I Carry Your Heart With Me

by Jennifer Blackmer

Directed By Jacob Janssen

May 10 – 28, 2023

Wednesday, May 10: Pay-What-You-Will Preview
Thursday, May 11: Final Preview
Friday, May 12: Opening Night

Wednesday – Saturday evenings at 7:30pm
Friday matinee May 19th at 2:00pm
Sunday matinees at 2:00pm


A world premiere!

Esther Shannon is a government stenographer working for the US Air Force during the tempestuous Vietnam War. Lonely, conflicted, and haunted by voices from her past, Esther finds herself smack dab in the middle of a troubling investigation.

With plenty of twists and turns along the way, Jennifer Blackmer’s taut, suspenseful mystery packs a real emotional wallop at the end. This new play will be presented as part of World Premiere Wisconsinan inaugural and ambitious statewide festival celebrating original works.

I CARRY YOUR HEART WITH ME is part of World Premiere Wisconsin, a statewide festival celebrating new plays and musicals from March 1 – June 30, 2023, presented by the Ten Chimneys Foundation. To learn more visit www.worldpremierewisconsin.com.


Community Partner

Pay-What-You-Will Preview

May 10th at 7:30pm

Post Show Conversation

May 21st 

About The Playwright

Jennifer Blackmer

Jennifer Blackmer is the 2015 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award winner for Emerging American Playwright, and serves as Professor of Theatre and Executive Director of the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry at Ball State University.

Her plays have been produced off-Broadway and across the country, and include Human Terrain, Unraveled, Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (Joseph Jefferson award for Best Adaptation), Delicate Particle Logic, Borrowed Babies, and the upcoming Predictor, currently in development. Jennifer’s screenplay for Human Terrain won the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation award through the Tribeca Film Institute, and was also a finalist for the Sundance Film Institute Sloan Prize.

Additional film and television work include the feature Rare Earth, series Miss Mitchell’s Comet, and a rewrite of the Aaron Berg feature Assault. Jennifer’s writing has been short-listed for the Princess Grace Award and the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship, and has been developed by Seven Devils, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Repertory Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, The Lark and Activate Midwest.

Jennifer is a resident playwright for Chicago’s Broken Nose Theatre.

Meet the cast

Karen Estrada* (she/her) is an actor, director and theater educator living in Milwaukee. She has had the pleasure of working with Chamber Theater, Next Act, Renaissance Theaterworks, Skylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee Opera Theatre and is a three time alumna of the Disney on Classic tour of Japan and Taiwan. Karen is proud to have directed pieces for Renaissance’s Brinks Briefs, Chamber Theater’s Young Playwright Festival, Forward Theater’s 2021 Monologue Festival, Marquette Theater and First Stage Milwaukee’s World Premiere On the Wings of a Mariposa.

artistic team

Director: Jacob Janssen

Production Stage Manager: Kelsey York*

Set Design: Alex Polzin

Costume Design: Kärin Kopischke**

Lighting Design: Colin Gawronski

Sound Design: Brian Grimm

our show sponsors

The Rob & Amy Biersteker Family