Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and Door County’s theatrical icon, is thrilled to announce its 87th season performing June 14 through October 16, 2022. “I am excited to announce the return of our five-show season,” said newly appointed Artistic Director Linda Fortunato. “We are so eager to welcome patrons back to our theater-in-a-garden for live performances.” Fortunato took up the mantle of artistic director at the end of September and is delighted to share the exciting 2022 line-up.
Nestled along Door County, Wisconsin’s scenic shore, Peninsula Players Theatre’s award-winning artistic company has been enthralling generations of audiences in its 600-plus seat, all-weather pavilion. Since 1935, the theater has presented hundreds of world premières, pre-Broadway tryouts, classic dramas, comedies and musicals.
The 2022 season includes an American classic, a gripping thriller, an outlandish new comedy, an award-winning drama and a madcap musical whodunit.
“The Rainmaker” (June 14 through July 3). In N. Richard Nash’s American classic, Starbuck promises to bring rain and end the drought that has devastated the Curry family’s crops and cattle. Starbuck’s smooth-talking ways affect not only the clouds but Lizzie and the entire Curry family. Filled with romance and humor, this engaging story has been translated into more than 40 languages, adapted into a hit Hollywood film and the Tony Award-nominated musical “110 In the Shade.”
“I am excited to bring this uplifting tale to the stage to open the season,” Fortunato said. “This beautiful story is one of connection, hope, finding oneself, and learning to believe — even in the unbelievable.”
“Write Me a Murder” (July 6 – July 24). In this Frederick Knott suspense-filled romantic thriller, Rodingham Manor, a stately but rather run-down 500-year-old English estate, is an ideal setting for the “perfect crime.” While collaborating on a mystery story, two writers craft an impeccable murder plot. Will the fictional plan become a reality? And if so, who will fall victim to the “perfect crime?”
“Mr. Knott wrote two other terrific mysteries, ‘Wait Until Dark’ and ‘Dial M For Murder,’ that have been audience favorites at Peninsula Players Theatre,” Fortunato said. “Playing Suzy in the 2009 production of ‘Wait Until Dark’ remains one of my favorite Players’ experiences. I was thrilled to discover another play by the same author. The play kept me guessing right up until the final moments.”
“Ripcord” (July 27 – August 14). In this comedy of “one-up-womanship” by critically acclaimed playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, sparks fly when two mismatched retirees become roommates. A seemingly harmless bet between the sunny Marilyn and the grumpy Abby for the bed by the window quickly escalates into a highly charged duel of outrageous pranks. They even recruit family and staff to join the antics. This hilarious odd couple will stop at nothing, no matter how great the mischief. “As each step becomes more absurd than the last, deeper truths are revealed,” Fortunato said.
“I and You” (August 17 – September 4). In Lauren Gunderson’s award-winning play, housebound Caroline hasn’t been to school for months. One afternoon classmate Anthony bursts in uninvited, armed with a scruffy copy of Walt Whitman’s “The Leaves of Grass,” a half-finished school project due the next day and waffle fries. As the two bond, they begin to uncover the mystery that may have brought them together. “’I and You’ is another beautiful work by the author of ‘Silent Sky,’ which dazzled audiences in 2019,” Fortunato said. “As I finished my first read of this play, I was incredibly moved and knew instantly I wanted it to be a part of the season.”
“Murder for Two” (September 7 – October 16). A madcap musical whodunit with book and lyrics by Kellen Blair and book and music by Joe Kinosian closes the season. When a famous novelist is murdered at his own surprise party, all of the guests become suspects. The first to arrive on the scene is an eager small-town police officer who hopes to solve the case and fulfill his dream of becoming a detective. “Murder for Two” is a lighthearted piece that spoofs every beloved mystery device from Agatha Christie to the board game Clue. The musical is an homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries, is loaded with killer laughs, sly winks and dual pianists! “This high-spirited musical, with two actors playing over a dozen characters, will be a playful way to end the season,” Fortunato said.
More information on the 2022 season, creative teams and casts will be announced in the weeks ahead. Individual and student ticket sales will begin March 1. Group leaders may make reservations for 30 or more by phoning the Box Office on weekdays at (920) 868-3287. To order a Gift Certificate, learn curtain times, ticket prices or for more information, visit www.peninsulaplayers.com.