Tonight, we have another round of “What Play Should We Do Next Year?” Most days, that’s a great game to play on it’s own merits, but tonight might just answer that question.
As Managing Director, my perspective is different than that of the creative team of Ron, Tom, Jim and ML. I speak Artist and love a spirited debate, but my required input now revolves more around, “Yeah, I think we could sell that.”
Early days, I was in the thick of the creative decisions of this sort. It was great. I loved it. It’s tiring. Now, I have the luxury of getting the heck out of the way of the professionals. And kibitzing. I’ve gotta be me.
I’m really looking forward to tonight’s discussion. We’ve narrowed it down to 2 possibilities and are even starting to consider who we will ask to direct. With the calibre of people we’re talking about, that’s almost as mind-bendingly cool as deciding which play.
Susan Scot Fry
It’s 1:00 in the morning, I’ve got a car full of Tribe leather and Ron’s delivering the Full Fathom Four piano. The cast of The Tempest is might still be at Omega nomming on burgers and french toast. I just discovered a surprise donation in the box.
Set the alarm for 7 am so we can get back to Alverno for strike tomorrow.
Thank you for wanting to come see The Tempest. At this point in time, all reserved seating for all 9 performances has been booked solid.
There are a few options.
Get on the waiting list for reserved seating. If someone cancels their reservation, we’ll reserve the seat for you in the order your name appears on the list and notify you via email. Please email me at SSFry@OptimistTheatre.org if you would like this option. RSVP seats released within 6 hours of the performance will be made available to walk-in seating.
When you arrive at Alverno College, add your name to the walk-in list and 15 minutes prior to curtain, we will release any unclaimed RSVP’s to walk-ins in the order received. We cannot create a waiting list for walk-in seating. It is limited to persons who are actually on site at the time the seats are unclaimed.
(My opinion… I think this is your BEST BET. It’s not uncommon for RSVP’s for free tickets to go unclaimed at a last minute decision. I suggest you be optimistic and take your chances and hedge your bets with a lawn chair.)
There are some small, grassy areas in the courtyard where a limited number of walk-ins are welcome to set up lawn chairs to view the performance. Visibility is slightly limited and we recommend lawn chairs instead of blankets as the grass can be a bit wet. Sign up at the RSVP table for lawn space and those spaces will be allocated then and there up to the limit allowed by the fire marshal.
A few other thoughts. We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of support and desire to see this production and wish we could extend the performance to accommodate all requests. Unfortunately, although Shakespeare in the Park is free to the audience, it’s not free to produce so we don’t have the option to extend this year.
I’m very sorry for the inconvenience and if we aren’t able to help you see The Tempest this year, we hope for an even longer run next season. Join the Optimist Theatre mailing list and be the first to hear next year.
Thank you, Mike Fischer for the wonderful article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this morning and for the inspiring quote from Mr. James Pickering that ended the piece….
“In a play that is all about the power of the imagination, it’s hard to argue with such an approach. “We may not be featuring the magic of David Seebach,” Pickering admits. “But thanks to Mr. Shakespeare, we can offer the magic of belief.”
Some days, that’s the greatest achievement of all. Belief.
Click here to enjoy the article for yourself.
Hope to see you there.
Susan Scot Fry
THANK YOU, City of Milwaukee Arts Board!
Optimist Theatre is the proud and grateful recipient of a grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board to aid in our production of The Tempest! At least, the letter grasped tightly in my hot and sweaty little hand says so.
Makes it hard to type, but I can’t quite bring myself to put the letter down yet.
Please join me in extending a huge THANK YOU to the people at the Milwaukee Arts Board for their faith and support.
Susan Scot Fry
AND WE HAVE A WINNER!
Kurt Magoon was the first person to guess the location of the The Tempest as Red Arrow Park.
Thanks to everyone who played – and good guesses for downtown locations!
Watch for another copy of The Tempest to be released into the wild late next week.
Attention Optimistic Agents,
Another copy of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest has been released into the wilds of Milwaukee. The person who retrieves it and RSVP’s will be invited to bring it along to the performance and have it autographed by Prospero himself, Mr. James Pickering*.
Your first clue…
X doesn’t mark the spot, but another well-known, downtown symbol. FIERY ARR–IEL would know just where to look.
Your next clue…
Try not to get trampled by City Hall employees on break by coming between them and their buzz destination.
Also – if you can’t play in person, you can still WIN. Chime in with your guess on where the book has been placed by emailing me at SSFry@OptimistTheatre.org and I’ll tell you if you’re correct.
Susan Scot Fry
*member of Actor’s Equity
Meet playwright Mickle Maher tonight at SPIRITS TO ENFORCE and stay afterwards for a post-show discussion. Also, tonight is “Tempest Night” with multiple people from Optimist Theatre’s summer production in attendance including Ron & Susan Fry (Directors), Tom Reed (Caliban), Jim Pickering (Prospero), Ken Williams (Stephano), Jacque Troy (Antonio) and others. Join us and Youngblood for this tempestuous evening of entertaining theatre! 8:00pm; $15
The reviews are also coming in fast and furious. Visit the Youngblood Facebook page and see all the wonderful stuff reviewers are saying already.
Free Shakespeare in the Park is just around the corner, but there’s lots of prep to be done. To keep you up to date on progress, tell you a bit about the production, and give you a look at behind the scenes, we’re working on a series of short videos.
These podcasts will be posted on the Optimist Theatre YouTube channel — which you can find at http://www.youtube.com/user/OptimistTheatre. Feel free to check it out anytime. If you want to be notified when a new video is posted, just subscribe. It’s free, it’s easy and it doesn’t trigger any kind of spam.
If you’ve got any suggestions for video topics, just chime in. Email Ron Fry at RSFry@OptimistTheatre.org with your burning Tempest wishes.
In Ars Veritas,
Susan Scot Fry
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on …”
The dream is Free Shakespeare in the Park. And this summer, for the first time ever in the Festival City of Milwaukee, the dream will come true. Outdoors in the courtyard of Alverno College, Optimist Theatre will produce The Tempest, Shakespeare’s masterpiece of magic, humor, forgiveness, and redemption. The production will be completely free to the audience, but of the highest creative caliber – simple, fierce, and imaginative. Directed by Ron Scot Fry, Optimist Theatre’s Artistic Director, the cast includes…
James Pickering*. . . Prospero
Angela Iannone* . . . Ariel
Tom Reed* . . . Caliban
Jocelyn Fitz-Gibbon . . . Miranda
Andrew Voss . . . Ferdinand
Jacque Troy . . . Antonio
Neil Haven . . . Sebastian
T. Stacy Hicks . . . King Alonso
Flora Coker . . . Gonzalo
Ken Williams . . . Stephano / Mariners
David Flores . . . Trinculo / Mariners
Master . . . Andrew Parchman
Boatswain . . . Tommy Stevens
The company ensemble aka “The Tribe” . . . Amie Losi, Allie Babich, Na Tasha Carr, Grace DeWolff, Cassondra Gresl, Trevor Olds, Tamsyn Reed, Eric Schabla, Tommy Stevens, Andrew Parchman, and Sara Zientek.
Managing Director . . . Susan Scot Fry
Dramaturg and Assistant Director . . . ML Cogar
Lighting Design . . . Jason Fassl
Stage Manager . . . Melissa Wanke*
Production Manager . . . Alan Piotrowicz
Tribe Costumer . . . Mel Benson
Costume Coordinator . . . Alex Tacoma
Original music composed by T.J. Hull and played by The Full Fathom Four, which include Hull, Amanda Caretta-Hull, Emily Rhode-Terrien, and Jeff Sturgeon
Puppet Design and Construction . . . Milwaukee Mask and Puppet Theatre, Artistic Director Max Samson
Managing Director Assistant Intern . . . Na Tasha Carr
Stage Management Intern . . . Kate Krakow
Podcast Filmographer . . . Christina Mata
Displays Artist . . . Estephanie Mendoza
The Tempest will run June 18 – 20 and 24 – 27. “Milwaukee has incredible talent, and Shakespeare in the Park is a great opportunity to showcase that talent,” said Fry. “We have the privilege of premiering this project with a brilliant ensemble of actors, musicians, and visual artists. I’m looking forward to a rich, collaborative creative process.”
Optimist Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit theatre company. Shakespeare in the Park is made possible by Alverno College, a Creative Communities Grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board and individual donor contributions. For more information on Optimist Theatre, free Shakespeare in the Park or The Tempest, contact Susan Scot Fry, Managing Director at SSFry@OptimistTheatre.org or 262-498-5777 or visit the Optimist Theatre website at www.OptimistTheatre.org.
2010 N. 1st Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
* Member of Actor’s Equity.
I find myself posting quick blurbs on the Optimist Theatre facebook page and then forgetting about the blog. Le sigh.
If you’re interested in the latest, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Optimist-Theatre/82371133712?ref=ts
Susan Scot Fry