So... GREAT News!
We are pleased to announce that Shakespeare in the Park and No Holds Bard 2021 are ON! We'll be presenting A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Midsummer Project, respectively, and SitP will be GOING MOBILE!
What does all of that mean?
Shakespeare in the Park: A Midsummer Night's Dream
In the grand tradition of keeping professional live Shakespeare free to see for as many people in the Milwaukee area as possible, we are taking what we've learned over the past decade of live shows (and a year of on-location filming) to build a fully realized, fully staged, fully touring show. Instead of one static location, our stage and cast will move--bringing the show to multiple parks and green spaces near YOU.
What you need to know now:
No Holds Bard: The Midsummer Project
Following the success of our No Holds Bard: The Pericles Project (if you missed it, visit our YouTube channel and check it out) we will follow the live performances by filming our story to create a new season that will stream over the fall/winter.
From Executive Director Susan Scot Fry
"We’re happy and relieved to be joining the ranks of our fellow companies bringing live theatre back to audiences who are craving love, connection and laughter. With our mobile set, we’ll be able to help fill that need anywhere there’s a piece of flat grass, an electrical outlet and bathrooms within walking distance."
"This is also our opportunity to take our shows to green spaces all over Milwaukee. Connecting with all of our diverse communities is one of our cornerstones. It’s why we Optimists work so hard to keep our performances free."
After all, All the world’s a stage!
Optimist Theatre's No Holds Bard and The Milwaukee Turners are pleased to announce that the "live hosted" segments of "The Pericles Project" will be broadcast from beautiful Turner Hall, beginning February 24.
The 16-episode production streams two (brief) episodes at a time, alternate Wednesday evenings at 7:30 CST. Episodes 7 & 8 will be shown on Feb. 24; you can catch up on prior episodes (or find out more) at www.NoHoldsBard.org, or at the NHB Facebook page or YouTube Channel.
Faced with the realities of COVID-19, Optimist Theatre responded by creating a web series of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Shot starting in late summer with minimal cast and crew in outdoor locations around Milwaukee County, we were able to observe appropriate distances and other health & safety protocols on set that would have been impossible in a traditional theatrical setting.
We have since then been editing and working out the surprising number of technical details involved with the multi-platform stream that we're planning to begin on January 13th!
Join the separate mailing list for No Holds Bard and/or visit the website to get all the details about how, where and when to catch the thrilling adventures of Prince Pericles!!
It's a Sad News/Good News Situation
Heartfelt greetings from Optimist Theatre
We have both sad (but probably not surprising) news and an update on our current programming.
We’ve decided to postpone Romeo and Juliet until 2021. This was an incredibly difficult decision to make. We have been dedicated to making Peck Pavilion performances happen. But, we reached a point when we had to decide whether to hang on and roll forward with possible live performance dates for R&J or, instead, to do something we could do well right now (well, soon, anyway).
First, Why Postpone?
While it might have been possible to produce at the downtown Peck Pavilion this summer, it’s become a slimmer and slimmer chance. Some of the reasons we chose to delay Romeo and Juliet?
So, we made the hard choice to postpone.
But, there is Good News!!!
On the flip-side, this postponement is an invaluable opportunity.
We are embracing today and our current resources to focus on what we CAN do to fulfill our mission and bring some Shakespearean fun to our community. Shakespeare in the Park is our highest profile event every season but Optimist Theatre is very busy year-round.
Optimists are still hot on the heels of fulfilling our mission and goals in 2020.
We have three programs in high gear:
Zoom To Be!
Our award-winning educational outreach program, To Be! Shakespeare Here and Now! has successfully adapted to a virtual platform.
14 shows for a middle school in Maryland and one in Wisconsin taught us a lot. Thanks to this adaptation, we are no longer limited to the distance our William Shakespeare (live and in person) can drive. Er… ride. On a horse… less carriage...!
No Holds Bard!
It’s so new, we aren't quite ready to describe it to you and there’s not even a blurb yet on our website! The focus, though, is on fun with Shakespeare.
Stay tuned for all the info about this program!
(graphic credit for Will in sunglasses to the Charleston City Paper, Charleston, South Carolina.)
To All of Us Optimists
Here's to embracing all the possibilities of today, doing work we can be proud of, and looking to the future.
With all our love, gratitude and optimism,
Susan, Ron, Tom, ML, Christie, Karen and Barbara
A Special Note to Our Supporters: Members, Donors and Financial Supporters – Thank You.
Nearly every arts organization in the country have suffered steadily decreasing financial support and for understandable reasons (https://artsnc.org/covid-19-pandemic-bad-for-arts-nonprofits/). Happily, thanks to you and organizations like the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the Milwaukee Arts Board, we have funding to help keep our doors open.