Peninsula Players Theatre presents a reading of “A Trick of the Light,” a new comedy by Peter Moore, Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m., at Björklunden, located at 7590 Boynton Lane, Baileys Harbor. “A Trick of the Light” is the second of the three play reading series, The Play’s the Thing. The series is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, as well as a generous grant from the Door County Medical Center and Friends of Door County Libraries as well as operating funds from Peninsula Players Theatre. Admission is free, general seating available.
Eddie is a 40-something guy who has love, comfort, stability, closeness, and joy, but he feels he hasn’t accomplished anything of real significance or lasting value. Then one day he discovers a very unexpected and astonishing skill. He can become invisible. Vanish. With a gesture of his hand! He has no idea where it came from or what to do about it, or even if he should do anything about it. He confides in his good friends Marty, a very anxious actor, and Darrell, a dweeb who gets through life only telling jokes, but they can’t really help him. When he confides in his loving and dazzling wife Beth, the vanishing doesn’t happen in front of her! Why? What to do? As Eddie navigates these strange and unprecedented waters, he and his two buddies learn a little about themselves, about life and about love.
“I wanted to explore the idea of how people seem to become invisible in our society as they age and I wanted to do it in a way that was both funny and theatrical,” playwright Peter Moore said. “Having someone actually become invisible seemed a fun and perhaps insightful way to do just that. I think the play is an examination of the ordinariness of the extraordinary and exactly what constitutes a meaningful life.”
Moore is a Minneapolis-based playwright, actor, fight coordinator and director. “I like crisp, well-written dialogue, an interesting plot/story and characters who are living everyday lives,” he said in an interview with The Playwrights Center.
Moore grew up in Minnesota where his parents were voracious readers and very verbal. His father, Dave Moore, hosted the evening news on WCCO, the local CBS affiliate, for more than 30 years. For as long as Peter can remember, humor has been an essential part of family life. His parents instilled an appreciation for wit, words and a well-turned phrase in all six of their children. His father couldn’t always make it home for dinner, but when he did, he typically asked: “Well, anyone hear any good jokes today?”
“We’d be off, telling what we’d hear, making up some on the spot, and generally have a good time being together,” Moore wrote in the preface to “Gone Writing: the poems of Moore on Sunday.”
Moore has been a professional actor and director since 1977 and is the author of numerous essays and book reviews in the Minneapolis StarTribune newspaper. He has authored three additional plays, “Sons of the Bedtime Newz,” (History Theatre, St. Paul); “The Second Oldest Profession” (Minnesota Fringe Festival); and “Mrs. Parker, Mr. Porter,” (reading, Guthrie Theater).
Moore served as Artistic Director of New Classic Theatre from 1983 – 1996 and his directing credits include various productions at Minnesota’s New Century Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Actors Theatre of Minnesota and Climb Theatre. Moore’s film credits include “Wilson” with Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern, “Overnight Delivery” with Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd, “Thin Ice” with Greg Kinnear and “The Cure” with Annabella Sciorra. His regional credits include Utah Shakespeare Festival, Off-Broadway, the Guthrie in Minneapolis, the Meadow Brook in Detroit, the Virginia Stage Co, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Arts Garage and Coconut Grove in Florida, the Wintergarden in Toronto and Meadowbrook in Detroit. His voice work can be heard on “Star Wars: Dark Forces” and “Alien Chronicles.”
Eddie and other characters in this new comedy, from his wife Beth to his buddies Marty and Darrell, humorously examine how we see ourselves, or don’t! The cast, under the direction of Peninsula Players Artistic Director Greg Vinkler, includes Peninsula Players veterans Neil Brookshire (“The 39 Steps”); Joe Foust (“Almost, Maine,” “The 39 Steps,” “Making God Laugh”); Noah Simon (“Once a Ponzi Time”); and Karen Janes Woditsch (“Almost, Maine,” “Always, Patsy Cline,” “A Few Good Men”).
These gifted actors’ credits range from voice-over work to film and television, as well as performing with various regional and Chicago-area theaters including Writers Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and more.
Brookshire is cast as the perplexed, middle-of-the-road Eddie. Brookshire’s stage credits include Door Shakespeare’s productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Julius Caesar” and “Twelfth Night” as well as play readings with Third Avenue Playhouse. In Milwaukee last spring he performed in Renaissance Theatre’s production of “The Violet Hour.” Additional stage credits include Boise Contemporary Theater, Cadence Theatre Co, Company of Fools in Idaho, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Opera Idaho, Seattle Novyi Theatre and 10 seasons with Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
Foust is cast as Darrell, Eddie’s friend who has remained single and uses humor as a self-defense mechanism. Foust has portrayed Jacob Marley for several seasons in the Goodman Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” spent three seasons with Oak Park Festival Theatre, performed in 14 productions with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and 18 seasons with Peninsula Players. His television credits include “Parks and Recreation,” “Normal” and “Early Edition.”
Simon is cast as Eddie’s other pal, Marty. Simon is a veteran of Chicago’s storefront theatre community where he has worked with such companies as A Red Orchid, Goodman Theatre, ATC, Shattered Globe, Raven, Factory, Strawdog, Remy Bumppo and Red Twist. Last winter he and his castmates were nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Ensemble for their work in 16th Street Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of “Blizzard ’67” by Jon Steinhagen.
Woditsch is cast as Eddie’s no-nonsense wife, Beth. Woditsch is the recipient of an After Dark Award, has twice been nominated for Joseph Jefferson Awards and portrayed Veta Simmons in “Harvey” at Court Theatre. Her film credits include “Bad Johnson” and “American Fable.” She recently served as assistant director for Writers Theatre’s production of “Moon for the Misbegotten” and her television credits include “American Fable” and “Chicago PD.”
Vinkler has directed and performed in previous play readings as well as in numerous Peninsula Players’ productions including “The Actuary,” “Chapatti,” “Alabama Story,” “A Real Lulu,” “Butler,” “Opus” and “Amadeus.” He has also performed in 38 productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre including last year’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”
“A Trick of the Light” is the second of three readings of The Play’s the Thing produced by Peninsula Players Theatre. The Play’s the Thing 2018 series concludes with a reading of “A Fine Bright Day Today” by British playwright Philip Goulding on Monday, April 2.
Peninsula Players Theatre is America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre. The Play’s the Thing is part of the Players’ continuing winter outreach programming, presenting professional play readings for the public. Learn more about Peninsula Players at www.peninsulaplayers.com.