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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

Milwaukee Public Theatre celebrates 40th anniversary

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  • Image courtesy Milwaukee Public Theater.

Since 1974, the Milwaukee Public Theater has been presenting a unique interpretation of local theater to Milwaukee.

MPT performs original pieces in public places around Milwaukee, allowing people of all ages and backgrounds to experience its work.  The productions also touch on heavy topics -- racism, segregation, death and dying -- but approach the subjects through lighthearted lens.

Artistic Producing Director Dr. Barbara Leigh has been overseeing the professional troupe since in founding, and she says its "come to you" approach is especially rare.

"Something like theater can be accessible.  It's not just in the Ivory Towers, it's not just the marble palaces," she said.  "[Theater is] something that can be in the streets.  It can be in my neighborhood, my house."

Leigh says the company also partners with dozens of artists and local organizations, creating large scale public art, such as puppets, for outdoor performances and rallys.

And later this month, the theatre company is hosting a major fundraiser to commemorate its 40th anniversary.  The "Steampunk Circus of Metamorphosis" is planned for Sept. 19 and will feature tightrope walkers, acrobats and musicians, along with food and drink offerings.  

Click here for ticket info.  And click play on the podcast player above to hear a segment of our interview with Dr. Leigh.