Peninsula Players Theatre will present a play reading of Joseph Zettelmaier’s “Salvage” on Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at Björklunden, 7590 Boynton Lane, Baileys Harbor. “Salvage” is a romantic-comedy-mystery-drama set in a collectible’s shop in contemporary Detroit and is the second offering of The Play’s the Thing, a winter play reading series produced by Peninsula Players for the Door County community. General seating is available; no admission fee.
Jason Byrnes finds gems among items others cast aside. Every nook and cranny of his shop, Hidden Treasures, is brimming with vintage monster movie figurines, collectible comic books, autographed photos, classic movies and sports memorabilia. The shy, quirky owner of the hidden, tucked-away store is trying to keep his dream business out of bankruptcy. Jason cherishes his treasures, is a shrewd negotiator and is on the brink of substituting his collection for companionship, until Sarah Smith wanders into the store.
When this unassuming, yet attractive woman arrives with rare, mysterious items, Jason is elated to discover she would like him to appraise them. Jason and Sarah’s business friendship leads to an unexpected romance, but when reserved Sarah begins to open up about her adventurist past, Jason’s emotions could once again face upheaval.
“’Salvage’ is set in one of my favorite places to explore,’” said Peninsula Players Artistic Director Greg Vinkler. “Secluded shops such as Hidden Treasures are caretakers of nostalgia, holding lots of childhood memories and celebrating so many moments from our past. I love wandering through such places and am always surprised by what I find. Lots of junk, of course, but more often than not I come across things that are so lovely and unexpected, and I am constantly amazed at the creativity I’ve seen evinced, sitting on a shelf or hanging from the ceiling. Sometimes, though, it’s a bit of a rude awakening, as when I found the same wooden pirate-themed toy box I had as a child sitting there labeled as an antique!”
“Jason’s dream job is to be the guardian of these illustrious treasures. He decides what to keep from what others have thrown away. He determines what others may value as priceless. Sarah arrives with mysterious items that should not exist and his world goes sideways for a bit. As the story moves forward both parties reveal secrets and Jason is pushed to decide who and what he will cherish.”
Joseph Zettelmaier is an award-winning, Michigan-based playwright and four-time nominee for the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Award for best new play. His nominated works include “All Childish Things,” “Language Lessons,” “It Came From Mars” and “Dead Man’s Shoes.” “It Came From Mars” and “Dead Man’s Shoes” earned Zettelmaier the 2009 and 2010 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award. His plays “The Stillness Between Breaths” and “It Came From Mars” were selected to appear in the National New Play Network’s Festival of New Plays. “Salvage” made its world première at First Folio Theatre in Oak Brook, Illinois in 2014.
Zettelmaier is an artistic associate at First Folio Theatre, an At Large Ambassador to the National New Play Network and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University and Schoolcraft College, where he teaches dramatic composition, play production, stage management, stage combat and acting. He also serves as executive director for Roustabout Theatre Troupe.
The cast includes Peninsula Players veteran actors Melanie Keller (“The Fox on the Fairway,”) who originated the role of Sarah at First Folio, and Matthew Holzfeind (“The Hollow,” “Lend Me a Tenor”) as Jason. They are under the direction of Vinkler who is currently performing in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost.”
Keller is an artistic associate with First Folio where her additional credits include “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Blithe Spirit” and “The Turn of the Screw.” She is a Jeff Award-winner for Best Actress for her work in “The Russian Play” with Signal Ensemble Theatre. Her regional theater credits include Stratford Festival of Canada, The Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Lakeside Shakespeare and Michigan Shakespeare. She has appeared on “Chicago Fire” and the short film “UberEx.”
Holzfeind (“The Tin Woman,” “And Then There Were None”) returns to the winter play reading series where he last performed in Agatha Christie’s “Go Back for Murder.” His recent Chicago credits include About Face’s production of “I Am My Own Wife” and “Oklahoma!” with Paramount Theatre. His regional credits include The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The New Theatre and Cardinal Stage. Film credits include “Return to the Hiding Place” and “Black Box.”
The Play’s the Thing is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, as well as generous grants from the Door County Community Foundation, Door County Medical Center, Friends of Door County Libraries as well as operating funds from Peninsula Players Theatre.
Peninsula Players Theatre is America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre. The Play’s the Thing is part of the Players’ continued winter outreach programming, presenting professional play readings for the public. Learn more about Peninsula Players at www.peninsulaplayers.com.