Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: De Pere-based troupe schedules seven plays for 2019-2020 season

Critic At Large

Evergreen Productions

Evergreen Productions Mainstage offerings.


Evergreen Productions of greater Green Bay will present seven productions its combined Mainstage and Young Actor seasons.

Performances are in the Neil J. and Mary Webb Theatre in Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College. Info: and

Of note in the Mainstage season, evening performances are being moved up a half-hour to 7 p.m.

Here is an overview, in sequence:

+ Mainstage: “Little Women” adapted by Peter Clapham from the novel by Louisa May Alcott – Sept. 13-15, 19-21 (seven performances).

The play follows one year in the lives of the March girls – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – with their minister father away in the Civil War. The family, headed by the beloved Marmee, must struggle to make ends meet, with the help of their kind and wealthy neighbor, Mr. Laurence, and his high-spirited grandson Laurie.

+ Young Actor: “The Velveteen Rabbit” adapted by Philip Grecian from the book by Margery Williams – Sept. 27-29 (five performances).

“There are two ways to be real,” the Skin Horse says. “The first is when you are real to one special child, and the second is when you are real to the world.” More than anything the bunny wants to be a real rabbit. The Toy Fairy offers him his chance, but he must leave with her immediately.  He is torn as the boy, ill with scarlet fever, will die without him. This adventure leads us to learn that love makes all things real.

+ Young Actor: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson – Nov. 15-17 (five performances).

A staple of Evergreen Productions – 32 years! – this is the comical yet serious tale of the horrible Herdmans and how how they upend – and bring meaning to – the Christmas Story.

+ Mainstage: “FrUiTCaKes” by Julian Wiles – Dec. 6-8, 12-14 (seven performances).

Mix a batch of fruitcakes, three dozen Christmas trees, 10,000 outdoor Christmas lights, a chicken pox epidemic, two Southern spinsters, an estranged old man and a Christmas hog named Buster and you have “FrUiTCaKes.” In the story of understanding and reconciliation, Jamie is a kid who has run as far away from home as his money would take him. At first, he thinks this town’s inhabitants are “nuttier than fruitcakes,” but soon he comes to admire, appreciate and adore this nutty little town.

+ Mainstage: “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring – Feb. 14-16, 20-22 (seven performances).

His two sweet aunts populate their cellar with “roomers,” one uncle around the bend and another is on the lam from murderous ways, but the nephew still manages to keep love in bloom in this classic.

+ Young Actor: “Treasure Island” adapted by Mary Donnelly and George L.O. Strid as a musical from the Robert Louis Stevenson novel – Feb. 28-March 1 (five performances).

Young Jim Hawkins longs for adventure and finds plenty. This is the classic tale of pirates, pigaloos and buried treasure as Jim sails away aboard the Hispaniola to a remote island looking for Captain Flint’s gold.

+ Mainstage: “Cheaper by the Dozen” dramatized by Christopher Sergel from the book by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey – May 1-3, 7-9 (seven performances).

Suppose you’re an attractive high-school girl and you’re not only a member of a large and unique family but your father is one of the great pioneers of industrial efficiency. Then suppose he decides to apply his unorthodox methods to you and to the rest of your big family. The results are terribly embarrassing and comical as the Gilbreths explore their real-life family bonds.

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