Lillian Brown to appear in ‘The Mousetrap’ in Milwaukee

Assistant Professor of Theatre Lillian Brown will appear in a professional production of “The Mousetrap” Nov. 25-Dec. 17 at Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee. Agatha Christie’s world-famous murder mystery has a thrilling twist ending and is the world’s longest-running play. Brown is appearing in the lead role of Mollie Ralston.

“’The Mousetrap’ has a phenomenal cast with many veteran actors of the Milwaukee area,” Brown says. “I’m looking forward to creating an experience that I hope audience members will enjoy this holiday season.”

Earlier this year, Brown performed her autobiographical one-woman show, “The Oreo Complex,” in Washington, D.C., with NuSass Theatre Company and received a Helen Hayes Award recommendation. She also performed as the headliner for the St. Louis Fringe Festival.

In August, she played Regine in the play “Mud Row,” by Dominique Morriseau, as part of the Black Theatre Festival sponsored by Black Arts MKE.

“I’ve always been attracted to performing since I was very young,” Brown says. “I started dancing in the local community which was very rewarding for me. My mother made sure I was involved in everything having to do with fine arts in Las Vegas where I grew up. I gravitated toward theater because it’s a medium where I can express myself.”

She received her bachelor’s degree in Theatre from the University of Northern Colorado and an MFA in Theatre from Ohio State University. Most of her work involves creating theatrical encounters that conjure a sense of enthusiasm and social responsibility.

She says general auditions are held in Milwaukee at the beginning of each year, and regional theatres in Wisconsin and the Chicago area attend. Auditioning actors present two monologues and a song, and interested company representatives call actors back to read for roles.

This is how she received her recent roles in Milwaukee productions.

She says her students are inspired by her professional work. “They always ask lots of questions about the process, how the play is made behind the scenes, building characters, choreographing fight sequences. It’s good that they see me not as just an educator, but as an artist doing the thing they’re aspiring to do. They are very excited to see ‘The Mousetrap.’”

She adds, “ I love how theatre is community-centric. It’s a gathering place for people of all backgrounds to come together around the sacred art of storytelling. Theatre has allowed me to bolster causes that are important to me and have people see and hear that in a way that is palatable. It’s great to have the opportunity to talk about social issues that are going on in a way that is artistic and people can receive it in a safe environment.”

She says that our evolving society currently is so focused on technology, social media and everything being online and virtual. “In theater, having an experience that is live, in person and in the present moment is extremely special and can’t be replicated through a screen. It’s important to get out there and be a part of something that is tangible.”

(Photo courtesy of Michael Brosilow/Next Act Theatre)

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Lillian Brown, left, in "The Mousetrap"


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