Amplify Reading Series

In support of First Stage’s ongoing commitment to the development of new work, with an intentional focus on lifting voices of diverse playwrights and artists, this season’s Amplify Series will be presented as readings of three new plays, held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center and other community locations.

A talkback will follow each reading, allowing audiences opportunities to share their voices with the playwright and artists – helping shape the development of  the plays and potential future productions at First Stage.


*Titles are subject to change pending availability of rights.

The Forgotten Girl

April 26, 2023 (new date)

The Forgotten Girl
By India Hill Brown
Adapted by Idris Goodwin

Directed by Jon Royal

New Play Reading:
NEW DATE! Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 7PM
Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

About the Play: On a cold winter night, Iris and her best friend, Daniel, play in the freshly fallen snow in the woods when they stumble upon the gravestone of a young girl, Avery Moore. Strange things begin to happen, and Iris and Daniel research the area to find answers. They learn of their town’s history of segregation, and become determined to restore Avery’s grave and pay proper respect for her and others buried there. A ghostly tale with a historical twist, this empowering tale examines the connection of past and present, friendship, and forgiveness. For families with young people ages 10 and up.

Admission is free, but capacity is limited! Reserve your spot

Masks are optional at Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. Learn more about our COVID Safety protocols.

World Premiere WisconsinThis New Play Reading is part of World Premiere Wisconsin, a statewide festival celebrating new plays and musicals. 

Learn More

Frankie: The Untold Story of A Gurl Frankenstein

October 15-16, 2022

Frankie: The Untold Story of A Gurl Frankenstein
By José Casas
Originally Commissioned by Florida Studio Theatre

New Play Reading:
Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 1PM & 3:30PM
Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

Sunday, October 16, 2022 at 3:30PM
Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

About the Play: Inspired by Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Playwright Jose Casas transforms this timeless story through the prism of Francesca Frankenstein, a brilliant young girl who, in her quest for a friend, plans a one-of-a-kind project for the school science fair. Original, thought-provoking, and filled with humor and heart, discover what happens when Francesca’s project literally comes to life in this bilingual play. For families with young people ages 10 and up.

Learn More

Hidden Heroes

August 13-14, 2022

By Shá Cage
Based on the book Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA by Sue Bradford Edwards and Duchess Harris. Published by ABDO Publishing, Minneapolis, MN. Copyright © 2017

Directed by Samantha D. Montgomery
Presented as part of the Milwaukee Black Theatre Festival

About the Play: “It doesn’t matter what you look like, what your size is, what your color is. You can be anything you want to, but you do have to work at it,” says Annie Easley’s mother to her young daughter. In the 1950s and 60s, the black women of NASA fought against racial and gender discrimination for a place on the leading edge of math, science and technology. Be inspired as we tell the stories of how these women were influenced as young girls to eventually make critical contributions that launched U.S. astronauts into space and returned them safely back to Earth. For families with young people ages 7 and up.

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