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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: ‘Great Americans’ opening drive-in series in Sturgeon Bay

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Rogue Theater

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STURGEON, Wis. (WFRV) – Rogue Theater will present “Great Americans” for the 4th of July weekend to open the community theater’s series of live drive-in theater performances.

The series is designed to be one answer to the restrictions on live performances caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.

According to a news release: Performances of “Summer Drive-In Theater” will run weekends during July and August in the parking lot of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1756 Michigan St. The sloped parking lot offers an amphitheater setting. Actors will use microphones plugged into a radio receiver. “Patrons can enjoy the show from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles,” the troupe says.

All performances start at 6 p.m., weather permitting. Tickets are $10 a person or $30 a car, with a portion of proceeds benefitting local food pantries.

Presented July 4-5, “Great Americans” is “a collection of patriotic speeches, quotes, songs and poems, depicting the inspiring Americans who have changed history and helped make America the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Many local artists, poets, musicians, actors and veterans make up the cast. Portrayed are Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Katie Stanton and many others.

Included are poems by Walt Whitman and a variety of patriotic songs.

The rest of the schedule:

+ July 11-12: “Post-Its” by Winnie Holzman and Paul Dooley. The relationship between two people via post-it notes.

+ July 18-19: “Golden Age of Comedy.” TV skits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

+ Aug. 1-2: “Alabama Bound” by Charlotte Higgins. Southern women in various stages of trouble.

+ Aug. 8-9: “High School Performers.” Local student performances.

+ Aug. 15-16: “Susan and Elizabeth: A Friendship of Consequence.” Written and performed by Susan Kohout and Chris Milton.

+ Aug. 22-23: “Just Plane Funny.” Collection of comedy skits.

+ Aug. 29-30: “Golden Age of Comedy.” TV skits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

The project is a spin on the trend of performing live at drive-in movie theaters.

Rogue Theater is the brainchild of co-artistic directors Lola DeVillers and Stuart Champeau.

They say they got the idea while attending “Drive-In Church” at Prince of Peace and approached Pastor James Gomez after a service and received “a very enthusiastic thumbs up.” 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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