Peninsula Players Awards Local Students

Peninsula Players Theatre is pleased to announce the recipients of its Annual Outstanding Student Awards and the Inaugural Peninsula Players Theatre Scholarship. Last spring, Peninsula Players fashioned the Outstanding Student Award to recognize and reward graduating high school students across Door County for their achievement in and enthusiasm for the performing arts. Door County high school seniors pursuing a major or minor in arts management, music or theater are also eligible for the scholarship. One $500 scholarship was available to a student at each of the five Door County high schools for a total of $2,500.

“The Board of Directors is thrilled to provide scholarships to students wishing to further their education in the performing arts beyond high school,” Peninsula Players Managing Director Brian Kelsey said. The scholarship was created by Peninsula Players Theatre and its Board of Directors to foster the career path and arts education of graduating high school students across Door County in the performing arts. “Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, is proud to support the higher education of Door County seniors pursuing an advanced degree with a major or minor in arts management, music or theater,” Kelsey said.

The three recipients of the Outstanding Student Award are Evan Henry, a recent graduate of Gibraltar High School; Kole Mallien, a recent graduate of Sturgeon Bay High School; and MaCayla Moore, a recent graduate of Southern Door High School. Natalie Meikle, a recent graduate of Sevastopol High School, is the inaugural recipient of the Peninsula Players Theatre Scholarship. Each student has demonstrated a high level of participation and creativity in the arts, including drama, music or choral, during their academic matriculation.

Henry participated in all four musicals and One Act Competitions throughout his high school career. These past four years, he has skillfully and successfully balanced his passions just as well as he balanced atop four-foot tall stilts in “Big Fish” last year.

Mallien has been an avid participant in theatrical productions throughout Door County during his high school career. As a part of the LEAP Human Kindness Project, he shared his skills as an actor and choreographer and has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin at Steven’s Point and plans to major in theater.

Moore participated in choir for four years and shared her talents in Concert Choir, Madrigal and Vocal Jazz, as well as being featured as a soloist with the auditioned Concert Choir. She portrayed Gertrude in “Seussical the Musical,” Sophie in “Mamma Mia” and was Cinderella in “Into the Woods.”

Meikle, inaugural recipient of the Peninsula Players Scholarship, has been involved in band, choir and theater throughout her high school career. She received several honors for her contribution to the arts, including her participation in the Wisconsin School Music Association state and ensemble festival. She performed in several musicals at Sevastopol’s stage and will continue to hone and expand her skills at UW-Whitewater.

Peninsula Players Theatre and the National Standards for Arts Education agrees that the arts are an inseparable part of education and of the human journey. Arts education extends beyond academics; students show an increased self-confidence and self-understanding, enhanced communication skills and improved cognition.

“The arts are such a critical part of a student’s overall education as well as continued personal development,” said Peninsula Players Managing Director Brian Kelsey. “It is with great pride that we reward and encourage the development of careers in the performing arts. The Door County peninsula is alive with a wealth of diverse visual and performing arts organizations, and our communities are perfectly situated to play a critical role in the continued education of our students and adult population. It is highly rewarding to see that our schools in Door County still value the arts as part of core learning and the adult population embrace life-long learning.”

“We depend on the arts to carry us toward the fullness of our humanity,” said the National Standards for Arts Education. “We value them for themselves, and because we do, we believe knowing and practicing them is fundamental to the healthy development of our children’s minds and spirits. That is why, in any civilization – ours included – the arts are inseparable from the very meaning of the term ‘education.’ We know from long experience that no one can claim to be truly educated who lacks basic knowledge and skills in the arts.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Student Award/Scholarship receive four tickets to any two performances of the Peninsula Players 2019 season, a backstage tour of the theater, the exclusive opportunity to see a run-through performance of a show in the rehearsal hall and a Peninsula Players sweatshirt. In addition to the previously mentioned, the recipients of the Peninsula Players Scholarship are also awarded a $500 scholarship toward their higher educaton.

Peninsula Players Theatre is committed to providing educational programming for the community through its winter play reading series, The Play’s the Thing and pre-show seminars. The Peninsula Players has a long history of educational initiatives including an intern program that dates back to the founding days of the Players in the 1930s. The theater continues to offer theater tours and post-show discussions as listed in the program and website.

Peninsula Players Theatre is America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre, produces a five-show season of Broadway-quality comedies, dramas and musicals. Learn more about Peninsula Players and its 2019 season at For more information about the Peninsula Players Outstanding Student Awards and Scholarships contact Development and Events Manager Danielle Szmanda at (920) 868-3287.