‘Twelfth Night’ performance set for Friday at Wildcat

Wisconsin-based traveling theatre group Summit Players Theatre will perform Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at 7 p.m. Friday at Wildcat Mountain State Park in rural Ontario.

The performance will be free and preceded by a 45-minute educational workshop, which will start at 5:30 p.m.

In all, the company will perform in 17 state parks this summer.

Company founder and executive director Hannah Klapperich-Mueller said, “Being partners with the Wisconsin DNR, we’re thrilled to expand our program and provide free Shakespeare in communities that might not otherwise have much theatre.”

Klapperich-Mueller is a 2015 graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee.

“Whether it’s your first Shakespeare show or you’re a total pro, there’s something in it for everyone.” 

Each “Twelfth Night” 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,” according to a press release prepared by the company.

Through a collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Summit Players also are 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 learn more about the man himself and the way nature played into his works. Participants get to take part in Shakespeare games and exercises culminating in performing a short scene. 

This year, the seven-person Summit Players team boasts three new members — Caroline Norton, Nick Parrott, and Brittany Curran. All three will act in “Twelfth Night” as well as serve as teaching artists for the company. 

“It’s really exciting sharing something we’re so passionate about with people all across Wisconsin,” said Norton, a junior at Marquette University. “I think Shakespeare is best when the people performing it are really into it. Then everyone can follow along.” 

Summit Players Theatre’s 2017 season was its best-attended season on record, as more than 1,700 audience members enjoyed performances in 16 different state parks. 

For more information, call Wildcat Mountain State Park at 337-4775.

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