Bard on the banks: Wisconsin Interstate Park hosts free outdoor Shakespeare performance

Touring theater company will present Romeo & Juliet in the St. Croix Falls park on July 27.

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Wisconsin-based traveling theatre company Summit Players Theatre is returning for a fifth season and will be performing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet from June 15 to August 4 in 18 different Wisconsin State Parks. All performances will be free and preceded by a 45-minute educational workshop.

For its landmark fifth anniversary season, the company is visiting more state parks than ever and performing its first Shakespearean tragedy.

“This show may be different from the comedies we’ve performed before, but we’re offering audiences the same Summit Players experience they’ve come to know and love,” stated company founder and Executive Director Hannah Klapperich-Mueller, a 2015 graduate of Marquette University. “Our shows and workshops will still introduce audiences of all ages to Shakespeare’s language and characters in a fun, family-friendly way.”

Each Romeo and Juliet show will be 75 minutes long and completely free, in accordance with the company’s mission of creating Shakespeare anyone can afford, attend, and understand. Through a collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Summit Players are also able to introduce audiences around the state to their local parks.`

The group’s educational workshop, “Playing with Shakespeare: Get Outside with Will,” is offered before every show. It serves as a way for kids and “fun adults” to get comfortable with Shakespeare’s language, as well as learning more about the man himself and the way nature played into his works. Participants take part in Shakespeare games and exercises culminating in performing a short scene.

This year, the Summit Players team boasts three new members—Ryan Zierk, Simon Earle and Jackson Hoemann. All three will act in Romeo and Juliet as well as serving as teaching artists for the company.

“Romeo and Juliet is such a well-known show, and it’s exciting to offer people a new take on it,” said Zierk, a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin – Parkside. “Whether people know the play really well or have never seen it before, they’ll have a great experience with it. Plus, it’s free, so anyone can come and enjoy!”

Summit Players Theatre’s 2019 season is supported in part by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board and Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.


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One response to “Bard on the banks: Wisconsin Interstate Park hosts free outdoor Shakespeare performance”

  1. […] Bard on the banks: Wisconsin Interstate Park hosts free outdoor Shakespeare performance (The Wisconsin-based theatre company Summit Players Theatre is returning for a fifth season. This […]

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Bard on the banks: Wisconsin Interstate Park hosts free outdoor Shakespeare performance