A small theater company has a major opportunity: Bring free Shakespeare to thousands of people in their city. Optimist Theatre will perform As You Like It in a public park this summer, sharing the joys of Shakespeare in the middle of Milwaukee.
The founder and artistic director of the company, Ross Williams, told me that in large part, it means exploring “how we can get Shakespeare to work for a new generation, for new audiences.” And they’re serious about changing up the setting where necessary: their projects include a Shakespearean pub crawl, where at each location, a scene breaks out. They call it … Shakesbeer. (C’mon. Wouldn’t you?)