First Stage’s ‘Carmela Full of Wishes’ Now Playing at Todd Wehr Theater

First Stage’s CARMELA FULL OF WISHES is now playing at the Todd Wehr Theater, adapted by First Stage Resident Playwright Alvaro Saar Rios from the popular book by award-winning children’s author Matt de la Peña, with illustrations by Christian Robinson.

In this colorful adaptation, audiences will follow Carmela on her birthday, when she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands.

As they travel through the neighborhood, Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement.

Before she can blow its puffy white fluff away, her brother tells her she must make a wish.

Audiences will learn about Carmela’s undocumented father, her hard-working family, and her wish for him to be home.

Director Michelle Lopez-Rios says, “ It is a story that is familiar to too many youth in Milwaukee as they carry the weight of tremendous hardships in their daily life.”

Through the challenges, the show is uplifting and inspiring. The imaginative set and costumes bring a vibrant world to life with bright orange marigolds, paletas (popsicles), fresh laundry, and life by the sea.

This play is moving ode to family, dreamers and to finding hope in the most
unexpected places.

CARMELA FULL OF WISHES runs January 20 – February 12, 2023 at the Marcus Center’s Todd
Wehr Theater, located at 929 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee.

Tickets are $28 and can be purchased in person at the Marcus Center Box Office at 929 N. Water Street, by phone at (414) 273-7206 or online at

Performance runtime is approximately 70 minutes, which includes a brief intermission. It’s suggested for families with young people ages 3+.

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