Archives for posts with tag: Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park Auditions are on Saturday, February 15th! “Romeo and Juliet” will be directed by Mr. David Cecsarini, Producing Artistic Director of Next Act Theatre. (WOOT!!!!)
Ever dream of being a part of Milwaukee’s summer Shakespeare? Now’s your chance. Performances are 2 long weekends of June, the first long weekend of July plus 2 matinees. 13 performances total. All cast members are paid a very nice stipend.
Email Tom Reed at to schedule a time and for more info. Or contact Susan Fry as for more info.


Audition Notice for Shakespeare in the Park – 10th Anniversary Season

Optimist Theatre is accepting applications to audition for the 10th Anniversary the free Shakespeare in the Park production of The Comedy of Errors directed by ML Cogar and Ron Scot Fry.

Accepting submissions from both Equity and Non-Equity performers. Please email a current headshot and resume to Tom Reed at  for consideration.

Auditions will be January 26, 27, and 28th at Alverno College. Rehearsals begin May 13th. The Comedy of Errors opens June 27th and runs through July 13th for a total of 12 shows. Performances will be at the Peck Pavilion, adjacent to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Optimist Theatre is a Resident Partner of the Marcus Center.

Optimist Theatre encourages performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, and ages to submit for an auditions slot. Under the auspices of Optimist Theatre’s Small Professional Theatre Company contract with Actors’ Equity Association, EMC award points are possible via participation in this production.


The 2016 Summit Players Theatre season will include three shows performed in Milwaukee! These shows will take place on July 22 at Three Bridges Park, July 29 at Havenwoods State Forest, and August 12 at Lakefront State Park. The Players will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream or As You Like It based on audience choice.

The Summit Players are a traveling, seven-member theatre company who present short, accessible, free Shakespeare workshops and performances to audiences around the state of Wisconsin. This summer, their season includes 20 performances in 16 different Wisconsin State Parks.

The first Milwaukee area Summit show will take place at Three Bridges Park in the Menomonee Valley, the second at Havenwoods State Forest on the city’s North side, and the third at Lakeshore State Park between the Milwaukee Art Museum and Henry Maier Festival Park. Audiences are advised to bring blankets or camp chairs to sit on and encouraged to bring snacks and drinks!

If you can’t catch the Players in Milwaukee, be sure to visit them in one of many other parks around the state of Wisconsin this summer!

For more information on the parks, the shows, or the Players, visit or find them on Facebook at


Shakespeare in the Park Auditions! Optimist Theatre is auditioning for our summer 2016 production of Julius Caesar.


Auditions are on February 6, 7, and 8. If you’re interested in being considered for an audition slot, please email your headshot and resume to Shakespeare in the Park Producer and Associate Artistic Director Tom Reed at Submissions without a headshot and resume will not be considered. Previous experience required.


Performances of Julius Caesar will run 12 days – August 4-7, 11-14 and 18-21, outdoors at Alice Bertschy Kadish Park. Rehearsals begin near the end of June.


Shakespeare in the Park is also seeking to fill all crew roles. Interested? Please email Tom Reed and include a resume if you have one.

Optimist Theatre is hiring for an Equity stage manager for the summer 2014 production of The Winter’s Tale.  Rehearsals begin May 6th and the production runs from June 13 – June 29.  If interested in the position please send a resume to Tom Reed at

Optimist Theatre opens As You Like It this weekend!  My suggestion is that you get there early to stake out a seat.  And bring along a picnic basket and bottle of wine or two.  You’ll want something to sit on as well, so bring a blanket, pillow or chair.  And it’s all free, so get your Bard on!

For those of you not familiar with Kadish Park, it’s off North Avenue just West of Humboldt where the road twists around the Veteran’s memorial.  The park overlooks Commerce Street, the site of Lakefront Brewery.  You can also park down there and walk up the hill.  The park truly has one of the best views of the city.


AS YOU LIKE IT will be presented free of charge on

July 12, 13, 14, 2013

July 18, 19, 20 and 21, 2013

Special invitation only media preview night July 11, 2013

Curtain is at 8:00 pm nightly.  Access to the open-air terraced seating area will begin at approximately 7:00 pm.

No Reservations or Tickets Required

AS YOU LIKE IT is presented free of charge and seating is first come, first served.  You’re welcome to come early, picnic and enjoy the park and the view.  When the seating area opens at approximately 7:00 pm, you will be able to stake out your seating area.  Ushers will be on hand to guide and help you.

We estimate that we will be able to seat at least 150 and 170 people within the terraced seating.  Grass seating adjacent to the terraces will also be open for viewing the play.


Performances will be held at Alice Bertschy Kadish Park in Milwaukee.  Kadish Park is located at 308 E. Lloyd Street in Milwaukee.


There’s plenty of free street parking surrounding Kadish Park along E. Garfield Avenue, N. Commerce St., the east end of E. Reservoir Ave., and the south end of N. Booth St.  We’re also welcome to use the COA facility parking lots at 909 E. North Avenue.


Kadish Park is accessible to wheelchairs by entering via the Oak Leaf Trail bike path at the end of E. Glover Avenue.

Kadish Park is a great location.

·      It’s at a crossroads where four neighborhoods meet

·      The amphitheater overlooks the beautiful Milwaukee city skyline

·      There is  free street parking

·      It boasts an open, sizeable, terraced seating area for our growing audiences.  Translation:  No seating reservations required!  Simply show up, enjoy the public park (picnic, anyone?) and stake out some space in the seating area when the ‘house’ opens up before each performance.  More details on how this works will be available on the Optimist Theatre blog as we get closer to the performance dates.

You’re Invited to…

Optimist Theatre’s “All the World’s a Stage Sonnet Slam” to Support Free Shakespeare in the Park

All the world’s a stage,

and all the men and women, merely players-

they have their exits and their entrances,

and one man in his time plays many parts,

his acts being seven ages.

As You Like It Act 2 scene 7, 139-143

Please join us and play your part upon the stage at Optimist Theatre’s “All the World’s a Stage Sonnet Slam”.  What’s a Sonnet Slam?  It’s a fun, optimistic party jam-packed with sonnets and laughter in a delicious setting.  Appetizers and pizza provided by Transfer Pizzeria, sonnets presented by As You Like It actors Todd Denning and Kristin Hammargren plus special guests including: “Fast” Fres Oquendo* the currently ranked #5 Heavyweight and former WBC, WBO & WBA Latino Heavyweight, and NABF, NABA & USBA Heavyweight boxing champion.

Got a Sonnet?  Give it!  There will be 3 sonnet sessions throughout the evening.  Sonnets do not have to be memorized and they don’t have to be by Shakespeare.  Proceeds support 2013’s free Shakespeare in the Park.

When: Monday, May 13, 2013 – from 8:00pm to 11:00pm


Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe

101 West Mitchell Street (in Bay View)

Milwaukee, WI 53204

Parking: Free parking along Mitchell Street

Cost: $35 per person.  $20 per ticket is tax deductible. Space is limited, so don’t wait.

100% of your ticket purchase goes to support free Shakespeare in the Park and $20 is tax deductible.  To purchase tickets, click the BUY NOW button at…

More Information:  Tom Reed or 414-524-9050

*Fres Oquendo appears courtesy of FOBA 

About Optimist Theatre:

Optimist Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit theatre company that produces free Shakespeare in the Park for the greater Milwaukee area.  Shakespeare in the Park is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board.


Last summer Milwaukee experienced free SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK.   A good time was had by all so we’re doing it again, and we want you to be part of it. 


You are invited to enjoy an evening of entertainment at a fundraiser to benefit free Shakespeare in the Park that we’re calling … 


“If music be the food of love, play on!”

                                                                                                        Twelfth Night, Act I Scene i

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Reception at 7:00 pm / Show at 8:00 pm

Alverno College in the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center

3400 S. 43rd Street – Milwaukee, WI  53234

Parking is free and plentiful.

Event admission is $35 per person ($20 per person tax deductible) BUT this project is as much about celebrating Milwaukee area artists as it is about raising funds to pay artists, so we’re again inviting Bunny Gumbo blog readers to revel at an artists rate of $15.  Just tell the good people at the ticket table that you would like the artist rate ticket.  

Entertainment Highlights

Our evening of Play will include a fabulous silent auction, snacks and drinks, snippets from Twelfth Night (courtesy of Mr. James Pickering* and Mr. Tom Reed*), and entertainment from: 

Molly Rhode and Chase Stoeger – From the Skylight Opera to American Folklore Theatre, Molly and Chase are perennial audience favorites.  For “Play On!”, they bring wit, character, and show-biz style to an entertaining variety of show tunes and comic songs. 

Radio WHT – Frequently heard on WMSE 91.7FM and seen at the Alchemist Theatre, Radio WHT brings contemporary laughs to “olde tyme” radio drama.

 Women who Can’t Sing The Tempest’s spellbinding Ariel, Angela Iannone*, will be joined by Tami Workentin and pianist David Bonofiglio for musical numbers that make great theatre. 

Doktor Kaboom! – Played by national performing artist David Epley, Doktor Kaboom will play with science, creating a series of entertaining, explosive, and occasionally successful experiments.  Watch for Doktor Kaboom on his DVD release “Don’t Try This at Home” and an upcoming graphic novel. 

Patrick Schmitz – Master of improv, sketch comedy, and stand-up, Patrick will be our Master of Ceremonies.  In addition to keeping things moving and making us laugh, he’ll run a series of games to challenge your trivia knowledge and other skills.  Big laughs and small prizes are guaranteed.  “Play On!” indeed!

Thank you for helping bring free Shakespeare in the Park to Milwaukee.  We hope to see you on Saturday!


Susan Scot Fry                                                     


* Members of Actors Equity Association

Optimist Theatre is Seeking…

Guess what happens when you present a wonderful event like free Shakespeare in the Park? People go. Happy people. People who are anticipating a lovely time.

That lovely time includes a variety of points of contact which take some work to do well. It’s fun work, but needs to be done. To that end, Optimist Theatre is seeking a Merchandise Director and a Food and Beverage Director.

This is a start-up opportunity, so if you’re a bootstrapper like all the other highly motivated people who are involved with free Shakespeare in the Park, you should consider contacting us.   These are independent contractor positions.

Susan Scot Fry

Optimist Theatre Announces Auditions for Twelfth Night 

Optimist Theatre is accepting audition appointments for their 2011 free Shakespeare in the Park production,Twelfth Night. 

Twelfth Night will feature Mr. James Pickering* as Malvolio. Director Laura Gordon** has also cast Tom Reed* as Feste and Ron Scot Fry as Sir Andrew Aguecheek.  Mr. Reed is Optimist Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director and Mr. Fry is their Artistic Director.  

Auditions will be held at Alverno College on January 3 and 31 and February 4 and 5, 2011.  Optimist Theatre will also be attending the Milwaukee General Auditions in February.  Anyone interested in auditioning should email a headshot and resume to Tom Reed at .   

 Rehearsals begin on May 10, 2011.  Performances will be June 16 through 26, 2011, with the possibility of extending one additional weekend.  Shakespeare in the Park is performed entirely outdoors on the campus of Alverno College. 

For more information, visit

 * Member of Actors’ Equity Association

** Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society