beatrice demands more, burrowing deeper into their lives. As she unearths secrets with explosive consequences, this young couple must decide what they are willing to do to exorcise Beatrice forever.

A creepy, dark comedy that evokes the terror of Get Out and the suspense of Hitchcock’s Psycho, Feeding Beatrice deftly explores questions of race, class and the American Dream.

“This play is a thought-provoking, sobering, but often times laugh-out-loud gothic tale, smartly crafted to work on many complex intellectual levels.”
- Broadway World St. Louis

Sponsored by: Nancy Ciezki & Diane Kostecke, CUNA Mutual Group


by Chelsea Marcantel
January 26 - February 12, 2023

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Molly Rhode

When Nina enters her first air guitar competition, she thinks winning will be easy. But as she befriends a group of charismatic nerds all committed to becoming the next national champion, she discovers that there’s more to this art form than playing pretend - it’s about finding yourself in your favorite songs, and performing with raw joy. Will Nina be able to let go and set herself free onstage?

Following Nina’s quest to shred or be shredded, Airness is an exuberant reminder that everything we need to rock is already inside us.

“The most fun you will have at the theater this year … to call this play a ‘crowd pleaser’ is a drastic understatement.”
– Insider Louisville

Sponsored by: Sybil & Maurice Better, Frank Productions, State Bank of Cross Plains, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP


by Lauren Gunderson
April 13-30, 2023

World Premiere

Directed by Jen Uphoff Gray

Forward Theater is proud to present the World Premiere of Artemisia, a new play by Lauren Gunderson (author of Silent Sky and I and You). Artemisia Gentileschi was the most celebrated female painter of the 17th century, yet her name is remembered by few. A work of humor and warmth that celebrates the courage, artistry, and humanity of a woman who attacked the glass ceiling with every brush stroke.

Artemisia is presented as part of World Premiere Wisconsin, a statewide festival celebrating new plays and musicals.

Sponsored by: Steve & Jacqui Suleski, DeWitt LLP

Out in This World

Monologue Festival
May 18-20, 2023
Currently available as a subscription add-on

One Weekend Only!

They say that traveling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. FTC’s seventh monologue festival, Out in This World, presents twelve storytellers whose tales will take you on journeys both familiar and unexpected. Whether venturing to faraway places or making discoveries closer to home, this collection of original monologues will transport you. Who knows where the path might lead?

“I’ve had the incredible privilege of being part of Forward Theater’s monologue festivals as an actor, director, and writer. It’s always one of my favorite events, and deeply satisfying as a Wisconsin artist to have my work realized on stage. The festival embraces a large number of local artists and explores themes that make for exceptional theater."
- Jess Schuknecht, Theater Artist

Sponsored by: First Business Bank, Steve Brown Apartments