CONTACT: Neal Easterling, 414-324-0037,





March 19, 2013 – [Milwaukee] – Cooperative Performance Milwaukee, a new performance cooperative committed to advancing creative collaboration and innovation in the Milwaukee area, will be holding their Inaugural Celebration at the Hot Water Wherehouse Night Club located at 818 S. Water St. Milwaukee, WI 53204 on April 29, 2013 from 7pm – 10pm. The Inaugural Celebration will serve as an official introduction of the Co-op to Milwaukee artists and patrons as well as a kick-off for the Cooperative Performance Milwaukee Membership Drive. The event will consist of several short experimental performance pieces created and performed by members of the Co-op, to include dance theater, shadow puppetry, and the unveiling of a new 3D space mapping program that turns movement into musical composition. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet and talk with our founding members, learn more about the Co-op’s structure and directives, and have the opportunity to become members themselves. Attendance involves neither cost nor obligation, although donations are welcome and beverages will be available for purchase. In an effort to offer the most enjoyable evening possible, The Co-op requests that guests RSVP by emailing Neal Easterling at This event is open to the public.


Cooperative Performance Milwaukee (Co-op) was created with equal consideration of artists, their work, and the audience. The Artist Members conceive new ideas for performance-based works, which they present to our Board of Directors. Projects are selected based on their potential for innovation and development in the field of the performing arts.  The board selects as many projects as possible, depending on the available resources for the season.  Following the project’s initial development, the Co-op opens the process to its Patron Members, who contribute direct feedback to the project creators.  Patron Member assessment determines whether the piece is then presented to the general public or requires further development.  The Board of Directors is elected by Co-op members and is comprised of 12 Artist Member Representatives, eight Patron Member Representatives, and the Chief Operating Officer.  The mission as an organization is to encourage research and innovation in the performing arts, while providing opportunities for Co-op members to develop as an artistic community.  The Co-op is the first performing arts organization in Milwaukee and one of a few in the country to use the cooperative structure, and it offers the community the advantage of voting ownership in the organization.


Kelly Coffey is a native of Milwaukee; Ms. Coffey has performed with various local theater companies and studied acting at Rutgers University New Jersey, and the William Esper Studio, NY; as an actor she is excited by the exploration of involving all disciplines of performance working to create a unique theatrical experience; Mark Corkins has worked in the professional theatre for nearly 30 years; he received his BFA from Wayne State University and continued his training at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with the Professional Theatre Training Program; many will recognize Mr. Corkins from his seasons as a member of Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Resident Acting Company and his many summers spent with American Players Theatre in Spring Green;  favorite roles include: Morris in Blood Knot, Leslie in Seascape, Lee in True West, Hamm in Endgame, and the title roles in Macbeth, King Lear, and Dracula; over more than a decade Mr. Corkins was privileged to work closely with The Suzuki Company of Toga: training, rehearsing, performing, touring, and teaching; he is honored to be among a very few Westerners designated by Mr. Suzuki as Master Teachers of his rigorous Method of Actor Training; Neal Easterling has worked for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Pacific Performance Project/east, Hampton Roads Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Ballet, Bunny Gumbo, and currently for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater; he is a member of P3 Studio and teaches the actor training techniques of Tadashi Suzuki, Shogo Ohta, Steve Pearson and Robyn Hunt; Mr. Easterling holds an MFA in Directing from the University of South Carolina; Jim Glynn received his BA in theatre/acting from UW-Madison and received two and a half years of graduate training at Rutgers University’s PATP program; after a semi-hiatus, many notions have coalesced and led to Cooperative Performance Milwaukee, where possibilities exist in abundance; Michael Kroeker has worked regionally with Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Texas Repertory Theater, and Virginia Stage Company; he has also worked locally with In Tandem Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theater, Milwaukee Shakespeare, and Bialystock and Bloom; Mr. Kroeker is currently Artistic Associate at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and serves as Co-Chair of the Performing Arts Committee of Art Milwaukee’s Creative Arts Council; Betsy Meinecke is a nationally certified massage therapist who practices in Whitefish Bay and downtown Milwaukee; she holds a BS in Biology and a BA in Theatre from the College of William & Mary, and a Medical Massage Therapy diploma from the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy; before changing careers in 2006, she spent seven years as a scenic carpenter, props artisan, and props master, working for East Carolina Summer Theatre, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Houston Shakespeare Festival, and North Shore Music Theatre; Don Russell will graduate from the University of South Carolina in May of 2013 with his MFA in Acting; he also holds an MA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Northridge where he focused on Eastern Theatre Aesthetics and Performance Studies, and holds a BA in Theatre from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania; Mr. Russell also spent a year studying Stage Combat at the Academy of Theatrical Combat in Burbank California; he is a member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).

Additional information on the Co-op can be found at, on Facebook at, or by calling Neal Easterling at 414-324-0037.