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By Audra Baakari Boyle / Tuesday, March 1, 2016 09:37 am
Peninsula Players Announces Free Play Reading at Björklunden March 7
Erica Elam FB

FISH CREEK, WI (March 1, 2016) – Peninsula Players Theatre will present a reading of “The Love List” by Norm Foster at Björklunden at 7590 Boynton Lane, Baileys Harbor at 7pm, Monday, March 7. “The Love List” is a careful-what-you-wish-for comedy by Norm Foster, often hailed as “Canada’s Neil Simon.” Join the Players reading of this firecracker comedy that examines men’s expectations of the perfect woman. Admission is free.

Leon, a rakish writer and ladies’ man, has the perfect 50th birthday gift for Bill, his romantically challenged best friend - a membership in a dubious dating service run by a gypsy. Bill, a sedate statistician who believes himself unlovable, is reluctant, so Leon helps Bill draft a top-10 wish list of desirable traits of the ideal woman. His “love list.”

An hour later who should show up at his door? Justine, his fantasy woman! She bedazzles and overwhelms Bill and he quickly becomes smitten and besotted with her. But who is she? As Bill and Leon realize their list needs some revision, which immediately changes Justine’s character, the perfection crumbles and the stakes for true love and friendship are raised.  

Foster is Canada’s most prolific playwright and has a long list of more than 50 published works featuring ordinary people struggling in their everyday lives. His works are warm- hearted, laced with snappy dialogue, common situations and well balanced identifiable characters. It is this successful representation of commonplace life that led the Montreal Gazette to proclaim: "Norm Foster is our most-produced playwright for a reason: he's very, very funny." 

Foster was born in Newmarket, Ontario and raised in Toronto. Upon completing his studies of Radio & Television Arts at Centennial College in Toronto and Confederation College in Thunder Bay he began a 25-year career in radio. Foster was the morning show host on a radio station in Fredericton, New Brunswick, when his first play, “Sinners,” was produced in 1983.  

His interest in theater began with an invitation. “A friend of mine was going to audition for a community theater production of ‘Harvey’ and asked me to go along,” Foster mentions on his website. “I went, just to see what this theatre thing was all about, and I ended up getting the part of Elwood P. Dowd. I had never seen a play in my life before this.”

He fell in love with theater and the rest is history. Among his notable works are “The Melville Boys,” which premièred in 1984 at Theatre New Brunswick (and has had numerous productions across the United States, Canada and off-Broadway),  and “The Affections of May,” the most produced play in Canada since 1991. “The Love List” made its premiere in 2003 at Thousand Islands Playhouse, Gananoque, Ontario in 2003.

"I think for the most part, they're about ordinary people just trying to get by in life,” Foster said. “I never set out with a monumental purpose in mind. I'm not trying to teach an audience a lesson or pass along some profound message, because I don't think I'm qualified. What I am trying to do is make them feel a little better about this world, and that's not easy these days." 

Peninsula Players company members Erica Elam (“And Then There Were None,” “Born Yesterday,” “The Tin Woman”) is cast as the beautiful and mysteriously perfect Justine; Noah Simon (“Once a Ponzi Time”) is the downhearted Bill and Eric Slater is Leon, the self-proclaimed Casanova.

Elam has traveled the world with The Second City on Norwegian Cruise Lines and has performed at The Goodman, Steppenwolf and Chicago Shakespeare. She taught improvisation and acting at Second City, The School at Steppenwolf, Notre Dame and Princeton University and is a company member of musical improv group, Baby Wants Candy.

Simon has performed with the Goodman Theatre, A Red Orchid, The Hypocrites, Defiant Theatre, American Theatre Company and Strawdog Theatre Co. He directed and produced “The Game Show Show and Stuff,” a live interactive game/variety show and is an ensemble member of Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre. 

Eric Slater’s regional stage credits include The Goodman, Writers Theatre, Court Theatre, Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre, American Repertory Theater and Madison Repertory Theatre. His off-Broadway credits include The Public Theater, The Brick Theater and Theater for the New City.  Slater’s television credits include the role of Greg Sullivan on season two of “Chicago Fire.”

“The Love List” is the second of three readings of The Play’s the Thing, a winter series of play readings produced by Peninsula Players Theatre. Phone the Peninsula Players at 920.868.3287 for information on the reading of “The Love List,” at Björklunden 7pm, Monday, March 7. Admission is free, general seating available.  

The Play’s the Thing is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, as well as generous grants from Ministry Door County Medical Center, Friends of Door County Libraries and the Anne & Richard Egan Charitable Fund, a donor advised fund of the Door County Community Foundation. 

Peninsula Players will host its final winter play reading Monday, April 4 of  “Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love)” by Aaron Posner, adapted from stories by Kurt Vonnegut.

Peninsula Players Theatre is America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre. The Play’s the Thing is part of the Players’ winter outreach programming, presenting professional play readings for the public. Learn more about Peninsula Players at www.peninsulaplayers.com.

4351 Peninsula Players Rd , Fish Creek, WI
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