As I put fingers to the keyboard to type this column, Peninsula Players company members are bustling as they prepare for opening night of the 81st season, Tuesday June 14. Many months of planning and prep work have been expended to get us to this celebratory moment.
The entire company extends a warm ‘Thank you’ to the members of our volunteer Broom Squad. This crew of volunteers arrives every Saturday before Mother’s Day in May, to help prepare the dorm rooms and grounds for the new season.
This year a crew of 75 gathered and helped to position all of the garden statues, assemble the beer garden furniture, spread wood chips, move benches, prepare the dorm rooms, pull weeds from the green roof over the audience pavilion and so much more. Many hands made for light work.
At the time, only four members of the staff were on site and without the volunteers help we would not have been ready for additional company members. Thank you Broom Squad. We deeply appreciate their dedication to volunteering that helps to bring this Grand Lady of Summer Theater to life after her winter slumber.
Peninsula Players wasn’t in full hibernation during the winter months. Door County audiences relished the winter play reading series held at Björklunden. A reading of “The Who & The What” by Ayad Akhtar was presented in conjunction with Door County Reads and its exploration of Akhtar’s “American Dervish.” “The Love List,” a careful-what-you-wish-for comedy by Norm Foster and “Who Am I This Time (& Other Conundrums of Love)” by Aaron Posner, adapted from stories by Kurt Vonnegut were also presented.
Excitement and anticipation for the 81st season surrounds and encases me. Flower beds fill with bright blooms and warm tones. Designers, carpenters, stitchers, painters and actors have been preparing and they are ready for audiences.
Enthusiasm is also expressed by patrons. While helping with ticket orders or while out on a poster route I hear, “The Players are here and so is summer!” Or as patron Barbara Schroeder said to me this week, “We appreciate Peninsula Players; it makes the trip to Door County so memorable and delightful.“
Eager to experience their first season, new staff and members of our internship program are bubbling with enthusiasm. Steadfast company members are keen to share their creative energies on this season’s thrilling line-up of shows, from the late-in-life romance “Chapatti” by Irish playwright Christian O’Reilly to the raucous pop-rock musical, “The Full Monty.”
Mystery fans are thrilled for Agatha Christie’s brilliant whodunit, “The Hollow” and the wildly comic spy thriller “The 39 Steps,” by Patrick Barlow. “Alabama Story” by Kenneth Jones is stirring anticipation among reading enthusiasts for its exploration of censorship.
Keep reading this weekly column to learn more about the 2016 season or visit our website, Facebook page, Instagram page or YouTube channel for a peak behind the scenes. Stop by the Box Office in person and you may catch the company busy working on one of our upcoming shows.
If you want to take a peak backstage join us for one of tours June 19, 26, July 10, August 7, 21 or 28 at 2 p.m. Contact the Box Office at 920-868-3287 to register in advance. For tickets or more information on pre-show seminars or post-show discussions visit www.peininsulaplayers.com. I look forward to seeing you by the bay this season, where the sun sets, the curtain rises and the stars shine!
Audra Baakari Boyle is the Peninsula Players Business Manager, celebrating her 22nd at Door County’s theatrical treasure and America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre.