By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Oct 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM

There could be no more fitting way to honor the memory of Milwaukeean Sally Marks than with a festival of her greatest love – theater.

Uprooted Theatre, the brainchild and nurtured company of Marti Gobel – one of the very best and busiest actors in Milwaukee – is honoring Marks’ memory with a six-play fete, called "Stretch MARKS," to be held at Next Act Theatre. The series begins Thursday night at 7 p.m. with a performance of "Six Days of Grace," which I wrote. The show hits the stage again on Oct. 26.

Marks was a child actor in Hollywood, appearing in films with Dorothy Lamour and Spencer Tracy. She acted in Milwaukee late in life and was a generous supporter of the arts. 

Uprooted is committed to helping diversify the theater world in Milwaukee and has chosen six plays – some by playwrights who have never had a work performed – with casts and subject matter that highlight that goal. 

"We all know that theatre is much better when there are people in the audience to witness our work and the stories we have agreed to tell," Gobel said. "It is particularly important when one of the primary goals is to diversify, not only as it concerns patronage but on the stage as well. We, as a group, have accomplished gathering a great mix of artists. 'Stretch MARKS' is cast with young and mature, African American, Latino, Caucasian, Native American and biracial actors and actresses. All very talented and all local. The works being presented boast a wide range of topics and points of view."

The six-show fete will run Thursday through Sunday for the next three weekends, with one of the six selected plays performed each night. 

"We must not forget, however, that the piece that receives the most audience votes will move forward to have their work presented (in similar format) locally, nationally and internationally," Gobel added. "I am pleased that the majority of the playwrights will be on hand to hear their words sprinkled with emotion and explored with professional talent."

For more information about "Stretch MARKS," check out Next Act Theatre's website

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.