LAKESHORE REGIONAL NEWS: Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and Sheboygan County

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: Door County classical theater’s outdoor season canceled


Door Shakespeare


Door Shakespeare’s 2020 outdoor season is canceled.

The announcement came late Friday afternoon from the professional company led by Michael Stebbins, producing artistic director, and Amy Ensign, managing director.

According to an email to patrons: “We were informed earlier this week that the facility/grounds of Björklunden, where Door Shakespeare performs, has completely shut down through Labor Day. Björklunden, owned by Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, has been a gracious host to Door Shakespeare over the years, and we look forward to the day when we return.”

Door Shakepeare was set to celebrate its 25th anniversary season.

Productions were set from May through August for the comical “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised],” the exploring “Wittenberg” by David Davalos and the tragic “Hamlet.”

Door Shakespeare performs outside under a majestic maple tree in Bjorklunden garden.

The email says, “Over the last month and a half, Door Shakespeare continued to plan accordingly for the summer months ahead, making adjustments along the way. First, we moved the dates of ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]’ to the back end of our calendar, in the hopes of keeping one step ahead of the coronavirus and the country’s ever-changing landscape. Our second move was to begin rehearsals one week later than scheduled, to give even more distance between the company and the coronavirus.

“In the end, it comes down to the health and safety of each and every individual, from artist to audience to staff, and we sadly, but rightly, made the call that other theaters across the country have, and that is to cancel Door Shakespeare’s summer production season.

“Door Shakespeare’s summer theatre education program, Camp Will, will go forward with an online virtual platform.”

Door Shakespeare joins other casualties on the Door County arts scene that canceled virtually the entire summer of performances: Peninsula Players Theatre near Fish Creek, Northern Sky Theatre outdoors north of Fish Creek and indoors south of Fish Creek, Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay, Peninsula Music Festival in Fish Creek and Birch Creek Music Performance Center east of Egg Harbor.

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