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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Door County theater’s ‘The Play’s the Thing’ going virtual

Critic At Large

Peninsula Players Theatre

Cover of book adapted for online play reading of Peninsula Players Theatre.

FISH CREEK, Wis. (WFRV) – Peninsula Players Theatre announced “The Play’s the Thing,” its winter play reading series presented to Door County audiences, will be offered virtually this year.

According to a press release: Fully cast play readings will be available to stream for one night only through the theater’s ticketing system on its website,

The plays will stream at 7 p.m. Mondays, February 1, March 1 and April 5. Admission to the online events is limited to 300 households per performance. Online ticket registration through the theater’s ticketing system is required to attend each event. Listening is free; donations are welcome.

“We are thrilled that the collaboration with Big Read, Door County Reads and the Door County Library that began over 13 years ago remains fully embraced by the community,” said Brian Kelsey, managing director of Peninsula Players. “Peninsula Players has commissioned a new audio play to open the play reading series, and artistic director Greg Vinkler has lined up a variety of plays for all to enjoy. Royalty agreements limit accessibility to each event to one night only with a maximum of 300 households. We suggest registering early on our online ticketing system.”

The first offering Feb. 1 is the world première of an audio play commissioned by Peninsula Players. “The Dust of Death” is an adaptation by Neil Brookshire of Fred Merrick White’s science-fiction short story, “The Dust of Death: The Story of the Great Plague of the Twentieth Century.”

In it, death comes to London in the form of a horrific plague that inevitably spreads from person to person, causing great turmoil and havoc throughout the city. It is a race against time as Dr. Label and Dr. Hubert reveal the source of the plague and offer their treatment before all of London is wiped out.

“The Dust of Death” is produced in coordination with NEA Big Read: Door County and its exploration of Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven,” a futuristic post-apocalyptic novel.

The cast will include Greg Vinkler and Peninsula Players veteran Cassandra Bissell.

The full cast list will be announced soon.

Scheduled March 1 is “Bell, Book and Candle” by John Van Druten.

The play selection for April 5 is to be finalized.

NEA Big Read: Door County is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The partnership between Door County Library and the Peninsula Players began 13 years ago when the two organizations collaborated to bring The Big Read to Door County. A full listing of events is available at

“The Play’s the Thing” is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment of the Arts and grants from Door County Medical Center, Friends of Door County Libraries, The Shubert Foundation and operating funds of Peninsula Players Theatre.

Peninsula Players Theatre is “America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre.”

“The Play’s the Thing” is part of the Players’ continuing winter outreach programming, presenting professional play readings for the public.

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