Peninsula Players Theatre Announces $20,000 Grant Award from The Shubert Foundation

Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and Door County’s theatrical icon, is proud to announce it has received a $20,000 award from The Shubert Foundation. The Shubert Foundation has awarded a record total of $30 million to 533 not-for-profit performing arts organizations across the United States since its inception. This marks the 38th consecutive year that the Foundation has increased its giving, including an additional $5,000 to Peninsula Players.

The Shubert Foundation provides grants only to organizations that have established artistic and administrative track records, as well as a pattern of fiscal responsibility.

This award marks the fourth year Peninsula Players Theatre has received support from the Shubert Foundation. The Shubert Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to sustaining and advancing the live performing arts in the United States, with a particular emphasis on theater.

Every organization receiving a Foundation grant has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the performing arts, the Foundation stated on its website. “We want to help lift some of the financial burden so that the companies we support are able to focus on producing thought-provoking, relevant work for the widest possible audience,” said Foundation Chairman, Philip J. Smith.

Since 1977, more than $433 million has been awarded to not-for-profit arts organizations throughout the United States. The Shubert Foundation is dedicated to sustaining and advancing live performing arts on a national level and is especially interested in providing support to professional resident theater and dance companies that develop and produce new American works. The Foundation examined Peninsula Players’ commitment to new play developments, its artistic achievement, its contributions to the field of professional theater and its internship program.

“The Shubert Foundation is one of the most prestigious granting organizations in the country and its name is synonymous with excellence in American Theater,” Managing Director Brian Kelsey said. “Not only is it a great honor for us to be recognized by one of the most highly respected foundations and organizations in our field, but it is also a great investment in the long-term health of Door County’s artistic community.

“The vital support that the Shubert Foundation provides helps to sustain and advance the performing arts across the nation. We are honored and very thankful that they recognize our commitment to create, develop and produce new works and our belief that the Peninsula Players does and should have an impact on our community.”

The Foundation does not earmark its awards; all allocations are unrestricted. “Our longstanding practice of providing help in the form of general operating support remains unchanged,” stated Shubert Foundation President, Michael I. Sovern on the Shubert’s website. “We are convinced that talented artists and administrators are best able to decide how to use the funds we grant.”

The Shubert Foundation is the nation’s largest private foundation dedicated to unrestricted funding of nonprofit theaters, dance companies, professional theater training programs and related service agencies. The Shubert Foundation, Inc., was established in New York City in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert in memory of their brother Sam. It is the sole shareholder of The Shubert Organization, Inc., which currently owns/operates 17 theaters on Broadway and six-Off-Broadway theaters. The Little Shubert Theatre was the first off-Broadway theatre owned by the Shubert Organization.

The Shubert Organization is America’s oldest professional theatre company. Over the last century, the company has owned hundreds of theatres and produced hundreds of plays and musicals. In the last three decades, The Shubert Organization has dedicated its energies and resources to a long-term campaign for the revitalization of the American theatre. Its many projects have included the refurbishment of all Shubert playhouses, devoted participation in civic and community affairs, and a continuing effort to rehabilitate the Times Square Theatre District.

“The honor affirms what Brian and I, along with our Board of Directors, have known for a long time – that patrons and supporters of Peninsula Players cherish and appreciate the artistry, craftsmanship and theatrical works the theater has produced for 84 years,” said Artistic Director Greg Vinkler.

Peninsula Players was awarded a $10,000 grant in 2016 and a $15,000 in 2017 and in 2018. Peninsula Players Theatre is thrilled to be a recipient of such a prestigious honor.

“Peninsula Players is thrilled to play an important part in creating and sustaining a vibrant arts community in Door County,” said Kelsey. “The arts provide a distinctive, powerful contribution to a vibrant, inclusive and empathetic society, which we believe Door County to be.”

Peninsula Players is celebrating its 84th season in 2019. Founded in 1935 by brother and sister Richard and Caroline Fisher, the theater has produced more than 500 staged works including world premières, dramas, comedies and musicals. Recent world premières at Peninsula Players include its current offering “A Trick of the Light,” by Peter Moore; “Now and Then,” by Sean Grennan; “The Actuary” by Steven Peterson, “The Outsider” (formerly “A Real Lulu”) by Paul Slade Smith; “Making God Laugh” and “The Tin Woman,” also by Sean Grennan; “Once a Ponzi Time” by Joe Foust, and of note, the regional première of “Ben Butler” (formerly “Butler”) by Richard Strand, “Alabama Story” by Kenneth Jones and this autumn’s Midwest première of Mark Germaine’s “George Washington’s Teeth.”

Peninsula Players is a unique professional theater known for its diverse productions, continuing loyalty to a resident company and its beautiful setting on 16 wooded acres along the cedar-lined shores of Green Bay. In the past 84 years, the theater has become a Door County landmark and its cornerstone arts institution, attracting audience members from throughout Wisconsin and across the country.
Ticket sales, individual donations, show sponsorships and playbill advertising cover most of the theaters cost of operations. For more information about how to support the theater visit or call Development and Events Coordinator Danielle Szmanda at (920) 868-3287.

The 2019 season at Peninsula Players also includes “A Murder is Announced,” by Leslie Darbon and adapted from Agatha Christie’s novel which takes the stage July 10 through July 28. “Ghost The Musical” performs July 31 through August 18. This timeless musical fantasy about the power of love is by Bruce Joel Rubin, Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics fame) and Glen Ballard. “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson performs August 21 through September 1 and introduces audiences to Henrietta Swan Leavitt and her touching human story behind a very important scientific discovery. Closing the Peninsula Players’ 84th season is the Midwest première of “George Washington’s Teeth,” a very silly comedy by Mark St. Germain, performing September 4 to October 20. For more information on the Peninsula Players 2019 season, visit or call the Box Office at (920) 868-3287.