For the past two years, Urban Anthropology Inc. (UrbAn) has been writing and producing plays on Milwaukee neighborhood culture and history. The plays have been performed at the Basilica of St. Josaphat–the first time this majestic landmark has ever had theatre under its dome. The first play, performed in November of 2012, chronicled the story of the fair housing marches to Kosciuszko Park on Milwaukee’s south side. It sold out at the Basilica and received very good reviews. Neighborhood-based plays will be performed every 12 to 18 months. The next one will be in February.
The Follow Up
In February, UrbAn will perform a new neighborhood play. In the 1960s, freeway construction and urban renewal razed ethnic neighborhoods all over Milwaukee. Puerto Ricans, Poles, Irish, African Americans, and Italians lost their communities. The play, entitled The Follow Up, takes a snapshot look at what happened to some of those who were evicted.
Synopsis: It is the millennium and journalists at a fictionalized Milwaukee newspaper, The Liberal, have decided to do a follow up story on those evicted from the neighborhoods nearly 40 years earlier. The journalists want to know how the large-scale removals affected their lives years down the road. Of the people interviewed in the 1960s, only three could be found for the follow up. The interviews are startling and end up revealing as much about the journalists conducting them as they do about the residents who lost their neighborhoods. Overt and covert ideologies abound.
The play is directed by Jason Drake-Hames and written by Dr. Jill Florence Lackey, author of American Ethnic Practices in the Twenty-first Century: The Milwaukee Study.
The play will be performed on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 7pm and Saturday, February 22, 2014 at noon, at the Basilica of St. Josaphat. The Basilica can be accessed at the pavilion off of 7th and Lincoln. There is parking available in the lot. Prices are $15 online (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/547007) and $20 at the door.