Players Pen – October 12

It is unfathomable that the final performance of the Players 81st season will be Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m.  It really feels like yesterday that we announced the 2016 season, greeted new company members, tore tickets to “Chapatti,” participated in the 4th of July parades and were cheering for the guys in “The Full Monty.”

Audiences are thoroughly enjoying our final offering of the season, the comic adventure “The 39 Steps,” so much so that they have returned for another visit.  Patrons who stopped by the Box Office last week noticed the grounds and gardens were decorated for autumn.

At dusk the soft glow of illuminated pumpkins compliment the charming ambiance Mother Nature provides.  Smiley faces, coy winks and traditional triangle shapes peek out of garden beds and greet those passing by.  Patrons who arrive early stroll the grounds while enjoying hot chocolate, hot cider or cocktails from the Luna Bar and admire the variety of jack-o’-lanterns crafted by our creative company members.

Company members have also been staying busy.  Last week the cast and crew performed a weekday matinee for students of Gibraltar High School and Sevastopol’s AP English class.  It was a pleasure to host more than 200 of Door County’s youth.

This week the crew will host a backstage tour to the TJ Walker Middle School as they prepare for their production of “The Lion King.”  Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn how backstage operations at the Players function from how to set up a costume quick change station to how the stage manager communicates with the actors.

Recently, Chicago theaters’ 2016 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations were announced and we are thrilled that several Peninsula Players company members were among the nominees!

William Carlos Angulo, who choreographed “The Full Monty,” is nominated for his choreography of “West Side Story” at Paramount Theatre.

E. Faye Butler (“Nunsense II”) is nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role-Musical for “Hairspray” at Paramount Theatre.

Sean Fortunato (“Lend Me a Tenor,” “Sunday in the Park with George”) is nominated for Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical for his performance in “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Theatre at the Center.

Timothy Edward Kane (“Broadway Bound,” “Fools”) is nominated for Actor in a Principal Role-Play for “One Man, Two Guvnors” at Court Theatre.

Doug Peck (“Into the Woods”) is nominated for his Music Direction of “Dreamgirls” at Porchlight Music Theatre.

Scenic Designer Tom Burch (“Is He Dead?,” “Born Yesterday”) is nominated for “Sucker Punch” at Victory Gardens Theater; Jack Magaw (“The Full Monty,” “Alabama Story,” “Outside Mullingar”) for his scenic design of Court Theatre’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night;” and Sarah E. Ross (“The Hollow,” “Chapatti,” “A Real Lulu”) for her scenic design of “The Rainmaker” at American Blues Theater.  Sarah was also nominated in the Artistic Specialization category for her Puppet Design of American Blues Theater production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Costume Designer Brenda Winstead (“Mousetrap” “Born Yesterday”) is nominated for her design of “Nice Work if You Can Get It” at Theatre at the Center.

Sound Designers receiving nominations include Barry G. Funderburg (“Heroes,” “Nunsense”) for “The 39 Steps” at Theatre at the Center; Lindsay Jones (“Rumors”) for “Othello” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Christopher Kriz (“Alabama Story,” “The 39 Steps”) for “The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story” at First Folio Theatre.

Several Peninsula Players were nominated in the Production and Ensemble categories of produced stage works.  The cast of “Arcadia” at Writers Theatre includes McKinley Carter (“Sunday in the Park with George,” “Panic”); Harter Clingman (“The Full Monty”); Brandon Dahlquist (“Lombardi,” “Murder on the Nile”): Kate Fry (“Fools,” “Communicating Doors”); Callie Johnson (“Saloon,” “Chicago”); and Scott Parkinson (“Pygmalion,” “Marvin’s Room”).  “Arcadia” was directed by Michael Halberstam (“A Man for All Season”) and Assistant Director Karen Janes Woditsch (“Always…Patsy Cline,” “God of Carnage”) with costumes by Rachel Anne Healy (“Art,” “Far East”).

Other production and ensemble category nominations include:

The Goodman Theatre’s production of “2666” featured Sean Fortunato, Jonathan Weir (“See How They Run,” “Escanaba in the Da Moonlight”); sound designer Mikhail Fiksel (“And They There Were None”); and stage manager Alden Vasquez (“Always…Patsy Cline,” “The 39 Steps.”)

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “The Tempest” featured Kevin Gudahl (“Cash on Delivery,” “Arsenic and Old Lace”); John Lister (“The Foreigner,” “Shady Business”); Barbara Robertson (“Noises Off,” “The Last Night of Ballyhoo”); Larry Yando (“Guys and Dolls,” “Rain”) and costumes by Rachel Laritz (“The Game’s Afoot,” “Is He Dead?”)

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Ride the Cyclone” includes actor Jackson Evans (“The Full Monty”); music director Doug Peck and associate director/choreographer Ericka Mac (“Chicago,” “Murder on the Nile.”)

Marriott Theatre’s “Man of La Manca” featured Cassie Slater (“Nunsense” “Sunday in the Park with George.”)

Mercury Theater Chicago’s production of “The Producers” included actor Harter Clingman (“Alabama Story,” “The Full Monty.”)

Paramount Theatre’s productions of “Oklahoma” included performances by Samuel Owen Gardner (“The Full Monty”) and Matt Holzfeind (“Lend Me A Tenor,” “The Hollow”) and the properties design of Sarah E. Ross.  “West Side Story” included Joe Foust, (“The 39 Steps,” “Miracle on South Division Street”); Samuel Owen Gardner (“The Full Monty”) and Will Skrip (“Chicago.”)

There is still time to join us by the bay! Leave your cares behind and enjoy a laugh at the hilarious hijinks of actors Neil Brookshire, Erica Elam, Joe Foust and Kevin McKillip in the comic action adventure “The 39 Steps.”  For more information or tickets phone the Box Office at 920-868-3287 or visit