Fast Forward

Jennifer Uphoff Gray keeps Forward Theater moving

Jennifer Uphoff Gray still can’t quite believe the success of Forward Theater Company’s inaugural season.

“It feels like it’s been a charmed first year,” she says.

The company formed in early 2009, around a kitchen table filled with people committed to filling the gap left by the just-closed Madison Repertory Theatre. “We wanted Madison audiences to have access to local professional theater,” she says.

The project was personal for Uphoff Gray. A Fitchburg native, she left town for Harvard and then spent twelve years in New York City. She returned with her family in 2005, with the goal of building a life—and a fulfilling theater career—in Madison.

As artistic director, Uphoff Gray worked with Forward’s advisory board and board of directors to create a balanced debut season, a highlight of which was the Midwest premiere of Christopher Durang’s Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.

Getting the play was a major coup for the company, as was wrapping up the season in the black and gaining support for a larger-scale second season, which features another regional premiere. This month, Forward presents In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, a smart comedy set in Victorian times.

“It’s just an incredibly lovely play,” Uphoff Gray says. “It’s a great kickoff.”

In the Next Room runs November 4–21 at Overture Center.

Katie Vaughn is associate editor at Madison Magazine.

Read more arts profiles here.

Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed


Madison Magazine July 2014 - July 2014 $19.95 for one year - Subscribe today