“This (To Be!) has been, undoubtedly, the most dynamic way in which I can make Shakespeare come alive in my classroom. The students hang on Mr. Fry's every word and always provide the most positive feedback about his performance.”
Cassandra Hanson, Germantown High School
“My husband and I were at your performance at Sequoia Library here in Madison on Saturday - and were enchanted. You were marvelous, and we continue to talk about how much we learned and experienced. Bravo to you, your life's work! May you spread more joy…”
Anne Lundin, Madison, WI
“To Be!” is a one-man interactive experience with William Shakespeare. This award-winning program has brought Shakespeare to life for more than 80,000 people in places ranging from Darlington, Wisconsin to Florence, Italy. "To Be!" Is …
Dynamic! - Shakespeare's work is performed by a professional actor, improv artist, educator and swordsman.
Interactive! - Patrons of all ages take the stage, speak Shakespeare's words, and have a great time doing it.
Humorous! - Shakespeare used laughter to reach his audience, and "To Be!" continues in this glorious tradition. The Renaissance was a fun time, and learning about it through To Be! is even more fun.
When – "To Be!" is available now.
Where - "To Be!" has played from Los Angeles, California to Washington, D.C., and in Florence, Italy, and can play virtually anywhere. Travel costs may be incurred for locations more than 100 miles round trip from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Length – Presentations run from forty minutes to two hours, for audiences ranging from eight to five hundred. We make "To Be!" fit your schedule, day or evening.
Content – All presentations are interactive, featuring audience participation, and all with a mix of Renaissance history and Shakespeare's works. Presentations may be customized to focus on any play or theme you wish. Moments in the presentation include Shakespeare making romantic presentation of a sonnet to a woman from the audience, an insult contest, an audience member portraying Shakespeare's most famous dog, comedy, tragedy, witches, and a sword-fight between Shakespeare and an audience volunteer.
Whatever the theme or focus, your patrons will agree with the middle school student who said, in his “mighty actor's voice” - “Shakespeare is a Rock Star!”
About Ron Scot Fry, who portrays William Shakespeare:
Ron is the Artistic Director for Milwaukee's Optimist Theatre and the primary creator and performer for “To Be! Shakespeare Here and Now”. He directed the Equity productions of "The Tempest", "Macbeth", and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for Optimist Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park, where he also played Andrew Aguecheek in "Twelfth Night", Antigonous in "The Winter's Tale", and Verges in "Much Ado About Nothing." As an Artistic Director for Renaissance Entertainment Productions for 19 years, he was a notable figure in the development of interactive character creation, direct improvisation with audience, and environmental theatre for Renaissance Faires across the country. He has served on the theatre faculty of Alverno College in Milwaukee and Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He has played “To Be!” for hundreds of organizations and more than 80,000 audience members, including a performance in Florence, Italy before Princessa Georgina Corsini as a fundraiser for Florence English Speaking Theatre Artists (FESTA). Ron also wrote and played William Shakespeare in the full length “Bloody, Filthy Shakespeare” for FESTA at the historic Teatro Goldoni in Florence. In the past year Ron played Martin in "Quorum", Ron in "The Way Things Go", and Mr. Samsa in "Metamorphosis" for Theatre Gigante and the Old Man in "Fool For Love" for Outlaw Arts, directed "Peter Pan" for the Children's Theatre of Madison, and taught clowning and improvisation for Imaginez Ensemble.
What clients have to say:
“Superb! Optimist Theatre's “To Be! – Shakespeare Here and Now” presentation is a magical, enthralling, comical experience that brings William Shakespeare to life for all ages!”
Mandy Canovan, Ripon Public Library
“Ron was absolutely brilliant. Within the first five minutes of watching him you forget who he actually is as you become lost in the characters he plays. Very talented, very captivating.”
Katie Dey, Marion Public Library
“Ron actually becomes Shakespeare for his presentation - he dresses, acts, and talks like those in Elizabethan England to bring the audience into the historical setting of Shakespeare's time. Each time you partner with Ron, you learn something new and fascinating about Shakespeare. Students laugh and learn all throughout his presentations. He is highly engaging, educational, and entertaining.
Paula Tracy, Northstar Middle School
Princessa Georgina Corsini, Palazzo Corsini, Florence, Italy