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or, How I Started the Iraq War (400 × 400 px).png

Music by Marshall Pailet, Book and Lyrics by A.D. Penedo

Directed by Meghan Randolph 

Music Direction by Zach Busch

Choreography by Marin Johnson

August 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m.

August 20 at 2:00 p.m.

Talkback to follow August 20th performance. Guest panelist Dr. Fahed Masalkhi, Arabic Program Coordinator and Senior Lecturer at UW-Milwaukee. 

 Wisconsin Union Theater’s Play Circle Theater at Memorial Union (Second Floor), 800 Langdon Street

Meet the artists

Ticket info

Venue info




A show that rocked off-Broadway in 2015, Baghdaddy is a subversive musical in the style of Adam McKay (The Big Short, Vice). It tells the story of the buildup to the War in Iraq, focusing on an Iraqi refugee (and con artist) codenamed Curveball, the people he interacted with, and what became the biggest CIA blunder in modern history. Filled with bangin' songs, rich history, dark humor, and layered characters, this piece explores how we take responsibility, how we treat people we suspect, and how ambition run amok can spell disaster.



Baghdaddy contains the use of gunshots and haze. A death is shown onstage. The show also contains mature language and information on the deaths of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians. It is not recommended for children. 


 Box office services are provided through Campus Arts Ticketing at UW-Madison.  Click here to see their hours and policies. 

Ticket Prices: $30 (Sunday) -$35 general admission. Students with a valid ID can be admitted for $15 (Sunday)-$20 at all performances. 


Unless you elect to have your tickets mailed to you, there are no extra fees added to these prices. 

How to order: 

Tickets can be purchased in one of three ways: 

1. Order online. 

2. Call the Campus Arts Box Office at 608-265-ARTS. 

3. Order in person at the Campus Arts Ticketing Box Office in Memorial Union (800 Langdon St.) during business hours or starting one hour before performances. Enter through the doors at Park and Langdon Streets. Click here for a map. 


Parking/Transportation: There are over 2500 parking spots within a five-minute walk of Memorial Union. Memorial Union is also widely accessible via public transportation.  Click here for complete information

Location: The Play Circle is located on the second floor of the Memorial Union.  Enter through the doors at the corner of Park and Langdon Streets.  The box office is on your left, past the information desk.  The elevator to the second floor is on  your right.  The stairs just inside the door will take you to other parts of the building to enjoy dining and drinks before the performance.  Click here for additional location information. 


Pre-show dining: The Memorial Union is home to several casual dining restaurants including standard American fare, pizza, custom sandwiches, coffee, ice cream, and full-service bars.  Visit the Memorial Union website for details. You can even bring your drinks with you into the theatre! ​ The UW Campus and State Street are within walking distance and have many options for dining and drinks. 

Accessibility: The venue is wheelchair accessible. If we can do anything to make your experience more accessible in other ways, please e-mail to let us know! 

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Meghan Randolph (Director) is Music Theatre of Madison's Founder and Executive Director, a title she has held proudly for 18 years. She has overseen every MTM show, directed many, and performed in a few. Favorite directing projects include Indecent, A New Brain, Little Miss Sunshine, Monstersongs, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Glorious Ones, and more. She has also directed and assistant directed for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, TNW Ensemble Theatre, Forward Theater, CTM, MADCAP, the University of Michigan, MSCR, and more.  Meghan is also a performer whose credits include the national tour of Cats (Jennyanydots/u/s Grizabella), Zombies From the Beyond (Charlene, Skylight Music Theatre), Matilda (Trunchbull, CTM), Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett, MPT), Forward Theater's Monologue Festival, Man of La Mancha (Aldonza, Four Seasons Theatre) and many others. For MTM she has appeared in The Yellow Wallpaper, Lizzie, Monstersongs, Nevermore, Elegies..., john & jen, The Wild Party, and Violet.  Meghan is a published author and speaker on arts marketing, and has worked with several other nonprofits in the Madison area in various roles including manager, fundraiser, event coordinator, marketer, and more. She holds a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Michigan and an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University. 

Zach Busch (Music Director) Bio coming soon! 

Marin Johnson (Choreographer) Marin Johnson has a BA in Dance from Point Park University, 16 years of professional dance experience, and over 25 years of choreography and teaching experience. Credits with MTM include Floyd Collins, Parade, The Yellow Wallpaper and Ten Days in a Madhouse. Additional choreography credits include Office Depot, Radio Shack and Redken; Miss USA Pageants; Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, TN; Tribute in Concert; Superstars Live in Concert; WSB Promotions; multiple dance teams, show choirs, dance companies and dance studios; Celebrity Cruise Lines (Assistant Choreographer). She is also the co-owner of Forte Studios in Mt. Horeb.

Kristen Emery (Stage Manager) Kristen manages all contracts and company business as well as serving as stage manager on select MTM shows. She has previously staged managed TEN DAYS IN A MADHOUSE, THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, INDECENT, HEPHAESTUS, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, LIZZIE, HEPHAESTUS (Workshop), STRIKING 12 and A NEW BRAIN. Before moving to Madison, she worked as a general manager for Cardinal Stage Company in Bloomington, IN, where she also stage managed their mainstage season. Kristen has also worked for Fresco Opera Theatre, Children's Theater of Madison, and SPCT in Madison, Legacy Theatre and the Long Wharf Theatre in Connecticut, and the Abingdon Theatre Company and OnTheSquareProductions in New York. Kristen leads her school's drama club program for 3-5th grade students in Sun Prairie's school district, where she is a grades K-5 math teacher.

Aidan McLeod (Lighting Designer) Aidan is a Chicago-based lighting designer from Middleton, Wisconsin, and is excited to be working with MTM for the first time! Most recent design work includes UNACCOMPANIED (DePaul), and an upcoming production of AS YOU LIKE IT (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) in London. He also assisted in the projection design for IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, 2022 Jeff Equity Award). BFA The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Scott Glogovsky (Sound Designer) has designed for MTM's productions of Monstersongs, Ten Days in a Madhouse, The Yellow Wallpaper, Hephaestus, Little Miss Sunshine, Lizzie, A New Brain, and Bonnie & Clyde. Other credits include American Players Theatre, QuantUM, and The World's Stage. 

Resa Fuller (Assistant Stage Manager/Props) Resa Fuller is a stage manager, lighting designer, and stagehand. Previous stage management credits include MICRO: A WORKSHOP (Stage Manager; Music Theatre of Madison), BAD IN BED: A FAIRYTALE (Stage Manager; Madison College and Madison Theatre Guild), MONSTERSONGS (Stage Manager; Music Theatre of Madison), TEN DAYS IN A MADHOUSE (Rehearsal Stage Manager/Production ASM; Music Theatre of Madison), THESE SHINING LIVES (Assistant Stage Manager; Eastern Illinois University Theatre). Enjoy the show!

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View the trailer by Audio for the Arts/Noah Gilfillan

Production photos by Beau Meyer

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