Former board member gifts theater with $1M for new works

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Since 1958 theater-lovers in Milwaukee have been given a wide-range of experiences with thought-provoking displays with live performances – many from emerging artists. A recent gift – one of the largest in the Rep’s history will help the Milwaukee Repertory Theater preserve that tradition.

The Milwaukee Business Journal reports:

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater said Tuesday that it has received a gift of $1 million from the family of past board member John Lewis.

The gift is the third-largest, one-time endowment gift in The Rep’s history. In honor of Lewis, The Rep announced the naming of The John D. (Jack) Lewis New Play Development Program, which will enable The Rep to commission new works, foster new partnerships with local and international playwrights and ensure that Milwaukee audiences are continually enriched by new, thought provoking theater experiences.

The Milwaukee Rep has now raised more than $2 million in donations to support new play development in the last two years.

Jack Lewis had been a subscriber since 1976 and served on the board from 1984 until 1990. He became deeply involved originally by responding to a broad community appeal for involvement when The Rep began development of the Wells Theater District location. The theater group said he had a reputation on the board as being a very creative problem solver with great ideas and a deep passion for the art.

Lewis died Dec. 6, 2015, at the age of 88.

“Jack believed in the transformational power of the theater and the importance of developing new work that will entertain and enlighten generations to come,” states Chad Bauman, managing director. “With this extraordinary gift and the generosity of many others, The John D. (Jack) Lewis New Play Development Program will nurture projects from local playwrights and attract the best in the world to Milwaukee reinforcing the city’s growing reputation as an incubator for creativity and innovation and furthering the theater’s commitment to developing new work.”

For more, visit Milwaukee Business Journal.