July 3 Players Pen

Peninsula Players celebrates its 78th season this year. Seventy-eight years! Whenever I say that I am overwhelmed by the weight that phrase carries. Seventy-eight years of following the path our founders, brother and sister Caroline and Richard Fisher, set forth.

They dreamed of creating an artistic utopia in the north woods, a place for actors, writers, directors, designers and craftsmen to explore a world of ideas through presenting live theater productions along Door County’s scenic shores.

Early productions of theirs included classic dramas like “Hedda Gabler,” “Salome,” Wuthering Heights,””Camille,” and “Oedipus, The King” to as well as comedies like “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Lady Windemere’s Fan” and “Hay Fever.” Early thrillers such as “Night Must Fall,” “Dark Tower,” “Criminal at Large” and “Dracula” mixed with original works written by Richard Fisher such as “Seven Sea Birds” and topical revues the company members wrote together.

As we embark on our first changeover of the season from “Saloon,” a cowboy tale set in the Old West, to the world premiere comedy “Once a Ponzi Time” by Joe Foust, I believe our founders would give us a great nod of appreciation for following their guidelines.

Many dramas the Players present often leave patrons with discussion topics on their drive home. Even our Artistic Director Greg Vinkler had a few from, “Saloon. ” Such as, what do you do when you have to unexpectedly face your own death? And how do you handle it?

“And beyond that, it makes me and my character Ottawa ask the question – what has my life added up to and was it worthwhile?” Greg said, “Did I leave something good behind?”

Playwright Terry Twyman said of his play, “It reminds us that the things that shape our lives are often the things over which we have the least control.”

While we are sad to see our cowboys ride off in the evening twilight we are equally excited to see the opening of company member Joe Foust’s rollicking comedy, “Once a Ponzi Time.”

Joe has been with the Players for 15 seasons, and patrons may recall many of his roles in comedies “Tom, Dick and Harry,” “Is He Dead?,” “Around the World in 80 Days,” “It Runs in the Family,” “See How it Runs” and many, many more.

Joe was inspired to write a comedy for the Players and it is filled with hilarious physical humor. Within the cast of five, three actors play multiple roles including a few zany characters, one of whom is a ventriloquist enthusiast. Toss in a Russian hit man, a manipulative marionette and a love-struck SEC agent hot for Gramps and wacky shenanigans are sure to ensue.

If you want to catch some fireworks on stage, don’t miss “Once a Ponzi Time.” We open July 3 and also perform the evening of July 4. “Once a Ponzi Time” will be on stage through July 21. Following our founders’ guideposts of presenting a variety of works, we also have a musical, a comedic whodunit and a family comedy on the playbill later this season.

For more information visit our new website www.peninsulaplayers.com, where you can catch preview videos of our plays, or call the Box Office at 920-868-3287 for more information. I look forward to seeing you by the bay, where the sun sets, the curtain rises and the stars shine.

Audra Baakari Boyle is the Peninsula Players Business Manager, celebrating her 19th season by the bay.