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Much Ado About Shakespeare

by Jan Christensen

Shakespeare

Milwaukee Shakespeare’s first production this season is Much Ado About Nothing, September 16 through October 15 at the Broadway Theatre Center Studio Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

Milwaukee Shakespeare is the only professional theatre in Milwaukee currently devoted exclusively to the presentation of Shakespeare’s works. Not only is this a delight for seasoned Shakespeare devotees, but the group’s active education and outreach program is designed to “to create a generation of informed theatre people (performers, technicians, directors, and audience members) in Southeastern Wisconsin through continued exposure to classical theatre productions of the highest quality and hands-on experience working with professionals.”

The company began its educational program in 2001, when a generous donation from the Argosy Foundation allowed them to produce Romeo and Juliet as an Outreach Production. More than 8,500 middle and high school students from the region attended the production, which was presented in Vogel Hall at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. More than 2,000 local students received in-school preperformance workshops conducted by professional teacher/artists.

In 2002, Milwaukee Shakespeare moved into its new residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At that time it also entered into an expanded partnership with the Milwaukee Public School system, allowing for priority seating and free workshops for all public school students. The student audience for Othello was comprised entirely of Milwaukee Public School students who had received in-school workshops.

The company’s website offers free study guides for each production, and all performances are recommended for grades 7 through 12.

Milwaukee Shakespeare’s production is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national theater initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.

In-school workshops are available for all season productions or other plays on your curriculum. Workshops for MPS schools are free of charge. Contact Marcy Kearns, Education Administrator, at 414-747-9662 x304 or mkearns@milwaukeeshakespeare. com for information and to purchase tickets.

If You Go:
Much Ado About Nothing
September 16 – October 15
The Broadway Studio Theatre,
Third Ward
Student Matinee Performances:
September 19, 21, and 28;
October 3, 5, and 12, 2006 10 am.

Riverwest Currents online edition – August, 2006