Prepare for the Maiden Voyage …

Local professional theater company Theater RED with the Department of Theatre at Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) announce the world premiere of BONNY ANNE BONNY in October of 2016. Written by local playwright Liz Shipe, this high seas adventure features one of the most famous pirates in history: Anne Bonny. In this fictional tale of her life, Anne Bonny sails the seas chasing adventure, treasure, and notoriety with her partner in piracy, Mary Reade. With a cast of swashbuckling women at the forefront, BONNY ANNE BONNY brings professional artists together with WLC students and faculty, onstage and off, to promote collaboration in Milwaukee’s rich performing arts community. BONNY ANNE BONNY will be directed by Christopher Elst, co-founder and Producing Director of Theater RED.



Auditions will take place on Saturday, April 23rd from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and on Saturday, April 30th from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM at the Wisconsin Lutheran College Center for Arts and Performance located at 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave in Milwaukee, WI.


Auditions will consist of a prepared monologue (not to exceed 2 minutes in length) and cold readings from the script. Please bring 1 headshot (or recent photograph) and resume to your audition. You will be asked to complete an audition form and list all conflicts during the rehearsal and performance period. Audition forms can be downloaded from the Theater RED auditions page to be completed ahead of time. A list of characters and character descriptions is also available on the auditions page, where interested parties can sign up for an audition slot: Walk-ups will be accepted on a first-come, first-seen basis, only after all registered auditioners have been seen.



This joint charter of Theater RED and WLC supports their common mission to provide growth in craft for artists and brings professional artists together with students to educate and inspire. The WLC Department of Theatre faculty and staff includes Chair Jay Sierszyn, local actor Simon Provan (a member of Actor’s Equity Association), and Lighting Designer Aaron Siegmann. Christopher Elst, a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors and an Associate Instructor with Dueling Arts International, will teach stage combat workshops to prepare the cast for their onstage lives as pirates, WLC will create a pirate ship on their stage, and Theater RED will provide workshops on an authentic tall ship in Lake Michigan this summer for the cast to learn rigging and sailing in order to bring this tale to life in front of the audience.


Founded by local actors Christopher Elst and Marcee Doherty-Elst, Theater RED produces works that provide substantial roles for women, education and training for artists, and support for new playwrights. This is the 4th world premiere production by Theater RED and their 2nd collaboration with local playwright Liz Shipe (A LADY IN WAITING, 2014). BONNY ANNE BONNY is the final production in their 2015 – 2016 season themed, “We All Have Blood on Our Hands.” The season kicked off in August 2015 with the world premiere of Angela Iannone’s THE SEEDS OF BANQUO and included the Milwaukee premiere of Leslye Headland’s BACHELORETTE in March of 2016.



Rehearsals begin on Tuesday, September 6th and will take place Sunday through Thursday. The first 2 weeks of rehearsal will consist of training in Single Sword and Unarmed Combat. Actors will be expected to be off-book at the first staging rehearsal (Sunday, September 19th). There will be a one-day Sailing Workshop aboard a pirate schooner on Lake Michigan in August prior to the first rehearsal and script workshops and table reading activities prior to the first rehearsal. Non-student actors will be paid a stipend.


Performances will take place Thursdays through Saturdays, October 27 (Preview), 28 and 29, and November 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, October 30 at 2:30 PM at the Raabe Theatre at the WLC Center for Arts and Performance located at 8815 West Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. There will also be a “Pay What You Can” night on Monday, November 7th at 7:30 PM.