Shakespeare in the Park 2014...

We're pleased to invite you to 
William Shakespeare's romance:

The Winter's Tale

                  Image courtesy of the Delaware Shakespeare Festival


 We are just as pleased to announce that THE WINTER'S TALE

will be presented free of charge for THREE weekends, on 

June 13, 14, 15, 2014

June 19, 20, 21, 22, 2014


June 26, 27, 28 and 29, 2014

Special invitation-only media preview night June 12, 2014


THE WINTER'S TALE is presented by Optimist Theatre and BMO Harris Bank, through BMO's generous challenge grant




The Cast of
The Winter's Tale
William Shakespeare...

Leontes - Tom Reed*
Hermione/Autolycus - Beth Mulkerron*
Perdita - Allie Babich
Polixenes - Patrick Lawlor*
Florizel - Ethan Hall
Camillo - Emmit Morgans
Paulina - Mary Kababik
Shepherd - Jeffrey James Ircink
Antigonus - Ron Scot Fry
Clown - Brian Miracle
Mamillius - Ashley Jordan
Cleomenes - Beth Monhollen
Emilia - Genessee Spridco
Dion - James Carrington
Mopsa - Megan Kaminsky
Dorcas - Liz Fraglia

with The Ensemble: David Bohn, James Carrington, Liz Fraglia, David Franz, Megan Kaminsky, Ashley Jordan, Cassondra Gresl and Linda Loving

Susan Scot Fry as the Bear

M.L. Cogar, who has been both the Dramaturg and Assistant Director for all four of SITP's previous productions, will direct. 


About the Play

Director M.L. Cogar is particularly describes The Winter’s Tale as “a panoramic adventure-romance that showcases some of Shakespeare’s richest language. The story stretches between two fairy tale kingdoms, across the genres of tragedy and comedy…it offers us a jealous king, a wrongly accused queen, a brave princess, a comic shepherd, and a singing thief—in other words, plenty of room for our team of local artists to explore the parallel inventiveness of both performance and production.” The audience, she explains, should “expect clear language and storytelling, evocative movement and music, and technical artistry that celebrates imaginative theater traditions. And puppets.”


Generally believed to have been written later in Shakespeare’s career (1610-1611), The Winter’s Tale is a romantic comedy of jealousy and suspected infidelity, revenge, and ultimately, of redemption and reunion. It contains one of the most famous stage directions in English literary history: "Exit, pursued by a bear." Some speculate that, because the Elizabethan theaters were housed in the same sketchy entertainment district as the "bear baiting" pits, it is possible that one or more performances featured a live bear.


Of further interest to historians, the plot, in which a monarch falsely accuses his consort of adultery, appears to parallel the fall of Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife to King Henry VIII, and may have been an allusion to which the Bard’s audience would have been attuned.





*Member of Actors Equity Association    

Coming to the Show

Performances begin at 8:00 pm every night.  Access to the open-air terraced seating area will begin at approximately 7:00 pm.

Seating is on a first come, first served basis.  Lower terraces are for blanket seating only.  Upper terraces and areas to the side of the terraces may have lawn chairs.  Bring your own blanket and lawn chair.

Please note:  The terraced seating areas are on a hill.  Lawn chairs are not the most comfortable seating options in most places.  If you opt for a blanket, you may want to bring a cushion or something as well.

No Reservations or Tickets Required

Shakespeare in the Park 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.

We estimate that we will be able to seat around 200 people within the terraced seating.  Grass seating adjacent to the terraces will also be open for viewing the play.

(Speaking of ushers!  If you're interested in a guaranteed seat to see THE WINTER'S TALE, email the show's Director to volunteer your services as an usher.)


Our Hosts

COA (Children’s Outing Association), one of Milwaukee’s most venerable community youth organizations, has offered Optimist Theatre the opportunity to be the inaugural theatre company for their brand new amphitheater and performance space in Alice Bertschy Kadish Park.  The amphitheater will debut this summer and we have accepted with pleasure.


Performances will be held at Alice Bertschy Kadish Park in Milwaukee.  Kadish Park does not have an actual address but is located adjacent to the COA Youth and Family Center at 909 E. North Avenue in Milwaukee. You're welcome to park in the COA lot.


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. 


Shakespeare in the Park is made possible in part through the generous support of BMO Harris Bank, UPAF, the Milwaukee Arts Board, the Wisconsin Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Association of University Women, Baird Foundation, Alverno College, and the hundreds of generous donors who gave $1 to $1,000.

Thank you.


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