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: Heather Mrotek

In SueMo's Symbiosis, the pains of change were the subjects of several premieres as the company shifted its focus forward. Read more


Ayad Akhtar has continued to polish the script of Junk. Working with Mark Clements, he’s just finished a newly updated version that will premiere in Milwaukee Jan. 16-Feb. 17. Read more

A&E Feature

This week’s highlights include Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival Showcase, which returns to Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre for an eighth year. Read more

, , Performing Arts Weekly


Photo Credit: Jenny Plevin

Director Malkia Stampley and her team locate the ancient story in today’s Milwaukee where a child is born to a homeless Black Mary and Joseph under a local viaduct. Read more


Midnight and Moll Flanders deftly and poignantly explores the influence of gender, class, free will and circumstance in an era as fiercely entrepreneurial as ours. UW-Parkside’s production highlights this week’s performing arts offerings. Read more

, Performing Arts Weekly

“Am I worried about the future?” Mama Ferne asked at intermission. “Not with these dancers and this leadership.” Read more


First Stage artistic director Jeff Frank discusses the organization’s new projects and its production of the Tony Award-winning musical Matilda in January-February. Read more

Off the Cuff

Village Playhouse continues its 40th-anniversary season celebration with a production of Lucille Fletcher’s 1972 suspense mystery Night Watch. Read more

A&E Feature


Photo Credit: Paul Mitchell

With Acts of Discovery, Space Dance Company offers a site-specific performance throughout an East Side dairy distributor’s plant. Read more



Michael Pink’s Dracula was played at the Milwaukee Ballet, the masterpiece is both terrifically entertaining and a manifesto of Pink’s values as a ballet choreographer. Read more


Dracula DEBUT. Luz San Miguel. Photo Rick Brodzeller.jpg

Photo Credit: Rick Brodzeller

About Milwaukee Ballet, Luz San Miguel says, “Right away, I felt this is my place. I found home.” She wraps up her Milwaukee Ballet career with Dracula. Read more

A&E Feature


Photo credit: Tom Bamberger

Early Music Now bring Estonian vocal ensemble Heinavanker to Milwaukee, and Racine Theatre Guild presents the inspiring play, Lombardi. Read more

, Performing Arts Weekly


Photo Credit: Nathaniel Schardin Traveling Lemur Productions LLC

CORIOLANA is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus in which the title character isn’t just played by a woman but reconceived as a female character. Read more

A&E Feature

GuardsAtTheTajMichael Brosilow.jpg

Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow

Director Brent Hazelton’s production of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj is beautifully crafted and extremely moving. Read more


Choreographer Dawn Springer and composer Jon Mueller presented a terrific 40-minute performance in an off the beaten path Bay View Warehouse on Saturday night. Read more



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. Read 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. Read 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. Read 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. Read more

Fall Arts Guide