MACBETH: First Rehearsal – May 22, 2012

May 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm (2012 Shakespeare in the Park, Macbeth Updates, Optimist Theatre Updates) (, , , , , , , , )

Thanks to Mr. John Nienhuis, photographer extraordinaire, we have some photos to share from Optimist Theatre’s first rehearsal of Macbeth.  The full album in on the Optimist Theatre Facebook page.  Click HERE to see.

Table work rehearsals allow the cast to really dig into Shakespeare’s text and context.  It’s also their first opportunity to get to know each other.  As you can see, this is a big cast.  There are lots of relationships to be crafted.

In addition to serious, hard work there are moments of genuine hilarity.  Just leave it to Jim Pickering and Ken Williams with loads of help from Kelly Doherty, Michael Cotey, Marti Gobel – and the whole cast and crew.  These are funny, funny people, I’m here to tell you.  It’s a fascinating honor to see and hear them do the work and it’s a pleasure be in on play-time.  Ken Williams makes me laugh so hard it hurts.  Oh!  And you should have seen the gleams in their eyes when they got to handle all the cool weaponry supplied by our Fight Director, Joseph Manussier.  Ellie Cotey’s costume designs are sheer delicious-ness, too.

It’s tempting to give it all away, but I shall resist.  In the meantime, enjoy this behind the scenes glimpse of genius at work.

Hope to see you at Shakespeare in the Park in June.

Optimistically,

Susan

PS.  Interested in the artistry of John Nienhuis’ photos?  Visit his website at http://www.johnnienhuis.com/

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Sound and Fury Sonnet Slam Success

May 10, 2012 at 10:18 am (2012 Shakespeare in the Park, Friends of Optimist Theatre)

On May 7, Optimist Theatre held our first ever Sound and Fury Sonnet Slam at the lovely and generous Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe (they put out whole pizzas for us to snack on!!!).

Third Coast Digest did a live tweet of the event and posted this very nice article.  Click HERE to read it and enjoy the photos.  You can also read the live tweets here and get your very own play-by-play.  I was there and her tweets bring it all back vividly.

Until next time,

Susan

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Lake Effect Interview with Jim Pickering and Tom Reed

May 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm (2012 Shakespeare in the Park, Macbeth Updates) (, , , , , , )

Bonnie North of WUWM’s Lake Effect sat down with Jim Pickering* and Tom Reed* recently to talk about Optimist Theatre’s upcoming production of MACBETH. It’s an engaging conversation with Jim and Tom, who will be playing Duncan and Macbeth, respectively.

Click HERE for a link to the audio and Enjoy!

* member of Actor’s Equity Association

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Announcing the Cast for Macbeth

April 27, 2012 at 10:10 am (2012 Shakespeare in the Park, Macbeth Updates, Optimist Theatre Updates) (, , , , , , , )

ImageOptimist Theatre is proud to announce the cast for this season’s free Shakespeare in the Park production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Libby Amato as Witch Vengeance and Lady Macduff

Michael Cotey as Malcolm

Tom Dillon as Seyton

Kelly Doherty as Witch Novice

David Ferrie as Old Seyward

Marti Gobel* as Lady Macbeth

Tim Linn as Banquo

Beth Monhollen as Rosse

Emmitt Morgans as Lennox

Angel Mullen as Witch Wisdom and Gentlewoman

James Pickering* as Duncan and the Porter

Tom Reed* as Macbeth

Andrew Voss as Macduff

Ken Williams as Angus

The Coven (Murderers, Familiars, Mystics, Servants, and Soldiers):

David Franz, Evan Koepnick, Mack Folkert (Fleance), Kat Gilbert, Liz Mistele (Young Macduff), Andrew Parchman, Tamsyn Reed, Eric Schabla (Young Seyward), and Sara Zientek.

Macbeth will be directed by Optimist Theatre’s Artistic Director, Ron Scot Fry.  Dramaturgy and Assistant Directing by ML Cogar, Stage Management by Melissa Wanke*, Lighting Design by Jason Fassl and Ross Zentner and Costume Design by Eleanor Cotey.

Macbeth will be performed outdoors on the campus of Alverno College June 21 through June 24 and June 28 through July 1.  Seating reservations will be available beginning May 20 and tickets are again free.  To receive notice that reservations are available, please sign up for Optimist Theatre’s e-newsletter at www.OptimistTheatre.org/Contact.

Optimist Theatre has been presenting free Shakespeare in the Park for greater Milwaukee since 2010 and is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board and our gracious host Alverno College.  For more information, please visit http://www.OptimistTheatre.org.

* Member of Actors Equity Association

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Announcing the Cast for Macbeth

April 27, 2012 at 10:09 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

ImageOptimist Theatre is proud to announce the cast for this season’s free Shakespeare in the Park production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Libby Amato as Witch Vengeance and Lady Macduff

Michael Cotey as Malcolm

Tom Dillon as Seyton

Kelly Doherty as Witch Novice

David Ferrie as Old Seyward

Marti Gobel* as Lady Macbeth

Tim Linn as Banquo

Beth Monhollen as Rosse

Emmitt Morgans as Lennox

Angel Mullen as Witch Wisdom and Gentlewoman

James Pickering* as Duncan and the Porter

Tom Reed* as Macbeth

Andrew Voss as Macduff

Ken Williams as Angus

The Coven (Murderers, Familiars, Mystics, Servants, and Soldiers):

David Franz, Evan Koepnick, Mack Folkert (Fleance), Kat Gilbert, Liz Mistele (Young Macduff), Andrew Parchman, Tamsyn Reed, Eric Schabla (Young Seyward), and Sara Zientek.

Macbeth will be directed by Optimist Theatre’s Artistic Director, Ron Scot Fry.  Dramaturgy and Assistant Directing by ML Cogar, Stage Management by Melissa Wanke*, Lighting Design by Jason Fassl and Ross Zentner and Costume Design by Eleanor Cotey. 

Macbeth will be performed outdoors on the campus of Alverno College June 21 through June 24 and June 28 through July 1.  Seating reservations will be available beginning May 20 and tickets are again free.  To receive notice that reservations are available, please sign up for Optimist Theatre’s e-newsletter at www.OptimistTheatre.org/Contact.

Optimist Theatre has been presenting free Shakespeare in the Park for greater Milwaukee since 2010 and is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board and our gracious host Alverno College.  For more information, please visit http://www.OptimistTheatre.org.

 

* Member of Actors Equity Association

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You’re Invited to… Optimist Theatre’s “Sound and Fury Sonnet Slam”

March 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm (2012 Shakespeare in the Park, Macbeth Updates, Optimist Theatre Events, Optimist Theatre Updates) (, , , , , , , )

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
 
Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19-28

You’re Invited to…

Optimist Theatre’s “Sound and Fury Sonnet Slam”

What: Get your “poor player” on and “strut and fret [your] hour upon the stage” (more like 2 minutes) at Optimist Theatre’s “Sound and Fury Sonnet Slam”.

When: Monday, May 7, 2012 – from 8:00pm to whenever

Where:  Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe
101 West Mitchell Street (in Bay View)
Milwaukee, WI 53204

 Parking: Free parking along Mitchell Street

Cost: $25 per person*. Space is limited, so don’t wait.  100% of your ticket purchase goes to support free Shakespeare in the Park and $10 is tax deductible.  Click HERE to get your tickets on the Optimist Theatre website.

What’s a Sonnet Slam?
It’s a fun, optimistic party jam-packed with sonnets and laughter in a delicious setting.

Your ticket includes…

Appetizers provided by Via – Transfer Pizzeria’s sister restaurant on Downer (yum!), sonnets presented by Macbeth performers James Pickering** (Duncan), Tom Reed** (Macbeth), Andrew Voss (Macduff) and a host of other Milwaukee celebs and VIP’s. Transfer will provide a cash bar.

The Sonnet Slam
Got a Sonnet?  Give it!

There will be 3 sonnet sessions throughout the evening with each session featuring 5 or 6 slammers. Only 3 slots per session will be pre-cast. The remaining slam spaces are up for grabs. There will be a sign-up board at the event and if space is still available, you’re welcome to snag a spot and have at.

Sonnets do not have to be memorized and they don’t have to be by Shakespeare.

As if that weren’t enough…

Optimist Theatre will also be raffling off a copy of our Macbeth script, signed by the entire cast and with a special “Forward” by our Dramaturg, ML Cogar.

Have you ever been to an OT party?  If I do say so myself, they’re a barrel of fun.

For more information, feel free to contact Susan Fry at 262-498-5777 or SSFry@OptimistTheatre.org

Hope to see you there!

** Members of Actor’s Equity Association

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“Something Wicked This Way Comes” – You’re Invited

January 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm (2012 Shakespeare in the Park) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Are you ready for some “double, double toil and trouble”?  Well, “screw your courage to the sticking place” and get your tickets now for Optimist Theatre’s …

“Something Wicked This Way Comes”

 Saturday, February 4, 2012, Optimist Theatre hosts our third annual winter fundraising party.  This year we celebrate the 2012 summer production of free Shakespeare in the Park …

 Macbeth

By William Shakespeare

Macbeth will feature Mr. Tom Reed* as Macbeth, Ms. Marti Gobel* as Lady Macbeth, Mr. James Pickering* as Duncan and, with your help, is slated for June and July of 2012.  Whether there are 2 or 3 weekends of performances will be determined in large part by how well this fundraiser goes.

The Details:

Something Wicked This Way Comes will be held…

Saturday, February 4, 2012
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Alverno College
The Teaching, Learning and Technology Center
3900 S. 43rd Street
Milwaukee, WI

Tickets are only $35.00 each.  To purchase tickets
Please CLICK HERE to visit the Optimist Theatre webpage and
select the Add to Cart button.

$20 per ticket is tax deductible.

Unable to join the fun that night, but you want free Shakespeare in the Park to happen? Please consider a 100% tax deductible donation also via the Optimist Theatre support webpage.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Something Wicked This Way Comes will be a delightful evening of fiendish-fun including…

  • Tarot readings by “Tarot Politico” columnist for The Huffington Post.
  • Your Fairy Godmother Deosil  discovering your color aura or reading your palm
  • Numerology readings with Fairy Godmother Widdershins
  • The generous riches of The Milk of Human Kindness Silent Auction.  One of the best silent auctions in Milwaukee has something for everyone and for every budget.  Bid on great items such as airline tickets to anywhere and a signed, first edition of Christopher Buehlman’s blockbuster, award-winning novel “Those Across The River”
  • Sweet and savory snacks and a no-host bar
  • Your chance to cast your vote for the 2012 Shakespeare in the Park seating reservation system you would most like to use

Stage Entertainment featuring…

  • Comedy by Optimist Theatre favorite, Mr. Phil Johnson, juggler, ropewalker, foolish mortal.  Phil’s sublime, physical and musical comedy is a huge hit with Optimists every year and we’re extremely excited to bring him to Milwaukee again.  www.philipearl.com
  • Music by Milwaukee’s own Mr. John Sieger of Tune du Jour.  “One of our local treasures” – onMilwaukee.com.  “The man oozes soul, and his talent is not in question.” – ExpressMilwaukee.com.    www.johnsieger.wordpress.com/
  • Alverno Colleges’ Chamber Choir and Flute Ensemble.  Featured around town at venues including MAM After Dark, both groups were favorites of the pre-performance picnic crowd during 2011’s production of Twelfth Night.

Thank you for again making the dream of free Shakespeare in the Park a reality.  We couldn’t do it without you.

See you there!

* Member of Actors Equity Association

Inquiries?  Please call or email Susan Fry, Managing Director at 262-498-5777 or SSFry@OptimistTheatre.org

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Come See TWELFTH NIGHT!

June 17, 2011 at 10:54 am (2011 Shakespeare in the Park, Twelfth Night Updates) (, , , , , )

Last night, we opened Twelfth Night to a happy, appreciative audience.  Not surprising.  It’s a wonderful show.  Laura Gordon is an amazing director.  Steve Barne’s (painted by Linda Freund) set is lovely.  Jason Fassl’s lights are magical.  The only surprising thing about last night were the number of empty seats.  It was a lovely evening.  Where were you?

Our final house count was 197, including lawn seating.  We have a total audience capacity of 240.  Our 200 chairs per evening have been ‘sold out’ for weeks.  Where were the other 43 people?  It’s a mystery.  Much like theatre.

It’s probably a bit intimidating to be on a waiting list that tallied 118, as was the case for last night’s show.  All I can say is, Everyone Got In.  Just like last year.

If you have reservations and cannot make it, please give us at least 24 hours notice.  That will give us time to make contact with the next person on the waiting list.  We have an on-line Box Office, but it’s really a human-powered system.  Help out your fellow Shakespeare in the Park aficionados.

If you’re on the waiting list, give it a shot!  Come see Twelfth Night.  Everyone got in last night.  And, it was so worth it.

Optimistically,

Susan Scot Fry

Managing Director

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TWELFTH NIGHT Weather Page is Updated

June 7, 2011 at 10:27 am (2011 Shakespeare in the Park, Optimist Theatre Updates, Twelfth Night Updates) (, )

Hey Shakespeare in the Park Goers!

We’ve updated our Shakespeare in the Park weather blog page and it’s all ready for some Twelfth Night daily forecasts.  Each performance day, we’ll post the weather forecast for that evening HERE.

Generally speaking, we go on.  Rain, schmain.  It’s outdoors!  Up until the point where it becomes dangerous, a little damp doesn’t deter our spirits.  Are you with us?  Excellent!

In case there actually IS a weather situation that we know is dangerous and we also know has no chance of letting up during the performance, we will also use this page to notify folks that the performance has been canceled.

In the meantime, pack that picnic and plan on a lovely evening at Alverno College.

Thanks for joining us for an evening of magic and comedy.

Optimistically,

Susan

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Lawn Seating for TWELFTH NIGHT

May 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm (2011 Shakespeare in the Park) (, , )

Greetings Shakespeare in the Park fans!

Didn’t quite make it for audience seating reservations for TWELFTH NIGHT? Well, all is not lost! Lawn seating is still a possibility. Here’s what to do…

#1 Get your order in anyway. That order enters you onto the waiting list and those are the folks who will get first dibs for lawn seating, too.

There are 3 lawn seating areas available within the Alverno Alumnae courtyard and, between them all, we can welcome 40 more people in per the fire regulation limits.  Your name will already be on the waiting list for a specific date, so you would have priority for lawn seating space that evening.

Enter your order via the Optimist Theatre Box Office by clicking HERE.

#2  Consider blanket versus lawn chairs.

2 of the 3 spaces available for lawn seating will only be for blankets.  The 3rd space will accommodate lawn chairs, but visibility of the stage is limited.  The 2 spaces that will be available for blankets on the grass both provide good visibility to the stage.  We’re sorry, but we cannot allow any lawn chairs within the 2 lawn spaces closest to the stage.

#3  Give it a shot!

Last year, we discovered that there is a percentage of folks who reserve seats but just don’t show up.  We were happily able to accommodate everyone who walked-in either within the audience because of no-shows or on the lawns with their own chairs and blankets.

This year, we anticipate fewer ‘no-shows’ but there will be some.  Parking is free at Alverno.  The grounds for pre-performance gathering are grassy and lovely.  Fellow theatre-lovers will be picnicking and enjoying some live music.  We hope to see you there, too.

Optimistically,

Susan Scot Fry

Managing Director

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