There's good news related to another arts casualty. Although Madison Repertory Theatre was dissolved last month, its Madison Young Playwrights festival has been taken over by former Rep employees and will be presented in Overture Center's Playhouse May 11. In the festival, local actors will perform eight one-act plays selected from more than 90 scripts written by students at Monona Grove Alternative High School, Sherman Middle School, Middleton High School and Edgewood High School.
When festival producer George Gonzalez was laid off as Madison Rep's marketing director in February, he asked staffers to reassure students: "I said, 'Please let them know the program will continue.'" Also organizing the festival are former Rep producing artistic director Trevin Gay and former education coordinator Shannon Skelton.
Elsewhere in theater: Gonzalez is involved with one of two nascent companies springing up in the wake of the Rep's demise. He can't say much about it yet. The other is called Forward Theater Company, and its founders include veteran Broadway director Jennifer Uphoff Gray and prominent local actors like American Players Theatre's James DeVita and Sarah Day. The Forward people, too, are mum on details. Stay tuned.