the MadStage Podcast

Suzan and Buzz chat with actor/producer Meghan Randolph and actor Erin McConnell about MTM's upcoming production of the rock musical "Lizzie".


By Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt

Directed by Dana Pellebon

On a sweltering summer morning in 1892, in a small New England city, a prominent business man and his wife were brutally axed to death in their home. Their daughter Lizzie Borden was the prime suspect. Lizzie’s trial was a coast-to-coast media sensation, and her story has become an American legend. This musical version of Lizzie’s story is four women fronting a six -piece rock band, set to a blistering rock score and exploring themes of betrayal, rage, sex, and murder. Learn more at

Produced by Music Theatre of Madison at U.W. Wisconsin Union Play Circle, 800 Langdon Street, Madison

Performances: August 17-26, 2017

Performance Times: 
August 17 (preview), August 18, August 19, August 24, August 25, and August 26 at 7:30pm each night
August 25th at 10:30pm

Ticket Prices: $28 general admission, $20 students; late night show $20 general admission, $18 students.

Direct download: MSP_030_Lizzy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Suzan and Buzz chat with director Emily Morrison Weeks and actor Tia Tanzer about KRASS Theater's upcoming production of "Melancholy Play: A Contemporary Farce."

Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre (Krass) is delighted to announce the cast for Melancholy Play: A Contemporary Farce by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Emily Morrison Weeks. Eight performances including reduced price nights and three matinees, August 11-19. Talkbacks after some shows. Bartell Theatre, 113 E Mifflin St., Madison, WI 53703

TILLY – Shirley Nwangwa

FRANK – Francisco Torres

FRANCES – Tia Tanzer

JOAN – Suzan Kurry

LORENZO – Joshua Woolfolk

JULIA – Tracy Smith

Photo credit: Jonathan Raymond Popp

About the play

The Melancholy Play is a comedy about a serious subject, clinical Depression. Amid her melancholy, Tilly seeks love and every stranger she meets falls in love with her. One day, inexplicably, Tilly becomes happy, and wreaks havoc on the lives of her paramours.

Tickets $20 or 608-661-9696

Performances Bartell Theatre, Evjue Stage

Friday: August 11, 8pm

Saturday: August 12, 2pm [matinee]

Sunday: August 13, 4pm [matinee] (with Talkback)

Wednesday, August 16, 8pm (with Talkback) $10

Thursday August 17, 8pm (with Talkback) $15

Friday, August 18, 8pm (with Talkback)

Saturday, August 19, 4pm [matinee]

Saturday, August 19, 8pm

Direct download: MSP_029_MelancholyPlay.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

This week, MadStage Podcast co-host Suzan Kurry flips from interviewer to interviewee as Buzz talks with her, along with director John Jajewski and playwright Brendon Smith, about their play "From Awkward Spaces."

From Awkward Spaces: The Story of the Bartell & The Journey to Permanence

By Brendon Smith & Suzan Kurry

Directed by John Jajewski

An original play about the Bartell Theatre’s history. Six local theatre groups, who have been producing plays in whatever space they can find, unite to create a permanent home. Being led by a retiree who likes a challenge, they quickly learn there’s more drama in building a stage than performing on it.

This is a fundraiser to help celebrate the Bartell's 20th Anniversary season.

Produced by Madison Theatre Guild at Bartell Theater's Drury Stage, 113 E. Mifflin St. , Madison

Performances: August 17-19, 2017

Performance Times: 
Only 4 performances, August 17, 18, & 19 (two shows on closing day).

Direct download: MSP_028_From-Awkward-Spaces.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Buzz Kemper chats with board president and technical director John Penisten about the contributions of the Bartell to local theater.

Direct download: Bartell_728_Penisten.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Suzan and Buzz chat with Director David Lawver and Music Director Duane Draper about Oregon Straw Hat Players' production of "Sondheim On Sondheim."

Sondheim on Sondheim

By Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine

Directed by David Lawver; Duane Draper, Music Director

An intimate musical revue on the life and artistry of Stephen Sondheim. The show weaves together dozens of Sondheim's greatest and most beloved songs with exclusive interview footage of Sondheim himself. A beautiful portrait of the man and his music.

Produced by Oregon Straw Hat Players at venues in Oregon to be announced soon,

Performances: August 4-12, 2017

Ticket Prices: Adults $17; Seniors (65 and older) $15; Youth (HS and younger) $12

Call 608-835-9126 for reservations or more information.

Direct download: MSP_027_OSHP_Sondheim.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Buzz Kemper chats with W. Earle Smith about Madison Ballet's 2017-18 season.

Direct download: Bartell_721_Ballet.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Suzan and Buzz talk with Upstart Crows Productions' Hannah Neis and Ruthanne Fiore about their upcoming production of The Burial at Thebes.


Burial at Thebes

By Seamus Heaney

Directed by Hannah Nies

In this outstanding new translation, commissioned by Ireland's renowned Abbey Theatre to commemorate its centenary, Seamus Heaney exposes the darkness and the humanity in Sophocles' masterpiece, and inks it with his own modern and masterly touch.

Sophocles' play, first staged in the fifth century B.C., stands as a timely exploration of the conflict between those who affirm the individual's human rights and those who must protect the state's security. During the War of the Seven Against Thebes, Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, learns that her brothers have killed each other, having been forced onto opposing sides of the battle. When Creon, king of Thebes, grants burial of one but not the "treacherous" other, Antigone defies his order, believing it her duty to bury all of her close kin. Enraged, Creon condemns her to death, and his soldiers wall her up in a tomb. While Creon eventually agrees to Antigone's release, it is too late: She takes her own life, initiating a tragic repetition of events in her family's history. (

Produced by Upstart Crows Productions, Inc. at Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711

Performances: July 27-29, 2017

Performance Times: 
July 27, 28, and 29

Ticket Prices: Donations taken at the door. Suggested donation $15 per person

Call 608-827-9482 for reservations or more information.

Direct download: MSP_026_UpstartCrows.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Buzz Kemper chats with Sarah Whelan about KRASS Theater's 2017-18 season, and a bit about her own contributions to local theater.

Direct download: Bartell_714_KRASS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Suzan and Buzz chat with Madison Shakespeare Company Executive Director Jason Compton about their upcoming readings.

Madison Shakespeare Company will conduct two special stage readings of “Shakespeer” plays–works written by contemporaries of William Shakespeare.

The first is Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe. July 20, 2017 at Arts + Literature Laboratory, 2021 Winnebago St, Madison. 7 PM start time.

Faustus is the non-Shakespeare work most commonly requested by MSC patrons and a classic tale of the ultimate ill-conceived bargain. Our performance will be based on the “A” text.

The second is Edward IV, by Thomas Heywood (?). August 17, 2017 at Arts + Literature Laboratory, 2021 Winnebago St, Madison. 7 PM start time.

This lesser-known work chronicles key events in the battlefield and bedchamber of one of England’s tallest kings, who traded reigns with Henry VI and was directly responsible for putting Richard III in line for the throne.

Both events are free open to the public, with contributions gratefully accepted. Each presentation will last approximately 90 minutes.

Direct download: MSP_025_MSC_Readings.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Buzz Kemper goes backstage at the Bartell Theatre 2017-2018 Season Announcement event to talk with local theater companies about their upcoming season of shows. This episode features Stage Q, with Donovan Moen and Zac Stowe.

Direct download: Bartell_630_StageQ.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT