100% Commitment


July 19, 2005.  Fish Creek, Wisconsin.  All 13 members of the Board of Directors have personally and financially committed to Peninsula Players’ “Protecting the Past, Insuring the Future” capital campaign.  The success of the $6.2 million campaign, launched to rebuild the stagehouse, audience pavilion, scene shop, and canteen on the Players’ grounds, is largely dependent upon this strong support demonstrated by the Board.

“It was imperative we have 100% commitment from the Board when we decided to launch this capital campaign,” said Willard Hartman, president of the Peninsula Players Theatre Foundation.  “It’s hard to ask others in the community to contribute to a cause if the organization’s board is not behind it.  Thankfully, this was never a concern for us.  Each member of our board has an incredible amount of passion and support for this project, which is helping to drive our campaign ahead.”

After more than six years of planning, meetings and discussions, the Board of Directors has explored every option, looked at every number, and found the best possible way to insure the future of the theatre, which has been an institution in Door County since it was founded in 1935.  The board has contracted some of the best architects and consultants in the country.  These outside experts, combined with the capabilities of board members, allowed the Players to create their plan to rebuild the theater.

“All projects begin with a simple idea,” said Amy McKenzie, daughter of former Executive Producer Jim McKenzie and a member of the board of directors.  “It is people who create these ideas and eventually make them a reality.  While the idea to replace the theater began long ago, the time is now to act on this idea, and this Board of Directors is the perfect combination of individuals to come together and bring this idea to fruition.”

The Peninsula Players Board of Directors is a unique combination of artists and businessmen, each bringing their own skills and support to the organization.  Officers include Willard Hartman, retired financial executive, Thomas B. McKenzie, partner of a law firm in Appleton, Ted Laitner, Sales Associate at Door County Horizons, and Digger DeGroot, founder of Digger’s Restaurant in Fish Creek.  Directors include Ted Bird, Marilyn Bradley, William Calkins, Jim Maronek, Amy McKenzie, Bill Parsons, Todd Schmidt, Peter Trenchard, and Jerry Zaug.

To launch the capital campaign, Peninsula Players received a $1 million challenge gift from the Ellsworth and Carla Peterson Foundation of Sturgeon Bay.  To receive this gift, Peninsula Players needed to raise $2 million from the Door County community.  With the help of a number of strong supporters in the area, the board of directors met this challenge at the start of July.

“In addition to donations of time and support, we are lucky to also have 100 percent financial commitment from the board,” said Todd Schmidt, Peninsula Players’ Executive Producer.    “I am pleased the board took a leadership role in helping to meet the Peterson’s challenge.  Each member has made this organization a priority and have given what they can.  Without this level of commitment and support from each of our outstanding board members, this campaign simply would not be possible.”

With half of the campaign goal already in place, members of the Peninsula Players board will continue actively fund raising throughout the summer to raise the necessary funds for the project.  Construction of the stagehouse and audience pavilion is scheduled to begin this fall and will be completed in time for Peninsula Players to open its 71st season in the new facility next June.  The new canteen and lobby area is already complete and in use nightly at the theater.

The Peninsula Players Theatre is America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, and traditionally presents a season of five productions each year from late-June to mid-October.  The 2005 season has been shortened to accommodate construction plans, and includes “Red Herring” by Michael Hollinger, “Tom, Dick, and Harry” by Ray and Michael Cooney, and “Escanaba in Da Moonlight” by Jeff Daniels.  Peninsula Players is located three miles from Fish Creek and one-half mile west of State 42.