Shakespeare in the Park March News

April 1, 2013 at 8:35 am (2013 Shakespeare in the Park, As You Like It, Optimist Theatre Updates) (, , , , , )

Hey Optimists!
We made it! Shakespeare in the Park

Thanks to the help of people like you, Optimist Theatre’s winter 2013 fundraising campaign is a success.  We raised over $20,000 via direct donations and Kickstarter.  Our good friends at BMO Harris Bank will match it with another $20,000 and that means that AS YOU LIKE IT this July is a GO!   



Preparations for AS YOU LIKE IT proceed apace. Rehearsals begin in June and Optimist Theatre is grateful to our original ‘park’, Alverno College, for use of classrooms for rehearsals.Now that casting for AS YOU LIKE IT is complete, artistic thoughts turn toward designing the look of the production and our Designers are kicking into high gear.  We’re fortunate to again be working with some excellent artists and artisans.


Optimist Theatre’s Artistic Director, Mr. Ron Scot Fry, has again taken on the mantle of Set Designer.  Ron created the sets for THE TEMPEST and for MACBETH.  The challenge of designing for our new home in Kadish park is exciting.


Costume Design is also well underway.  Ms. Mel Benson, Costumer for The Tribe in Optimist Theatre’s THE TEMPEST, is designing the costumes for AS YOU LIKE IT.   Mel is a Costumer at the Florentine Opera Company.


Lighting Design will be by Mr. Jason Fassl of AntiShadows.  Jason has been the Optimist Theatre technical adviser from day 1 and did lighting designs for THE TEMPEST and TWELFTH NIGHT.  Jason has designed for many theatres in Milwaukee, throughout the Midwest and (more and more) in New York.

Shakespeare coined a number of phrases that are still in use in the English lexicon.  In addition to Jaques’ iconic line “All the world’s a stage”, here are some favorites from AS YOU LIKE IT:”In a better world than this” – LeBeau – Act 1, sc. 2

“Forever and a day” – Orlando – Act 4, sc. 1

“Laid on with a trowel” – Celia – Act 1, sc. 2

“Neither rhyme nor reason” – Orlando – Act 3, sc. 2

“Too much of a good thing” – Rosalind – Act 4, sc. 1AS YOU LIKE IT Trivia…

Which of these quotes has a much racier meaning than we generally attribute to it now?

Community Partners:  The COA Youth and Family Centers
Founded in 1906, the Children’s Outing Association was a labor of love for a group of women from The Personal Relief Society.  Thanks to their efforts, that first year eight children adventured to a tent colony in Whitewater, WI for fresh air and sunshine.Over 100 years later, the COA serves thousands of people, especially children, in greater Milwaukee and beyond.

Our Shakes-partners embody hands-on community spirit and caring through their many programs and projects.  You’ll encounter a personal favorite when you venture out to enjoy AS YOU LIKE IT.  Kadish Park is the home to one of the loveliest community gardens in Milwaukee and it’s sponsored by the COA.

The COA and Optimist Theatre share a dedication to fresh air and the fresh viewpoints that are created by inspirational communal experiences.

The COA Youth and Family Centers.  An inspiration to Optimist Theatre and Milwaukee.

As we get closer to this summer’s free Shakespeare in the Park, this ‘Nuts and Bolts’ section will help provide details you need plan your evening at AS YOU LIKE IT.


Performance dates are slated for July 11 (preview night for media), July 12 (opening night), 13 and 14 and July 18, 19, 20 and 21.  Possible additional dates will be July 25, 26 (no performance on the 27th) and 28.

We’re still working on adding that additional weekend.  If you’d like to help, please click the Donate Via Paypal button toward the upper left column of this e-newsletter.


Performances are slated to begin at 8:00 pm.  If we add a matinee, we’ll post those details here.


Performances will be held at the brand new Selig-Joseph-Folz amphitheatre in Kadish Park overlooking the beautiful downtown Milwaukee skyline.

This park has no official address and is labeled as Kilbourn Park on several city maps.  In future issues, we will provide detailed driving and parking directions.


Amphitheatre Honors


The Selig-Joseph-Folz Amphitheatre was honored as one of Wisconsin’s Top Projects of 2012.  The architects, HGA Architects and Engineers, have won a number of honors of late and we’re exceptionally happy to be the debut theatre company in one of them!

Thank you for spending a bit of time sharing our love and enthusiasm for free Shakespeare in the Park.

Here’s to summer 2013 and we’ll see you at Kadish Park!
Susan Scot Fry

Managing Director

Optimist Theatre

Permalink Leave a Comment