The mission of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre is to produce intimate, high-quality, professional theatrical works of literary merit that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists.
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee's third largest non-musical
theatre company, has long been recognized as producing first-rate,
thought-provoking drama and a major contributor to the rich
cultural and economic life of the community. One of the city's
oldest, professional theatre companies, MCT was co-founded in
1975 by two local actors, Montgomery Davis and Ruth Schudson, who
envisioned a space where audiences could open their minds to new
theatrical ideas and Milwaukee's theatre professionals could
broaden their skills and apply their craft. After having been a
"roving" company for 18 years, MCT conducted its first capital
campaign and in 1993 moved into the Broadway Theatre Center. For
twenty years of its existence (1983-2002), MCT was the only theatre
company in the United States to produce an annual Shaw
Montgomery Davis led MCT as Artistic Director for 30 years. During his tenure, the company mounted dozens of memorable productions including MASTER CLASS, DON JUAN IN HELL, SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL, DINNER WITH FRIENDS, and statewide tours of 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD and DEAR LIAR featuring the company's founders. In 1997, MCT's production of ANGELS IN AMERICA: PERESTROIKA became the highest grossing play in MCT history.
After 30 years as artistic director, Montgomery Davis announced his retirement in 2004. C. Michael Wright, a local director and actor, was appointed as the company's second artistic director in September of 2005. Michael's artistic programming is characterized by smaller, more intimate productions that feature emerging local talent. His management style rescued the company from financial peril and allowed the company to expand its programming in order to develop new voices. Under his leadership, MCT began its annual Young Playwrights Series in 2006. In the fall of 2007, he created the Montgomery Davis Play Development Series, honoring the company's founding artistic director who passed away that spring. In 2007-2008, Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright also committed to offering a Pulitzer Prize-winning play each season for five years. In an effort to continue to enrich Milwaukee's pool of theatrical talent, MCT will partner with a local college theatre department for one production each season. This initiative was inaugurated in 2009 when MCT mounted William Inge's PICNIC in collaboration with UW-Milwaukee.