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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

Optimist Theatre presents Shakespeare in the Park

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If you're looking to take in a unique cultural experience -- with a beautiful backdrop -- look no further this weekend.

For the fifth year in a row, the Optimist Theatre Company is performing "Shakespeare in the Park" in the Brewer's Hill neighborhood.  

The performance takes place underneath the new Selig-Joseph-Folz Amphitheater in Kadish Park, overlooking the Milwaukee River and the downtown skyline.

Over the next few weekends, the company is presenting "A Winter's Tale," a comedy, running roughly two hours.

"We like to say it's the opposite of Romeo and Juliet," said Associate Artistic Director Tom Reed.  He also stars in the performance, playing the character Leontes. The play "starts off pretty darn dark, but without giving too much away, it ends on a happy note," he said. 

Thanks to major support from BMO Harris Bank, the company is able to bring a high level of production to the audience, free of charge.

"We use a professional cast and professional designers.  Every single person to my knowledge who is working on the show is getting paid," Reed said.

The public performances begin at 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until June 29.

Click the player above to hear our interview with Reed.  And check out 88nine's story about the work to revitalize Kadish Park, led by the community organization COA Youth and Family Center.

BMO Harris Bank sponsors 88nine's Community Stories.