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Optimist Theatre, Inc.

Optimist Theatre is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit theatre company founded in 1993 as Midwest Children’s Theatre. In 2008, Optimist Theatre officially changed its name and set out on an ambitious campaign to bring free Shakespeare in the Park to the great city of Milwaukee.

Our Mission:
We believe that the theatrical arts broaden and enrich those parts of our minds and spirits that are most essentially human. Optimist Theatre is driven to reach artists and audiences across the economic, ethnic, and experiential landscape. We educate, entertain, and inspire through creative works of artistic integrity.

Optimist Theatre’s other main program is “To Be! Shakespeare Here and Now”. “To Be!” is a first-person interactive experience with William Shakespeare himself and has played in over 50 schools, libraries and museums to over 33,000 people. Contact or visit our website at for more information.

Past Productions