John Schneider

John Schneider has been an assistant A&E editor and the Shepherd’s dance writer for many years. He is a longtime artist-in-residence and performing arts faculty member at Marquette University, and the founding director of the much-awarded Project Non-Violence in which youngsters from Milwaukee’s toughest neighborhoods create and perform theatre on subjects of concern to them. He is also leader of the John Schneider Orchestra, a 25-year-old cabaret-jazz band, and the creative director of the new Milwaukee Fringe Festival.

He was a founding member of the Milwaukee experimental theatre ensemble, Theatre X, and served as its artistic leader and resident playwright for most of 35 years. Theatre X presented original work internationally while maintaining an alternative art center in Milwaukee that supported artists in many disciplines. In 1995, he became the first person to receive the Milwaukee Arts Board’s annual Artist of the Year Award for contributions to the artistic life of the city. Other awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Playwright Fellowship, a Wisconsin Arts Board New Works Award, a Milwaukee County Artist Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Playwright Grant, an OBIE Award with Theatre X and a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

His works have been presented by many theatres, universities and international festivals across the United States and in Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, and have been translated into Swedish, German, and Flemish. He also served as a panelist, screener and reporter for the National Endowment for the Arts for 20 years, providing him a wide-ranging immersive education in the American performing arts.


Photo Credit: Kym McDaniel

The “Get It Out There” series invites audiences to witness a dozen radically different short performances and jot descriptions of what they saw and the thoughts it provoked. more


Third Avenue Playhouse presents Billy Bishop Goes to War, and SMPAC’s season kicks off with a presentation of The Life and Times of Vince Lombardi by John Pinero. more

, Performing Arts Weekly

For our Fall Arts Guide, we decided to look at several women who have challenged old habits by founding or taking leading roles within arts institutions. As happens in many ways, and more often than many of us realize, our city is in front. more

, Fall Arts Guide


Photo credit: Jeff Zmania

With training in dance, theatre, business and finance, Deborah Farris was hired in 2002 as the vulnerable young Danceworks’ first paid executive director. more

Fall Arts Guide


Photo Credit: Christal Wagner

Danceworks on Tap’s 2018 concert for Danceworks DanceLAB was an inspired study of Tapology. more


Coming up in Milwaukee’s performing arts world are Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily, Danceworks on Tap’s performance Tapology and SueMo: A Dance Experience’s fifth anniversary show, FI(V)E. more

, Performing Arts Weekly


Photo credit: Christal Wagner

Thirteen pieces and a traditional freestyle finish (which the kids graced) made last weekend’s sixth annual Danceworks DanceLAB showcase Ignite: A Hip Hop Dance Experience the biggest ever. As always, the virtuosity and virtues the style emphasizes w more


John Schneider narrates a walk down Brady Street in anticipation of the storied thoroughfare’s street festival, Saturday, July 28. more

A&E Feature

Renaissance Theaterworks’ Br!NK New Play Festival brings the work of Midwestern women playwrights to the greater Milwaukee area, Aug. July 31-Aug. 5, while Danceworks presents “Ignite: A Hip Hope Dance Experience,” July 28-29, showcasing the ... more

, Performing Arts Weekly



Though they speak it beautifully, you needn’t follow Shakespeare’s lines to thoroughly enjoy the Summit Players adaptation of Twelfth Night. more



Photo credit: Social Candy

This week, we preview King Lear (Optimist Theatre) and Ballet Beat (Milwaukee Ballet). more

, Performing Arts Weekly


Photo credit: Christa Wagner

Something remarkable—even heroic—is happening every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. at Alfons Gallery through Aug. 5: Andrea and Daniel Burkholder’s live performance and video installation, The Accumulation of Acts. more



Photo credit: Lila Aryan

Each year the Shepherd Express’ LGBTQ Progress Awards honors people and organizations that have worked and taken risks to improve conditions for LGBTQ people in Wisconsin. more



Photo credit: Mark R Mariucci

Off the Cuff with Brett Blomme, president and CEO of the Cream City Foundation. Topics include the philanthropic foundation’s elevated priority areas: health, equity and prosperity; as well as Blomme’s personal commitment to LGBTQ advancement. more

Off the Cuff


Photo Credit: Mark Frohna

The Swan Lake that Michael Pink and the Milwaukee Ballet dancers, orchestra and crew presented last weekend was certainly as beautiful as anything could ever be. more



Photo credit: Jenny Plevin

Pearl Cleage’s 1992 play Flyin’ West begins as a gentle history lesson about African American woman pioneers in Kansas in 1898, then opens to multiple shocks. Bronzeville Arts Ensemble’s production reminded us again how little we know of black ... more



Photo Credit: Tom Davenport

On the first days of June, Milwaukee Ballet reprises Michael Pink’s innovative staging of Swan Lake. more

A&E Feature

Performing Arts Week highlights live theater, dance and classical music performances throughout the greater Milwaukee area. This week, we preview a concert by the Glenn Miller Orchestra; Bronzeville Arts Ensembles production of Flyin’ West; and a ... more

, Performing Arts Weekly


Seven professional choreographers responded to poems by high school student writers responding to the vets’ life stories. more

Theater 1 Comments


Photo Credit: Mark Frohna

The extraordinary co-production by Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Wild Space Dance Company of composer Ana Sokolovic’s ferociously challenging a capella opera Svadba-Wedding shouldn’t disappear after three weeknight shows. more

Classical Music