Jeff Awards Honor Peninsula Players Theatre Company Members with Nominations

Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, celebrates the announcement of Chicago’s 2022 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations with the recognition of current and past company members.  The Joseph Jefferson Awards are Chicago theaters’ equivalent to Broadway’s Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards. 

The Joseph Jefferson awards, established in 1968, annually honor outstanding professional theater artists in the Chicago theater community.  Many past and present company members are among this year’s nominees.  Among those honored from the theater’s 2022 company in the best supporting performer category are actors Sean Fortunato for his performance as Mr. Marks in Northlight Theatre’s “Intimate Apparel” and Xavier Edward King for his performance as Franklin in Timeline Theatre Company’s production of “Relentless.”  Fortunato and King performed in “The Rainmaker” and “Write Me a Murder” at the theater-in-a-garden and King also performed in “Ripcord.”

Tyla Abercrumbie’s thrilling new play, “Relentless,” garnered nominations in several categories including Best Production.  In addition to King, Peninsula Players Theatre company members who worked on “Relentless” include actress Ayanna Bria Bakari, who played Lizzie in “The Rainmaker,” scenic designer Jack Magaw, original music and sound designer Christopher Kriz, properties designer Jennifer Wernau, projections designer Mike Tutaj, assistant production manager Paul Cook and Kaitlin Kitzmiller, who was the production stage manager when the show moved to The Goodman Theatre. 

Simean “Sim” Carpenter, the lighting designer for “Write Me a Murder,” was nominated for his work on “The Last Pair of Earlies” at Raven Theatre.

Kriz, sound designer of this season’s “I and You” and “Ripcord,” is nominated for sound design in the midsize theater category for the productions of “The Last Pair of Earlies” at Raven Theatre and “The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story” at Oak Park Festival Theatre.  He is also nominated for the Original Music in a Play for “The Last Pair of Earlies,” “Relentless” and “The Secret Council” at First Folio Theatre.

Jason Lynch, the lighting designer for “I and You,” was nominated for his work on “Choir Boy” at Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Peninsula Players Theatre’s stage manager Kimberly Ann McCann was the production stage manager for the multi-nominated “Goodnight, Oscar” at Goodman Theatre.      

Magaw’s scenic design work was seen on the Peninsula Players Theatre’s stage this season in “I and You” and “Write Me a Murder.”  Magaw was nominated for his design of “Relentless” and “Two Trains Running” at Court Theatre, which recently won the Regional Tony Award.

Angela Weber Miller made her Door County scenic design debut with “Ripcord” and was nominated for her work on “Steel Magnolias” at Drury Lane Productions and “Who’s Holiday!” at Theater Wit.

Peninsula Players Theatre company members from past seasons who also received nominations include Kate Fry (“Fools,” Communicating Doors,” “Into the Woods);  Adrian Aguilar (“The Full Monty”);  Alexis J. Roston (“Ghost The Musical,” “A Murder is Announced”);  E. Faye Butler (“Nunsense II”); Megan Murphy (“ The Drowsy Chaperone”); Rachel Lambert (“The Mystery of Irma Vep,” “Lend Me a Tenor”); Matthew Crowle (director of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” actor in “Living on Love”); and Michael Tutaj (“Living on Love”).

“I and You” by Lauren Gunderson continues its run at Peninsula Players Theatre through September 4.  Closing the theater’s season is the madcap musical “Murder for Two” with book and lyrics by Kellen Blair and book and music by Joe Kinosian, which runs from September 7 through October 16.  Blair and Kinosian won the 2011 Jeff Award for Best New Work and were nominated this year in the same category for their new collaboration “It Came From Outer Space” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater with Universal Theatrical Group.

Peninsula Players Theatre is a professional non-profit theater that collaborates with members of the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the union of professional actors and stage managers; United Scenic Artists (USA), a labor union and professional association of Designers, Artists and Craftspeople; and the Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), a theatrical union of stage directors and choreographers.

Individual, student and group tickets are available.  Tickets may be purchased online up to curtain time or by phoning or visiting the Box Office during business hours.  Peninsula Players Theatre is a smoke-free campus.  Smoking is prohibited on the grounds at all times.

The audience pavilion’s side panels, doors and vents will remain open throughout the season.  Patrons should dress for the weather and be prepared for shifting temperatures and breezes off the bay.  For the most current safety protocols employed at the theater, visit before attending a performance. 

“I and You” performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday, September 4 at 2:00 p.m.   “Murder for Two” performs Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:00 p.m., except for Sunday, September 11, 18, 25 and October 16 at 2:00 p.m.   To make reservations for groups of 15 or more, please phone the Box Office on weekdays between 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at (920) 868-3287.   The theater and its offices are closed on Mondays.  For more information, visit