2020-2021 Season – Next Act Theatre

2020-2021 Season

There’s no denying that our lives and our world have changed a lot recently. However, we are confident that recognizable daily life will return and that live performance will hold an even higher esteem among you, our loyal patrons, who have cherished and supported Next Act’s work for years or decades.

Our 2020-21 season focuses on humanity’s compulsion to struggle against challenges and the ultimate triumph which comes through perseverance and faith. Even now we are being tested, and through our own determination, our faith in one another and the cause, we will emerge into a brighter future. Through delightful comedy and compelling drama, Next Act’s 2020-21 season will celebrate our collective success – it will commemorate our connectedness and honor the best of the human spirit.

Wondering how Next Act is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in planning for our 2020-21 season? Here are some of the ways we’re preparing:

  • We’ve delayed our season opening until November to give us ample time to make adjustments, implement safety procedures and respond to state, municipal and industry safety requirements.
  • We’ll implement an overall strategy for cleanliness, distancing, enhanced ventilation, patron flow and capacity within our venue in accordance with CDC, state and municipal guidelines.
  • We will professionally videotape each production and release it for exclusive online viewing to ticket holders who don’t feel comfortable attending in person.

Single tickets will go on sale in Fall 2020. Stay tuned!

Our 2020-21 season includes:


by Lucas Hnath
November 19 – December 13, 2020

A Wisconsin Premiere by Tony nominee Lucas Hnath.

Twenty years ago, Pastor Paul’s church was a modest storefront. Now he presides over a congregation of thousands, with Sunday school classrooms, vestibule coffee shop and a swimming pool-sized baptismal font. Today’s mortgage burning should be a day to celebrate. But Paul is about to deliver a sermon that will shake the faith of his flock to the core. Will the rock on which they stand be cracked or strengthened by Paul’s powerful change of heart?


by Joe Zarrow
February 11 – March 7, 2021

A Wisconsin Premiere by experienced educator Joe Zarrow.

Kay Josephs wants to make a difference; she quits her corporate job and heads for Chicago’s South Side to teach English. Her department colleagues are skeptical but welcoming: old-hand Denise is near retirement, rebellious Shelley will cut any corner for her kids and Ola tries to keep everyone – and the dilapidated copy machine – happy. But this year will be extra tough for everybody. Principal Banerjee’s dedication to the standardized test could put them all out of a job. Finally, a play that celebrates the resourcefulness, sacrifice and devotion of the best among us: our teachers.


by Bill Cain
April 15 – May 9, 2021

A World Premiere by Next Act-favorite playwright Bill Cain.

To be or not to be? – the world’s most famous existential question. In a contest of survival, three actors fight for their very lives as they climb Shakespeare’s Mount Everest: the coveted role of Hamlet. Movie star Charlie, his understudy Rafe and the transcendent Tigg battle doubts, ghosts and each other while trying to prove that theirs is the performance to remember. Bill Cain has penned a thrilling, fast-moving love poem to writers, actors and all that makes theatre the greatest show on Earth.


by Michael Hollinger
May 27 – June 20, 2021

Sex! Murder! Commies! It’s 1952: America’s gonna blow the H-bomb, the voters like Ike and everyone loves Lucy on Monday nights. Meanwhile, Joe McCarthy’s daughter just got engaged to a Russian spy and hard-boiled detective Maggie Pelletier has to figure out what Velveeta cheese and kippers can tell her about the stiff they just fished out of Boston Harbor. Hang onto your fedora: the cops are quick, the jokes are rapid-fire … and the spies are just plain hot, if you catch our drift.

Season tickets are now on sale for our 2020-21 season. You can buy them online at https://nextact.org/tickets/season-tickets/, via email at info@nextact.org or send a letter to Next Act Theatre, PO Box 394, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0394. While our ticket office remains closed to walk-up traffic, you can also call us at 414.278.0765 and leave a message,