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

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Door County’s Peninsula Players Theatre to open season July 20

Critic At Large

Two plays on 86th season

Season image.

FISH CREEK, Wis. (WFRV) – Peninsula Players Theatre will present two plays July 20 to Sept. 19 for its 86th season.

“We could not be more eager to welcome patrons back to the theater-in-a-garden for live performances,” Brian Kelsey, managing director, says in a press release. “Our producing partners – Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), United Scenic Artists (USA) and the Society of Directors and Choreographers (SDC) – have approved our many safety protocols, and we are anxious to reopen the theater and its grounds to patrons.

“Talley’s Folly” by Lanford Wilson will run July 20 to Aug. 15.

“Romance in D” by James Sherman will run Aug. 24 to Sept. 19.

Tickets go on sale June 28. Info:

Patrons have contacted the box office daily since spring daily with emails and phone calls, “anxious to hear any news or updates of Door County’s theatrical treasure reopening,” the press release says. 

“Peninsula Players Theatre is a quintessential Door County experience with its all-weather pavilion, gardens and shoreline setting,” Kelsey says in the release. “There is no other place like it. Patrons truly missed their visit with us last year, and we missed them. Everyone at the theater is eager to hear laughter and applause ringing throughout the theater, to see patrons strolling along the shoreline or relaxing in the beer garden and, most especially, to see the curtain rise on live performances once again.”

The pandemic placed the professional theater into its second extended intermission. The first was during World War II.

“The 86th season will run for eight weeks, just under half of what a typical season would be,” Kelsey says.

“Talley’s Folly” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play is about finding love when you have stopped looking. 

“Romance in D” features the journey of lonely neighbors and their thoughtful parents toward adjoining hearts. 

Greg Vinkler, artistic director, says he specifically selected uplifting, heartfelt and entertaining works to present to theatergoers. 

“I know this past year has been challenging for many, many people,” Vinkler says in the release. “As I was deciding what to do for an abbreviated 2021 season, it was important to me that the shows we did affirmed the human spirit, had positive messages and would bring some happiness and laughter to our audiences… Both plays involve characters who are strong, resilient and willing to open themselves to hope and love. And both have a generous dollop of humor to go with all that. I really wanted our audiences to leave the theater with joy in their hearts.”

COVID-19 considerations are part of the season.

“In addition to following CDC guidelines, social distancing and frequent hand washing, we have put together a fully vaccinated company and based on union requirements will perform weekly COVID tests in partnership with Door County Medical Center throughout the season,” Kelsey says.

In a typical season, the theater houses and feeds up to 50 company members, but this season will have “a much smaller artistic and support staff,” Kelsey says.

“Season ticket holders, donors and individual ticket buyers will receive more information and updates via email and social media in the days ahead,” Kelsey says. Online purchasing is encouraged.

Tickets will only be sold in advance. The box office will not be open for walk-up sales before the performance. Electronic tickets may be purchased through the theater’s online ticketing system up to curtain time.

The side panels of the audience pavilion, doors, roof and back vents of the unique venue will remain open throughout each of the 90-minute plays. 

The theater has posted its many safety protocols on its website. They include masking requirements (evolving), reduced seating capacity, socially distanced seating, electronic tickets and playbill and limited concession sales.

Information on the cast and creative teams will be announced.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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