Theater X

Click the image to learn more. Willem Dafoe, in the red sweater third from the left, and other members of Theater X perform in a 1975 production called "Civil Commitment Hearings."

This experimental troupe was recognized for producing unique and unconventional plays.[1] Formed by a group of theater faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1969, they first made waves with their production of The Measure’s Taken at the 1970 International Brecht Symposium.[2] Their 1978 production of A Fierce Longing earned a prestigious Off-Broadway (Obie) Award for scene and lighting design.[3] In the mid-1980s, they took on controversial subject matter with their exploration of French philosopher Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality.[4] In addition to their Milwaukee performances, the group toured nationally and internationally. They disbanded in 2003, citing financial problems.[5] Their most famous participants include actor Willem Dafoe and former Violent Femmes drummer Victor DeLorenzo.[6]

Footnotes [+]

  1. ^ “Theatre X Ends 35-Year History,” Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, November 20, 2004.
  2. ^The Energizing Legacy of Theater X,” Third Coast Digest, November 11, 2009, (podcast), last accessed October 26, 2011.
  3. ^ “Theater X Gets Obie Award for Design in Drama,” The Milwaukee Journal, May 18, 1979.
  4. ^ Cindy Lutenbacher, “Theater X’s A History of Sexuality,” Theater 20 (2) (1989): 85-90.
  5. ^ “Theater X Ends 35-Year History,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 20, 2004.
  6. ^ Ibid.

For Further Reading

West, Jonathan. Milwaukee’s Live Theater. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009.


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