It is here! I could not be more excited to release this dream out into the wild!
Welcome to Kith & Kin Theatre Collective, a new Milwaukee theatre company.
The first unofficial production, Things I Know to Be True, was a trial run - how does this community respond to the stories I want to tell? Turns out, they love the stories (and I am endlessly thankful for the way audiences rallied around our one-weekend event), but artists are hesitant to work with an independent group without the security of an established brand. Folks were confused as to who we were and who was putting on the show (me!). Even now, we are nominated in multiple areas of the Broadway World Awards under many categories - Interchange Theatre Co-Op (our venue), Independent Shakespeare Co (another company, unrelated to us) because we couldn't be nominated as simply "independent".
Kith & Kin is not just born out of convenience, though. From the independent work to the shows I pursue with other companies, I am passionate about exploring the gray area. I love theatre that makes audiences consider the nuances of humanizing the easy enemy and see the flaws in the simple protagonist. Even when there are people and actions that are unblinkingly filed as monstrous, good theatre can make you examine yourself and why exactly you see them that way.
I believe in opportunity of all sizes. When the average Milwaukee theatre gig will last you 6-8 weeks of nightly commitment, we are sorely limited as to how many artists we can collaborate with in each season. I know great art (and fun experiences) can be accomplished in short segments.
With those things considered, at Kith & Kin Theatre Collective, my goal is to produce full productions that explore the complexity of the moral gray area and concerts, readings, and workshops that provide shorter commitment opportunities for artist collaboration.
All of that said - I am excited to embark on this adventure and continue growing with my Milwaukee community through this company. Brownie points to you if you got this far. See you at auditions!
- Kimberly Laberge