What brought you to theater?
I wanted to perform (read: show off) since I can remember. I also loved writing, drawing, making things and falling off of high places. Eventually I learned that I could do all of these things in theatre.
What did 10-year-old Ron think he'd be when he grew up?
What is the greatest challenge that you anticipate in directing A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Fitting this big play and these huge characters in this little space.
What do you hope that Shakespeare in the Park fans will take away from A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Lots of expensive OT souvenirs.
Kidding! Sort of.
I hope they leave feeling like they’ve been part of a magical, curious, hilarious adventure.
Who should play you in the feature film of your life?
Visually? Barry Manilow.
In terms of personality? Don Knotts.
In my dreams? The guy in Off Limits that explores places he’s not supposed to get into.
What Shakespeare character do you most resemble?
Either Launce from Two Gentlemen of Verona or Holofernes from Love’s Labours Lost. A bumbler who loves his dog to distraction, or a fatuous pseudo-intellectual. I’m trying to be honest here.
What's your superpower?
Tragedy, comedy or history?
Ultimately, everything in life is all three, though not necessarily in that order.
Truth or dare?
Dare. I never learned anything new by telling the truth about myself.
Reading a book in front of the fire instead of taking the dog for a walk. Or going to see a show. Or eating. Or pretty much anything.
More about Ron:
Ron has also directed The Tempest and Macbeth, and designed sets for those shows and for As You Like It and The Winter's Tale for Optimist Theatre, as well as for Alverno College, First Stage, Wisconsin Hybrid Theatre, Milwaukee Public Theatre and Milwaukee Mask and Puppet Theatre. He has had performing roles in Twelfth Night and The Winter's Tale. Ron's one-man show To Be! Shakespeare Here and Now has been performed for more than 80,000 people, and he debuted an original show Bloody, Filthy Shakespeare in Florence, Italy in 2013, which was co-produced by the historic Teatro Goldoni.
We've gotten the attention of a couple of year-end listers. Though WE already knew we were doing good work out here, it's always gratifying when others recognize it, too.
But then, Mike went further, calling Beth's performance out as part of a larger theme in the year's theatrical scene, "In 2014, Wisconsin theaters responded to dark themes with hopeful stories." Way to go, Beth! Those are a couple of well-deserved nods.
Optimist Theatre is so proud to create professional performances, using Milwaukee-based cast and crew, and then offer them at no charge to the community.