Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and Door County’s theatrical icon, is thrilled to announce the cast and creative team for “Talley’s Folly” by Lanford Wilson. “Talley’s Folly” highlights one evening in the courtship of two unlikely lovers, Matt Friedman and Sally Talley, portrayed by Peninsula Players Theatre veteran actors and real-life husband and wife, Sean and Linda Fortunato. “Talley’s Folly” is generously sponsored by Tony and Judy Licata.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning “mid-summer valentine,” is set in Lebanon, Missouri, on the 4th of July in 1944. Matt, a Jewish immigrant, met Sally while he holidayed in Lebanon from his accounting job in St. Louis the previous year. Sally’s family is very conservative and operates the garment factory that supports the town. Yet, Sally remains an independent thinker, which led to the Sunday school rescinding her post as a teacher. Matt fell in love with her instantly and sent her letters every day. Matt returns to Lebanon to solve the puzzle that Sally has become and to ask for her hand in marriage.
“Talley’s Folly” is under the direction of another Peninsula Players Theatre alum, David New, who marks his 13th season with the company and his 26th production.
“Lanford Wilson’s writing is so extraordinarily tender and funny that you only want to put the script into the hands of the most masterful of actors,” New said. “In Sean and Linda, Peninsula Players Theatre has the perfect cast. The Players’ audiences are in for a rare and whole-hearted treat! Sean and Linda are sure to embody all of the charm, humor, romance, and wit of this piece – while at the same time deftly plumbing the depths of some of the darker shadows in their characters’ pasts.”
Sean Fortunato’s performances at Peninsula Players Theatre include Black Stache in “Peter and the Starcatcher,” George in “Sunday in the Park with George,” Billy Flynn in “Chicago,” Father Flynn in “Doubt” and the Emcee in “Cabaret.” His stage credits include Off-Broadway, regional theater and many of Chicago’s stages, including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Writers Theatre, TimeLine Theatre and Northlight Theater. He has received an After Dark Award and eight Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for his stage portrayals. His television credits include Antoon Dumini in “Fargo” (FX), “Chicago Med” (NBC), “Chicago PD” (NBC), “Chicago Fire” (NBC).
Linda Fortunato’s credits with Peninsula Players Theatre span 17 seasons of acting in dramas such as “Wait Until Dark,” to directing comedies such as “Lend Me a Tenor” and “The Fox on the Fairway,” choreographing such musicals as “A Little Night Music” and “Chicago.” Linda will assume the role of artistic director of Peninsula Players Theatre upon the retirement of Greg Vinkler in September. She was previously the artistic director of Theatre at the Center in Munster, Indiana, where she directed “Cabaret,” “Big River,” “The Tin Woman” and “Steel Magnolias.” She also choreographed “42nd Street,” which earned her a Joseph Jefferson Award, and was Jeff-nominated for her choreography of “White Christmas” and “Crazy for You.”
New’s many performances at the theater-in-a-garden will be recalled fondly by Door County theatergoers. He previously directed Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” and Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound.” In addition to many acting roles, New served as Associate Artistic Director for Steppenwolf Theater for five years and is a past recipient of the Sarah Siddons Award, multiple Jeff Award nominations and an Ontario Stratford Festival Fellowship.
The creative team of “Talley’s Folly” includes award-winning designers Jack Magaw, scenic design; Stephen Roy White, lighting design; and Joe Court, sound design. Magaw, Court and White were part of the 2019 creative team of Silent Sky.
One of the many safety protocols the theater put in place to reopen is advance ticket sales only. The Box Office will not be open for nightly walk-up sales before the performance. Electronic tickets may be purchased through the theater’s online ticketing system up to curtain time or by phoning or visiting the Box Office during daytime business hours. Peninsula Players Theatre is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is prohibited on the grounds at all times.
The side panels, door and vents of the audience pavilion will remain open throughout the 90-minute play. Patrons should dress for the weather and be prepared for shifting temperatures or breezes off the bay. All parties will be socially distanced and seated with no one directly in front, behind or two seats to the left or right of them. For the most current safety protocols employed at the theater, visit www.peninsulaplayers.com before attending a performance.
“Talley’s Folly” performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. To make reservations for groups of 30 or more, please phone the Box Office on weekdays at (920) 868-3287. The theater and its offices will be closed on Mondays once performances begin. For more information, visit www.peninsulaplayers.com.