Theatrical Productions in 2012
Every year, Urban Anthropology Inc produces a play about the ethnic history of Milwaukee.
In 2012 Urban Anthropology Inc. produced a play called The March to Kosciuszko, based on the major fair housing march that reached the south side in August of 1967. The play was held on November 3, 2012 at the Basilica of St. Josaphat.
Synopsis of Play
During the turbulent year of 1967, two fictionalized families struggle with an appropriate response to the upcoming fair housing march to Milwaukee’s Kosciuszko Park. A southside family wants to hold on to their Polish neighborhood that has recently lost housing as a result of freeway construction, but sees race becoming the operative theme in the opposition. On the north side, a Black family that has also lost housing during freeway construction, questions whether they should risk participation in the potentially violent march. The events are narrated by General Thaddeus Kosciuszko whose monument symbolizes the Polish presence on the south side. As he speaks, the audience learns the historic Kosciuszko—not the one both sides conceptualize.
Theatrical Productions in 2014
The Follow Up: A Fictionalized Story about the Removal of Milwaukee’s Ethnic Neighborhoods was performed February 21st and 22nd 2014 at the Basilica of St. Josaphat.
Synopsis of Play
It is the millennium and journalists at a fictionalized Milwaukee newspaper, The Liberal, have decided to do a follow up story on people removed from ethnic neighborhoods nearly 40 years earlier. The ethnic neighborhoods had been razed during two decades of urban renewal and freeway building. The journalists want to know how the large-scale removals affected the lives of African American, Italian, Irish, Puerto Rican, and Polish residents years down the road. Of the people interviewed in the 1960s, only three could be found for the follow up. The interviews are startling and end up revealing as much about the journalists conducting them as they do about the residents that lost their neighborhoods. Overt and covert ideologies abound.