Alverno Presents & Marquette Theatre

Fiasco Theatre’s Cymbeline

Friday October 12th, 8:00p.m. and

Saturday, October 13th, 2012, 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.

Helfaer Theatre (525 N. 13th Street, Milwaukee WI  53233)


Milwaukee – Alverno Presents is partnering with Marquette Theatre to bring Fiasco Theater’s celebrated production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline to Milwaukee Friday October 12th at 8p.m. and Saturday, October 13th, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Marquette University’s intimate Helfaer Theatre, 525 North 13th Street. Milwaukee, WI 53233.

Artist bio, video clips and links to artist’s web sites are available at  Artist jpegs may be downloaded at

Single tickets are $30.  Tickets may be purchased through the Marquette University Box Office at 414-288-7504 Monday-Friday 1-5pm or on-line at

Legend has it the word “fiasco” was first used to describe a commedia dell’arte performance that went horribly (and hilariously) wrong. While Fiasco Theater hopes to avoid on-stage disasters, they believe that only when artists are brave enough to risk a fiasco can they create the possibility of something special. Their name is a reminder to themselves that in order to achieve huge rewards, they need to take commensurately huge leaps.

In the short time since the Company was founded in 2007 by graduates of the Brown University/Trinity Rep M.F.A. acting program, Fiasco has, indeed been taking huge risks and reaping equally huge rewards.  Says Ben Brantley of the New York Times:  “For me, the most visually magical productions are often those in which the stage is a blank canvas, waiting to be written upon by the performers who inhabit it.  Consider the exquisite example of the Fiasco Theater production of Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline” – a labyrinthine, continents-spanning, credulity-taking romance; set in the time of the Roman Empire, “Cymbeline” would seem to call for the scale and accoutrements of a Cecil B. DeMille epic.  Fiasco has responded to the plays’ demands with a cast of exactly six, with support provided by a sheet, a trunk and a few other multifarious props.  Yet, as directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, this version of “Cymbeline” is the clearest and most truly enchanting that I’ve seen.”

William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline is considered as one of the playwright’s “late romances”.  All of the romances share a number of themes, to greater or lesser degree. The theme of separation and reunion of family members is highly important.  Daughters are parted from parents in Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and wives from husbands in the first three; sons are also lost, to a father in The Winter’s Tale (permanently) and The Tempest, and to parents of each sex in Cymbeline. The related idea of exile also features in the romances, with the banished characters—usually rulers or rulers-to-be—restored to their rightful homes at play’s end. Another theme, jealousy, is prominent in The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and it has minor importance in Pericles and The Tempest. Most significant, the romances all speak to the need for patience in adversity and the importance of providence in human affairs. This visionary conception outweighs any given individual’s fate or even the development of individual personalities.

A synopsis of the play can be found at this link —

The mission of Fiasco Theater is to create dynamic, joyful, actor-driven productions of classic and new plays, and to offer conservatory-level theatrical training through classes and workshops. Past shows include Twelfth Night and a workshop production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona.  In 2008, they began offering the Free Training Initiative—a three-week, conservatory-level classical acting intensive for professional actors, completely free of charge to students. Fiasco has been in residence with Duke University, the Orchard Project, the Shakespeare Society, and NYU-Gallatin, and has led master classes at Brown University and NYU. In the spring of 2013 Fiasco will present a production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s INTO THE WOODS at the McCarter Theatre Center.


Major support for this production of Fiasco’s Cymbeline is provided by the Theodore C. Rogers Foundation.

Media Sponsors are WMSE, 88Nine, WUWM, Lightburn.

Alverno Presents 

Alverno Presents, the performing arts series of Alverno College, is celebrating its 53rd year.  The series has innovated beyond our history as the longest running, continuous arts presenter in the city, to our niche of presenting contemporary dance, world music and jazz and an array of performance events. Alverno Presents shares the school’s mission by ensuring broad access to and participation in learning, experiencing and developing the arts for the learning community of Alverno, and our community as a whole.  For more information on Alverno Presents, special projects, media reviews and more, visit, contact Alverno Presents Director David Ravel at 414-382-6150, or e-mail