78th Season Announced

Peninsula Players Announces 78th Season

Fish Creek, Wisconsin – Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and Door County’s theatrical icon, announces its 78th season, running June 11 through October 20, 2013.

Peninsula Players will open on June 11 with the Wisconsin première of “Saloon” by Terry Twyman.   Set in 1871, this comedy/drama visits the gritty Old West, where in the tough and wild land every horse could be ridden, every girl loved and there was a silent honor among men.  “Saloon” explores the life and camaraderie of cowboys during their time on a cattle trail.   “Saloon” will have a three week run closing June 30.

From July 3 through July 21 the Peninsula Players presents the world première of “Once a Ponzi Time” by Joe Foust, a hilarious comedy of fabricated finances.  Sly investments and double-dealing abound in this madcap comedy.  Can Harold outwit the Russian mob while pulling the wool over the eyes of the SEC agent out to bust him?

Next up from July 24 through August 11 is the stunning Tony award-winning musical “Sunday in the Park with George,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. This Pulitzer Prize-winning musical was inspired by Georges Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”  Seurat’s distinctive art and Sondheim’s music create a moving, poetic piece of theater which explores how life, inspiration and art are intertwined.  “Sunday in the Park with George,” also received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical.

Ken Ludwig’s “The Game’s Afoot” takes the stage from August 14 through Sept. 1.  From the master of mayhem comes the Wisconsin première of a whodunit featuring actor William Gillette, world famous for his stage persona of Sherlock Holmes.  When someone is stabbed at Gillette’s home, he dons his Holmes stage persona to sidestep danger and unmask the culprit in this murderous romp.

Closing the season Sept. 4 through Oct. 20 is the Wisconsin première of “Miracle on South Division Street” by Tom Dudzick.  From the creator of “Over the Tavern” comes another heartfelt and hilarious family comedy that is selling out across the country.  All heck breaks loose on South Division Street when a deathbed confession shakes the Nowak family to its core, leaving them to unravel a family legend with uproarious results.

“I truly hope audiences enjoy the variety of the Peninsula Players 78th year,” Artistic Director Greg Vinkler said.  “The plays take us from the plains of the wild west, to contemporary financial times, to creation of a masterpiece of well-known art, to the castle home of a famous actor involved in a thrilling mystery and finally to the Buffalo home of a family who hilariously come to terms with their Grandfather’s legacy.  The 78th season has music, laughs, thrills and even a few cowboys – something for everyone to enjoy!”

Peninsula Players has been entertaining and exciting audiences since 1935. Peninsula Players was founded by a brother and sister team, Caroline and Richard Fisher, who dreamed of an artistic utopia in the north woods where actors, designers and technicians could focus on their craft while being surrounded by nature in a contemplative setting.

Peninsula Players location along the shore of Green Bay provides a serene location for patrons as well. Prior to performances, patrons relax and picnic on the grounds while watching the setting sun over the waters of Green Bay from the cedar-lined shore and enjoy the ambience of the beer garden and other gardens.

The Fishers’ dream lives on as professional actors, directors and designers work side-by-side with college interns while living on the Players 16-acre campus as they bring audiences a variety of works including dramas, mysteries, comedies and musicals.  In fall, 2005, the troupe closed its season early to build a new stage house and all-weather audience pavilion.

The Peninsula Players performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. in the summer.  With the opening of the fall show Sept. 4 curtain times are Tuesday through most Sundays at 7 p.m.  The closing Sunday performance of each show will have a 4 p.m. matinee, June 30, July 21, Aug. 11, Sept.1 and Oct. 20.

Discount tickets are available for season ticket holders and groups. Individual tickets are also available.  Individual ticket prices range from $34 to $43.  There are no performances on Mondays.  For more information or to reserve tickets phone the Peninsula Players’ box office at 920-868-3287 or visit the website at www.peninsulaplayers.com.

Comments on the 78th Season from Artistic Director Greg Vinkler

“It seems to roll around more quickly than ever each year, but it’s time to once again let you know what you can look forward to in our 78th season! Here we go:

“We will open the season with ‘Saloon’ by Terry Twyman, a play I love and have been wanting to do at the Players for many years. This is the season for which it seemed absolutely right.  ‘Saloon’ is a comedy/drama by Memphis native Terry Twyman set in the very gritty Old West, when much of that part of the country was very rough and still unsettled, and cowboys had a tumbleweed kind of life on the trail. It’s sort of ‘Gunsmoke’ without the glamour. Set in 1871, it has great characters and is funny, sweet, harrowing and ultimately beautiful. A real firecracker of a play!

“Next, the Players will produce the world premiere of ‘Once a Ponzi Time,’ a very funny brand-new comedy by Joe Foust. Harold finds himself in the center of a whirlwind of financial froth, trying to extricate himself from the clutches of several eccentric characters including a notoriously evil magnate, the Russian mob, a mixed martial arts champion and Gramps, his ventriloquist-obsessed father. This comedy is filled with a bunch of silliness from beginning to end by one of our very own favorite actors.

“At the center of our season is one of my absolutely favorite musicals, ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ by the inestimable Stephen Sondheim. This musical is a beautiful piece of work about the driven world of the artist Seurat – and about anyone who strives in their life for creativity and purpose. I go to this musical whenever I feel in my life the need for inspiration – and it never fails me.

“Ken Ludwig’s ‘The Game’s Afoot” takes us to December 1936 and the Connecticut castle of William Gillette, the Broadway star famed for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. A snappy, clever drawing-room mystery in which one of the guests is stabbed to death on a Christmas holiday weekend and Gillette steps in to solve the murder a la Sherlock Holmes. Mr. Ludwig is such a fun writer and I’m always happy when we can do something new by him.

“Finally we close with ‘Miracle on Division Street’ by Tom Dudzick, a funny and touching play about a family and what they do when they discover that some of the things they took for granted – about who they are and what their family history is – are not true at all. I laughed out loud and cried while reading it, and when I got to the end I knew immediately before I had put the book down on the table next to me that it would be in our season this year. It’s just too special. It will be a positive, uplifting show for our fall audiences.

“So that’s our season! Easy to put together when I find shows that I love. I look forward to our having fun together as we take this great journey with you again. See you at the theatre!”