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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Optimist’s free Shakespeare show

 Optimist Theatre returns this summer with another free, outdoor Shakespeare production. This time around, Optimist stages the show in Kadish Park’s amphitheater overlooking the downtown Milwaukee skyline
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
 One of many plays by William Shakespeare to be staged in Wisconsin this summer, the Optimist Theatre’s As You Like It has the distinction of being perhaps the only one presented for free. Optimist has been doing a free outdoor
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Making its debut this past weekend, Aaron Kopec's Help Wanted is a deeply witty allegory about human desire at the dawn of the information age. The story, set in a 1940s workplace, cleverly weaves aspects of IBM's early history with sexual desire and office...
06.08.2012 | | Posted at 08:43 AM

First impressions of HELP WANTED with Alchemist

By Russ Bickerstaff
So I saw Aaron Kopec's Help Wanted  last night. It was opening night. The tiny Alchemist theatre was absolutely packed. Having seen other shows written by Kopec, I'd expected to like the show.  Didn't expect to love it, though. And I did. It's so rarely I'm offered a pleasant surprise. The act of previewing shows or even writing listings on them means that I'm doing research on them and getting...
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Aaron Kopec, playwright of Murder Castle and Faust, has explored dark parts of the psyche in productions at the Alchemist Theatre. This summer, however, Kopec offers up Help Wanted, a show that should be less sinister and more subtle...
05.19.2012 | | Posted at 07:29 AM

Summer Theatre Starts with 1940's Business Onstage at the Alchemist

By Russ Bickerstaff
    Operating outside of the standard commercial theatre framework, Alchemist Theatre tends to have kind of a fresh sense of promotion. Their advance promo art for their latest show Help Wanted has kind of a flashy fusion to it. Kind of a cross between promo imagery for The Sopranos and Mad Men. Look closely and you'll see a few different pop cultural references . . . One of those images is tak...
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Michael Gene Sullivan's adaptation taps into the disturbing universal elements of George Orwell's dystopian classic 1984. The play consists of two extended interrogation scenes separated by an intermission in a vivid Project Empty Space production...
01.21.2012 | | Posted at 05:09 PM

The World’s Stage Presents Its Best Yet

By Russ Bickerstaff
There’s something really primal about the metaphor of a prison onstage. There’s a long list of shows that I’ve loved that have been prisoner dramas…Next Act’s Coyote On A Fence in ’05. In Tandem’s Two Rooms in ’06. Pink Banana’s production of Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me from a couple of years back. The brilliant thing about Craig Wright’s The Unseen is that is abandons all...
04.27.2011 | | Posted at 07:36 AM

A fresh deconstruction of Hamlet at the end of the summer

By Russ Bickerstaff
A local theatre critic once suggested that Shakespeare should only really be done by trained professionals. Right. The thing is . . . there'™s a kind of universal vitality to Shakespeare that almost begs for contemporary mutation. I want to see Shakesepare done by trained professionals, yes. I also want to see Shakespeare done by trained monkeys. I want to see Shakespeare done by mannequins on ...