Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

The Subject Was Roses

by Frank D. Gilroy Running Time: 1 hour; 45 minutes

November 18, 2010 to
December 12, 2010

Studio Theatre
Directed by C. Michael Wright

Featuring Nicholas Harazin, James Tasse & Tami Workentin

Expectations are high when Timmy Cleary comes home to his parents in the Bronx after serving his time in World War II. Of course Nettie and John are joyous and welcoming at first, but soon past conflicts resurface and the old game of tug of war begins. Frank Gilroy's humorous and poignant drama won the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES is the fourth offering in MCT's Pulitzer Prize Series.

Co-sponsored by Michael & Shirley Mosesson and The Dental Offices of Dr. David Paris

Read the MCT Blog

WordPlay newsletter Fall 2010

Frank D. Gilroy
Timmy Cleary Nicholas Harazin
John Cleary James Tasse
Nettie Cleary Tami Workentin
Production Staff
Director C. Michael Wright
Scenic Designer R.H.Graham
Costume Designer Michelle Grimm
Lighting Designer Matt Kerr
Properties Master Nikki Kulas
Sound Designer Devin Nee
Stage Manager Judy Martel

T=Talkback: post-show Q&A with actors and director
*=Talk Theatre: pre-show interactive discussion beginning at noon
V=ViewPoints: pre-show presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Talk Theatre

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 12:00 PM

An opportunity to participate in informal pre-show discussions with MCT's Producing Artistic Director and other show-specific theatre artists.

more info


Wednesday, November 24, 2010 6:30 PM

Experience in-depth, pre-show presentations led by engaging guest experts who offer insights into show-related issues and field questions from knowledge-hungry patrons.

more info


Thursday, December 2, 2010 7:30 PM

Thursday, December 9, 2010 7:30 PM

After select Thursday evening performances, you can meet the artists involved in a production, ask questions about the creative process and discuss your theatergoing experience.

more info




Media Coverage

The Chamber Theatre delivers roses

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

by Damien Jaques, The kitchen sink drama is a category of theater that revolves around family problems and conflict. The action takes place in a home, and, yes, the set usually includes a kitchen sink. Frank D. Gilroy's 1965 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Subject Was Roses" defines the genre. The Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's production of it that opened last weekend defines how to do it.

full review

Characters drive MCT's 'The Subject Was Roses'

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

by Russ Bickerstaff, Shepherd Express Milwaukee Chamber Theatre brings a compelling, character-driven story to the stage with the Frank D. Gilroy drama The Subject Was Roses.A boy from the Bronx returns home from World War II to spend some time with his parents. Directed with compassion and precision by Milwaukee Chamber’s C. Michael Wright, the play isn’t as much about what happens to these characters as it is about who they are. It’s an opportunity for theatergoers to get to know three people quite intimately in the emotional proximity afforded by the Broadway Theatre Center’s Studio Theatre.

full review

The Heart of the Matter, Chamber Theatre's The Subject Was Roses

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

by Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine/Inside Milwaukee You don’t have to look very far to see the lengths to which theater has gone to attract attention in a media saturated world: Broadway-style spectacle, non-narrative performance, movie stars on stage. Thank goodness Milwaukee Chamber Theatre reminds us of the powerful connection that forms the core of dramatic storytelling. The Subject Was Roses is as simple as one can imagine: a couple, their son, two rooms, two acts. Frank Gilroy’s 1964 drama has us share the lives of three people over the course of 24 hours, and most of us will leave feeling like we understand ourselves a little better.

full review

Chamber Theatre's Subject Was Roses touches

Sunday, November 21, 2010

by Peggy Sue Dunigan, Third Coast Digest Timmy Cleary comes home from World War II as the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s The Subject Was Roses begins. His parents, Nettie and John, celebrate his homecoming as other families in their working-class New York neighborhood mourn lost sons.

full review


Family's dramas, conflicts come up 'Roses' for Chamber Theatre

Monday, November 22, 2010

by Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel In the final scene of playwright Frank D. Gilroy's "The Subject Was Roses," John Cleary rehearses what he will say to persuade his son Timmy - a just-returned World War II soldier, determined to live on his own - to stay with his parents.

full article

Family's dramas come up 'Roses' for Chamber Theatre

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

by Mike Fischer, Special to the Journal Sentinel "Almost a half-century ago, playwright Frank D. Gilroy's "The Subject Was Roses" won theater's Triple Crown, capturing the 1965 Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. Featuring a young and then largely unknown Martin Sheen, it also enjoyed a long Broadway run of more than 800 performances."

full article

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Dark, Dramatic ‘Roses’

Monday, November 15, 2010

by Russ Bickerstaff, Shepherd Express "The post-World War II era is often viewed in a heavily romanticized light. But for many people living in the period right after WWII, civil rights remained decades away. And the wholesome image of America’s nuclear family, popularized by mid-20th-century TV and radio sitcoms, was grossly idealized, masking an emotional darkness behind closed doors. Frank D. Gilroy’s 1964 drama The Subject Was Roses was an early exploration of the American family beyond its wholesome faade. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre continues its season with a production of Gilroy’s drama in the intimate Studio Theatre of the Broadway Theatre Center. "

full article