Milwaukee Rep unveils renovated, expanded Stackner Cabaret

$1.75 million project added more seating, new bar and kitchen

The renovated entrance to the Stackner Cabaret.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:10 pm

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater will reopen its Stackner Cabaret on Friday after completing a $1.75 million renovation on the performing space in its East Wells Street complex in downtown Milwaukee.

The project, which increased seating capacity by 35 percent, was recently completed in time for the start of the Milwaukee Rep’s 65th anniversary season.

The Stackner Cabaret, which opened in 1987, is one of three performing spaces at the Milwaukee Rep’s complex at 108 East Wells St. It averages 300 performances a year.

Former Milwaukee Rep board president Vince Martin, retired CEO and chairman of Jason Industries, and his wife Jan Martin donated $750,000 and the Stackner Family Foundation gave $250,000 toward the project. An additional $700,000 was raised during the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, the Curtain Call Ball.

The expansion project has brought the total number of seats up from 124 to 186. Other improvements included more comfortable seating and new tables, extra bathrooms, a new kitchen and bar, expanded outer patio space and improved production capabilities. The cabaret’s new outer patio bar will open weekdays at 4:30 p.m. for happy hour featuring drink specials and an appetizer menu.

The Stackner Cabaret will also be the first theater in the city to use a T-coil Loop Hearing System, which eliminates the need for assisted listening devices and instead uses a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by a hearing aid.

“We are so thrilled to open our 65th Anniversary Season in the brand new state of the art Stackner Cabaret,” said artistic director Mark Clements. “We thank the Martins, the Stackner Family Foundation and all our donors for their generous support in creating an opportunity for more people to experience the art on our stages.”

The renovation was designed by Uihlein/Wilson – Ramlow/Stein Architects and built by Hunzinger Construction.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.