Players Pen – June 22, 2016

With as much activity that there has been at the theater the past few days, it feels more like a month has passed. From the excitement of “Chapatti’s’” opening night to the Tony Awards, to greeting cast members of “The Hollow,” to the preview screening of “Wisconsin Hometown Stories-Door County,” Peninsula Players have been on the go.

On Sunday, June 12, CBS broadcasted the Tony Awards and company members who were not in technical rehearsal for “Chapatti” gathered in the company lodge to support Players alumni. Jessie Mueller received her third Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her performance in “Waitress.” Jessie performed in the Players’ 75th season in “A Little Night Music” and “Over the Tavern.” Jessie received a Tony Award for her performance as the title character in “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” and was nominated in 2012 for her performance in “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”

The Regional Theatre Tony Award is a special, non-competitive Tony Award given annually to a regional theater company in the United States. This year’s recipient was Paper Mill Playhouse of New Jersey, which has established itself as a foundational pre-Broadway venue for new productions and revivals. You may ask, ‘What is Paper Mill’s connection to Peninsula Players?’ Former Peninsula Players General Manager Todd Schmidt (1992-2007) is the current Managing Director of Paper Mill and everyone was thrilled to catch a glimpse of him accept this prestigious award on national television.

Wisconsin Public Television will broadcast “Wisconsin Hometown Stories –Door County” Monday, June 27 at 8 p.m. The film features foundations of Door County including the bedrock and cornerstones of its lumber, cherry, tourist and artistic communities. Having attended screenings. both Managing Director Brian Kelsey and I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to watch this wonderful film of Door County.

This week the number of company members around the lunch and dinner tables was multiplied. The more the merrier! “Chapatti” is an intimate cast of two, whereas Agatha Christie’s whodunit, “The Hollow,” is a cast of 12. Maggie Carney, Katherine Duffy, Erica Elam, Joe Foust, Matt Holzfeind, Katherine Keberlein, Steve Koehler, Ashley Lanyon, James Leaming, Mark Moede, Tom Mula and Penny Slusher all started rehearsals this week.

Opening night of “Chapatti” and subsequent performances by Greg Vinkler and Penny Slusher have been honored with standing ovations for its masterful storytelling. You don’t have to just take my word for it, as Critic at Large Warren Gerds said: “It is storytelling the Irish way – elaborate, with detail and nuance. Laughter and tears are an eyelash away from one another. Factor in Peninsula Players Theatre, and it is storytelling with care-filled arts and crafts and the finest kind of acting.”

Several activities are scheduled around “Chapatti” including a post-show discussion Wednesday, June 22, a pre-show seminar Tuesday, June 28 and a backstage tour Sunday, June 26 at 2 p.m. If you would like to chat with the cast join us for the show on June 22.

Patrons do not need to purchase a ticket to join us June 28 for a discussion with Door County Humane Society Assistant Animal Care Coordinator Debbie Barnes and her therapy dog, Timber. Starting at 6:30 p.m. in the theater Debbie will discuss the importance of service animals and their roles in people’s lives.

To learn more about Peninsula Players and its 2016 season visit our Facebook page, Instagram page or YouTube channel for a peak behind the scenes. If you want to join us for a backstage tour contact the Box Office at 920-868-3287 to register in advance. For tickets or information on additional pre-show seminars or post-show discussions visit I look forward to seeing you by the bay this season, where the sun sets, the curtain rises and the stars shine!