2018 Season Is Biggest Ever For America's Only Free Shakespeare In The State Parks Troupe

Wisconsin-based traveling theatre group Summit Players Theatre is returning for a fourth season, and will be performing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night from June 23 to August 12 in 17 different Wisconsin State Parks. All performances will be free and preceded by a 45-minute educational workshop. This is the group's largest season yet, with performances taking place in more state parks than ever before.

"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," stated company founder and Executive Director Hannah Klapperich-Mueller, a 2015 graduate of Marquette University. "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. 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 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 serving 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 rising 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 over 1,700 audience members enjoyed performances in 16 different state parks.

About Summit Players Theatre, Inc.: The Summit Players are a traveling, seven-member theatre company who present short, accessible, free Shakespeare workshops and performances to audiences around the state of Wisconsin. Find them on Facebook or online.

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