Joe Hanreddy is a familiar name to theatre audiences in Milwaukee. He was the artistic director at the Milwaukee Rep from 1993 to 2010. During this tenure the company created and staged more than 50 new American plays in addition to classics from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams.
Since he left the Rep, Hanreddy has continued staging new work as well as his own adaptations of literary classics for theatres across the country. His schedule shows no signs of slowing down. But what he hasn’t done is return to Milwaukee to direct. Until now.
Hanreddy directed Next Act Theatre’s new production of Bloomsday opened on Friday, starring Carrie Hitchcock and Norman Moses. Hanreddy says the show is a fork in the road play - one where the characters look back at a pivotal moment in their lives and realize that it changed their lives forever. It's one he's delighted to have been asked to direct.
And when people ask him if it's strange in any way to come back to Milwaukee to direct at a different theatre, he says not at all.
"You form a wonderful, close connection with the people in the room," he says. "You work and become very close with each other and you share a sense of humor." He pauses for a moment, and then smiles. "We're a tribe that finds our bond wherever we go, I think."
Bloomsday runs through April 30th at Next Act Theatre.