Players Pen – June 14, 2017

I am always awed when the opening night of a new season arrives. As I write this, fellow company members are building scenery, hanging lighting instruments, sewing costumes, assembling props, selling tickets as well as rehearsing for the world premiere of “The Actuary” by Steven Peterson.

The amount of preparation, planning and the sheer number of people needed to make opening night happen is remarkable: from our dedicated board of directors to the generous donors, sponsors and playbill advertisers; from our faithful volunteers and steadfast staff members; from our creative artists to our cooperative vendors; from our UPS driver and mail carrier to our cooks – we couldn’t do this without any of you. Thank you!

A special thank you goes out to the “Broom Squad.” These volunteers assemble the Saturday before Mother’s Day to ready the grounds and prep the buildings in preparation for the arrival of company members. We greatly appreciate the time and effort this group donates to us each spring!

In November 2016, Artistic Director Greg Vinkler finalized the selection of plays and the forthcoming 2017 season was announced. By Christmas, we were selling gift certificates and taking individual ticket requests. Soon applications for our internship program started to come in while advertisers were reserving their space the playbill.

Time flew as various auditions and callbacks were held. Resumes for open staff positions were considered. The ticketing software was programed and budgets were assembled and approved. Grants were written and season ticket packages renewed. The winter play reading series was planned and “Population 485” by Michael Perry, “Salvage” by Joseph Zettelmaier and “Miss Holmes” by Christopher M. Walsh were presented.

Suddenly it was March and the seating charts opened for individual ticket sales. My thoughts were, “Where did the time go?“ Then, out of the blue, it was time to close the winter Box Office and move back to the theater.

Upon arrival in May, I discovered our Grounds Manager Eric Smith breaking ground for a new trail from the upper parking lot into and through the far garden. On your next visit, please arrive early and enjoy the peaceful stroll. Eric has given careful thought to the care of the grounds and has been tenuously and tenderly preparing the flowerbeds since spring. The various blooms are anxiously awaiting their “debut” on opening night as well.

Months of conversations, meetings, e-mails and thoughtful reflection goes into the preparation of the quintessential Peninsula Players experience. We know patrons relish and treasure the time they spend at Peninsula Players and Managing Director Brian Kelsey and Greg ensure the staff and artistic company provide a memorable experience. Greg states it best in his playbill welcome letter:

“The show you are about to enjoy is the core of the Players experience. It is the main reason you’re here and the ultimate focus of our company. All our energies hone in on what will happen on that stage, and our goal – our passion – is to fill it with the best possible energy and talent we can. Months of planning, meeting, designing and preparation have gone into what you are about to see when the lights dim to start the show. Our goal is to make it all look effortless and magical, and to attain the highest level of artistry possible.”

The Players is presenting a wide variety of stories this year – the romantic comedy-drama of “The Actuary,” the magical hilarity of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the musical romance of “The Bridges Of Madison County,” the delightful silliness of “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime,” and the heartwarming feeling of “Almost, Maine.” We hope one, or more, sounds intriguing and entertaining.

Meet Steven Peterson, playwright of “The Actuary,” Friday, June 16 after the show when he and the creative team host a post-show discussion. Learn about what inspired him to choose an actuary as a main character and ask the actors how the rehearsal process is different with the playwright in the room.

Don’t let summer fly by … set time aside now to join us by the bay, where the sun sets, the curtain rises and the stars shine! For more information, call the Box Office at 920-868-3287 or visit