Forward Theater 2021-2022 Season

Forward Theater Returns to In-Person Theater in 2021-22
Performances begin in September at Overture Center

Forward Theater prepares their return to the stage with a slate of four mainstage plays, beginning in September. The 2021-22 Nevertheless season will be presented for live audiences in the Playhouse at Overture Center.

“The plays that make up our Nevertheless season are so perfect for the moment we find ourselves in,” said Artistic Director Jen Uphoff Gray. “They feature characters who persevere, who persist, who get knocked down and stand up again, and – most importantly – keep trying. Because that’s what we do – we meet challenges, we survive them, we lift up the person next to us, and we keep going.”

The Plays

Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles? by Adrienne Kennedy & Adam P. Kennedy
September 9 – 26, 2021

The Amateurs by Jordan Harrison
November 4 – 21, 2021

The Mytilenean Debate by Quan Barry (Forward Theater Writer in Residence)
February 24 – March 13, 2022

Russian Troll Farm by Sarah Gancher
April 21 – May 8, 2022

To accommodate possible changes to safety restrictions, single tickets for each production will go on sale one month prior to opening night on Season subscriptions are the only way to purchase tickets to all four plays at once, available on

Proof of vaccination may be required to attend Forward Theater performances. Details on up-to-date vaccination and mask requirements will be available on Digital versions of every production will be available for all patrons who cannot/choose not to attend a live performance.

About Forward Theater
Founded in 2009, FTC creates a home base for Wisconsin theater professionals and audiences that expands the cultural and economic life of the greater Madison area.

2021-22 Season Sponsors:
Madison Community Foundation, Evjue Foundation, Wisconsin Arts Board – with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts, The Madison Concourse Hotel, Distillery Design, Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin


Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles?
by Adrienne Kennedy, Adam P. Kennedy
September 9-26, 2021

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Baron Kelly
Featuring Marti Gobel & Jamaica Gobel

It’s the Swinging ‘60s in London, and American playwright Adrienne Kennedy finds herself among the rich and ultra-famous when she’s hired to write a stage version of John Lennon’s new book. Told in an interview-style conversation between Kennedy and her son, this autobiographical play shares her sense of awed wonder as she tries to hold her artistic ground in a patriarchal world of show business luminaries.

“Allows us effortless access into Adrienne’s memory, which has been painted with a loving faithfulness that makes London into newly explored territory… …the writing is impressively detailed and echoes with the same poetry of the prosaic that defines (her) best works.” – Talkin’ Broadway

Sponsored by: Custer Financial Services, SVA


The Amateurs

By Jordan Harrison

November 4-21, 2021

Wisconsin Premiere
Returning to the stage after cancellation in March 2020!

Directed by Jen Uphoff Gray

Hollis is a performer in an itinerant troupe of actors attempting to outrun the Black Plague in this 14th century-set comedy by the author of Marjorie Prime. The Renaissance is still in the future, and so is the concept of self-determination. So when Hollis stops a performance to wonder why Mrs. Noah would get on that ark, she throws her cast-mates into chaos.

A story set in the past that eloquently reflects our present. This centuries-spanning play delights in the imaginations of theater-makers and theater-goers everywhere. And in a tale as inventive and hilarious as its characters, The Amateurs considers the purpose of art in a dark world.

“Among the themes that light up like fireflies here and there are the nature of sin, the purpose of art, the low status of actors and the low status of humans in general. If history has been a drama, it has consigned almost everyone throughout time to the chorus.”- The New York Times

Sponsored by: Nancy Ciezki & Diane Kostecke, Steve and Jacqui Suleski, DeWitt Ross & Stevens, Dane Arts, State Bank of Cross Plains


The Mytilenian Debate

By Quan Barry

February 24 – March 13, 2022

World Premiere

Directed by Mark H

Latimer is a successful heart surgeon. When his younger wife, Nina, unexpectedly gets pregnant, Latimer must break the news to his grown daughter, who is struggling to start a family of her own. Written by poet, award-winning author, and Forward Theater Writer in Residence Quan Barry, The Mytilenian Debate raises questions about legacy and the responsibilities inherent in bringing a Black child into a complicated world.

Sponsored by: MG&E, Monona Bank


Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy

By Sarah Gancher

April 21 – May 8, 2022

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Jen Uphoff Gray

At the infamous (real-life!) Internet Research Agency, professional internet trolls work for days at a time, creating tweets and posts to sow discord and doubt among Americans approaching the polls with high emotion and low information.

Russian Troll Farm imagines the daily lives of these workers as they invent characters, stage conflicts, and create conspiracies. What happens to your grasp on the truth when your whole job is lying? How does your identity shift when you impersonate Americans for a living?

“A trenchant workplace comedy about the folks who tried to promote Pizzagate, confuse Wisconsin and, ultimately, elect Donald J. Trump.” – The New York Times

Sponsored by: Sybil & Maurice Better, Stafford Rosenbaum, Wipfli