Peninsula Players presents a reading of Popcorn Falls, a new two-person comedy by James Hindman. Popcorn Falls will perform on Monday, February 3 at 7 p.m. at Björklunden, located at 7590 Boynton Lane, Baileys Harbor. Popcorn Falls is produced with support from and in coordination with Door County Reads and its exploration of Virgil Wander by Leif Engel. General seating is available and admission is free.
Welcome to the sleepy town of Popcorn Falls, whose only claim to fame – their namesake waterfall – has dried up. They haven’t seen a tourist in three years! Now bankrupt, their last chance is a large arts grant. But it requires the town to produce a play within a week. And one big problem: no playhouse. Another problem: no play. Led by Mr. Trundle the Mayor and Joe the local handyman, the enterprising and caring townsfolk try to rise to the challenge, bring the town back to life and prove that art can save the world.
“The Mayor makes it his goal to put on the play and save his beloved Popcorn Falls with all the gusto and hutzpah of a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movie,” said Peninsula Players Artistic Director Greg Vinkler, who directs the reading. “He involves a variety of hilarious and distinctive townsfolk, including a self-obsessed teenage girl, a one-armed hardware salesman, the very theatrical librarian, the eager-to-please sheriff, the no-nonsense middle school teacher, county officials, and a single mom bartender/actress – all portrayed by two actors! ‘Popcorn Falls’ is full of small-town charm and is a delightfully positive and touching companion to Virgil Wander.“
Popcorn Falls is part of the Peninsula Players winter program, The Play’s the Thing, and 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 Door County Medical Center, Friends of Door County Libraries and operating funds from Peninsula Players Theatre.
Hindman is an actor and playwright whose work has received three Drama Desk and one Outer Critic Award nominations. He was a Terrence McNally Award finalist for his play, The Drama Department and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
A native of Michigan, his interest in theater began in high school. “I couldn’t get a ride home from school one day,” Hindman said in an interview with Talking Broadway. “Some girl said, ‘If you stay after school and paint the sets with me, my mom will drive you home in about an hour.’ So I did that, and as I was painting the sets, the drama teacher asked me to help out with the scenery. I said, ‘Sure.’ I did that, and I thought, ‘This was kind of fun.’ I crouched down behind a fake tombstone made out of cardboard. It was a scary melodrama or something. That was my first job in the theater – hidden behind a tombstone.”
As an actor, his Broadway credits include Mary Poppins, The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1776, City of Angels, A Grand Night for Singing, Cats and Dancing at Lughnasa. His television and film credits include Ed Burns’ Public Morals (produced by Steven Spielberg), House of Cards, The Blacklist, Unforgettable, The Sopranos, Rescue Me, Person of Interest and Marvel Television’s The Kick.
Cast in the reading of Popcorn Falls are Peninsula Players veterans Joe Foustand Noah Simon, both of whom have extensive stage credits and both performed in Peninsula Players’ world première production of A Trick of the Light. Foust was recently awarded Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award for his solo performance of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey at American Blues Theater and Simon recently performed in Tuna Christmas at Third Avenue Playhouse. Simon (the Mayor) and Foust (the handyman) will portray the multiple characters of Popcorn Falls.
The Play’s the Thing 2020 series also includes Haunted: The Great Lakes Ghost Project by Joe Zettelmaier, which will perform Monday, March 2 and Eternity by Wisconsin native Michael Cochran on Monday, April 6.
Door County Reads is in its tenth year, having grown out of the Library and the Peninsula Players partnership to bring The Big Read to Door County for three years. A full listing of events is available at www.doorcountyreads.org.
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. Learn more about Peninsula Players 2020 season at www.peninsulaplayers.com.