Peninsula Players Theatre Announces 89th Season’s Artistic Company

Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, is thrilled to announce its artistic company and creative teams for its 89th season, performing June 18 through October 20, 2024.  Nestled along Door County’s scenic shore, the professional theater has enthralled generations of audiences in its 600-plus seat, all-weather pavilion since 1935.  The theater has presented hundreds of pre-Broadway tryouts, world premières, classic dramas, comedies and musicals.   The 2024 five-show season features a variety of shows, from a classic comedy by Neil Simon to a new comedic adaptation by an alum of the theater, an electrifying rock ‘n’ roll musical, a memorable and poignant love story and a taut thriller by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie.  

Within the artistic company are 10 actors, nine designers, two directors and one stage manager who will make their Peninsula Players Theatre debut.  They collaborate with the other 50-plus members of the theater company, ranging from fellow actors, directors, designers and stage managers to the theater’s administrators, carpenters, cooks, costume artisans, interns, properties artisans, scenic painters, technical directors/drafts people and landscape artist.

A three-week run of Neil Simon’s “I Ought To Be In Pictures” (June 18 – July 7), kicks off the season and is under the direction of Melanie Keller.  Keller, who previously directed “Trying” and “Murder for Two” for the theatre-in-a-garden, returns to helm the comedy about finding family.   The cast features returning Peninsula Players Theatre actors Sean Fortunato (“Blithe Spirit,” “A Rock Sails By,” “Sunday in the Park with George”), Erin Noel Grennan (“The Game’s Afoot,” “A Real Lulu,” “Miracle on South Division Street”) and making her Peninsula Players Theatre debut, Aja Alcazar.  Simon’s comedy is set in 1980s Hollywood, where screenwriter Herb Tucker’s life is turned upside down when his teenage daughter shows up unexpectedly.  The creative team includes J Branson, scenic designer (“The 39 Steps,” “Nunsense,” “Almost, Maine”); Rachel Lambert, costume designer (“A Trick of the Light,” “Now and Then,” “Miss Holmes”); Dee Etti-Williams, sound designer, and Rae Lake, who participated in the theater’s internship program in 2015, is the lighting designer.

“The Angel Next Door” (July 10 – July 28) is a new comedy by Paul Slade Smith, adapted from Ferenc Molnar’s “Play at the Castle,” and is under the direction of Artistic Director Linda Fortunato.  Smith’s other comedies, “Unnecessary Farce” and “The Outsider,” which was produced at Peninsula Players Theatre under the title “A Real Lulu,” were hits with audiences.  Smith also performed at Peninsula Players Theatre in “Chicago,” “Sunday in the Park with George” and “The Game’s Afoot.”  The cast of “The Angel Next Door” includes actors Alcazar, Andrés Enriquez, who performed in the theater’s play reading of “Changing Channels,” Sean Fortunato, Grennan, Ora Jones (“George Washington’s Teeth”), and Garrett Lutz, who makes his Peninsula Players Theatre debut.   The creative team includes Michelle Lilly, scenic designer; Kärin Simonson Kopischke, costume designer (“Dames at Sea,” “Blithe Spirit,” “Write Me a Murder”); Stephen Roy White, lighting designer (“Trying,” “Murder for Two,” “Silent Sky”); and Josh Schmidt, composer/sound designer.

Christopher Chase Carter and Keira Fromm are making their Peninsula Players Theatre directorial debuts this season.   Carter and music director Malcolm Ruhl (“Murder for Two,” “Always…Patsy Cline”) will lead the creative team and cast of “Million Dollar Quartet,” with book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux.   Inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, this rock ‘n’ roll musical features the Peninsula Players Theatre debuts of Jake Busse, Jordan Golding, Ben Heppner, Sam Linda, Eion Meldrum with Alcazar, Enriquez and Lutz.   The creative team bringing the 1956 recording studio at Sun Records to the stage are Michaela Lochen, scenic designer; Bob Kuhn, costume designer; Guy Rhodes, lighting designer (“Dames at Sea,” “Ripcord,” “Ghost The Musical”); and Joe Court, sound designer (“A Rock Sails By,” “The Rainmaker,” “Romance in D”).

Fromm directs Stephen Massicotte’s unforgettable and haunting love story, “Mary’s Wedding,” which features actors Golding and Janyce Caraballo, who makes her Peninsula Players Theatre debut.   Set in 1914, this poetic story of two young lovers parted by war, is told through letters, dreams and flashbacks of their meetings on the wild Canadian prairie.  The creative team includes Jack Magaw, scenic designer (“Dames at Sea,” “Trying,” “I and You”);  Kopischke, costume designer; Noele Stollmack, lighting designer; and Christopher Kriz, composer/sound designer (“Ripcord,” “Miss Holmes,” “Peter and the Starcatcher”). 

Maggie Kettering, who directed last autumn’s “Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery,” returns to direct Agatha Christie’s newly discovered thriller, “The Stranger.” Based on one of Christie’s early short stories, the Queen of Crime leads audiences down the twisty path of a psychological drama.   Alcazar, Enriquez and Lutz continue their season and are joined by alum McKinley Carter (“Sunday in the Park with George,” “Panic,” “Into the Woods”) and newcomer Sarah Coakley Price.  The creative team includes Magaw, scenic designer; Yvonne Miranda, costume designer; Trey Brazeal, lighting designer; and Victoria Deiorio, sound designer (“Blithe Spirit,” “Wait Until Dark,” “Opus”).

Stage Managers Kaitlin Kitzmiller (“Blithe Spirit,” “Romance in D,”” Write Me a Murder”) returns for her sixth season; Kimberly Ann McCann (“Dames at Sea,” “The Rainmaker,” “Ripcord,”) returns for her fourth, Wilhelm Peters for his first and Alden Vasquez (“Salvage,” “The 39 Steps,” “Nunsense”) for his 11th season.

Company members work in professional theaters across the United States, internationally and in film, television, podcasts and audio narration.  Many of the directors, designers and cast members are recipients of, or have been nominated for, various regional theater awards and Chicago’s prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award and After Dark Award.

Peninsula Players Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theater that employs members of 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 Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), a theatrical union of stage directors and choreographers.

Peninsula Players Theatre performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. except for Sundays, July 7, 28, August 18, and September 1 at 2:00 p.m.  The audience pavilion’s side panels, doors and vents will remain open throughout the summer season.  Patrons should dress for the weather and be prepared for shifting temperatures and breezes off the bay.    With the opening of the autumn season on September 4, curtain times change to Tuesday through Sundays at 7:00 p.m., except for September 8 and October 20 at 2:00 p.m.    Ticket prices for the 2024 season range from $47 to $56, and students 18 and under receive a 50% discount.   Group leaders may make reservations for 15 or more by phoning the Box Office at (920) 868-3287.   For more information, visit