Fish Creek, Wis. (November 28, 2022) – Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and Door County’s theatrical icon, is thrilled to announce its 88th season performing June 13 through October 15, 2023. “I am delighted to share our lineup for next season,” said Artistic Director Linda Fortunato. “2023 will have something for everyone, including adventure, joy, reflection, and plenty of laughs.”
Nestled along Door County, Wisconsin’s scenic shores, Peninsula Players Theatre’s award-winning artistic company has enthralled generations of audiences in its 600-plus seat, all-weather pavilion. Since 1935, the theater has presented hundreds of world premières, pre-Broadway tryouts, classic dramas, comedies and musicals. The 2023 season opens with a world première and includes a classic comedy, a dance-driven musical, a loving and insightful memoir and closes with a madcap whodunit.
“A Rock Sails By” (June 13 through July 2). This world première by Sean Grennan is the fourth of Grennan’s plays to make its world première at Peninsula Players Theatre. His previous works “Making God Laugh,” “The Tin Woman” and “Now and Then” have all been audience favorites. “A Rock Sails By” was a part of the theater’s 2022 winter play reading series, The Play’s the Thing, and received a terrific audience response.
Dr. Lynn Cummings, an astrophysicist, is grappling with personal questions, trying to reconnect with her daughter and dealing with the loss of her husband. When an unidentified object is discovered heading toward Earth, a journalist tracks down Dr. Cummings for some perspective on the situation, and she is forced to re-examine what might actually be “out there.” “A Rock Sails by” is being produced in conjunction with the statewide World Premiere Wisconsin* festival.
“Blithe Spirit” (July 5 – July 23). Noël Coward’s witty and smart comedy has entertained audiences on Broadway, in London and around the world since its debut in 1941 and has been adapted to film many times. Novelist Charles Condomine invites a medium to perform a séance at his home. Charles, his new wife, and their guests are all quite skeptical, but things take a turn when Elvira, Charles’s first wife, is summoned. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira turns the household upside down, disrupting his life and new marriage. Peninsula Players Theatre first produced “Blithe Spirit” in 1947 and is looking forward to revisiting this “improbable farce.”
“Dames at Sea” (July 26 – August 13). Broadway’s dance-driven delight features book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller with music by Jim Wise. This tap-happy gem of a show celebrates the golden era of movie musicals with a heart as big as the ocean! Named Best Musical of the Year by both Time and Newsweek magazines, “Dames at Sea” features fresh-faced Ruby, who arrives in New York City in the early 1930s with nothing but a pair of tap shoes and a dream of performing on Broadway. The light-hearted musical comedy features six actors serving up rousing tap dancing, love at first sight, joyful music and a boatload of laughs.
“Trying” (August 16 – September 3). Joanna McClelland Glass’s award-winning memoir of two polar opposites trying to understand each other is based on the playwright’s emotionally charged time as Judge Francis Biddle’s personal secretary.
Biddle served as Attorney General for Franklin Roosevelt and as the chief American judge at the Nuremberg Trials. In 1968, the brilliant and refined Biddle meets his new secretary, the young and tenacious Sarah, fresh from the Canadian prairie. Through their time together, we see how strangers from diverse backgrounds at different points in their lives can grow to understand and even learn from one another. It is a lovely story of learning from those of different generations and of dealing with one’s own mortality. “Trying” received the Jeff Award for New Work.
“Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” (September 6 – October 15). Non-stop thrills and laughs are afoot when Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must crack the mystery of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” before a family curse dooms its newest heir. From the award-winning mastermind of mayhem, Ken Ludwig, comes a murderously funny adventure filled with a dizzying web of clues, disguises and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than 40 characters. Some of Ludwig’s other comedies that delighted Peninsula Players Theatre audiences are “Lend Me a Tenor,” “The Fox on the Fairway,” and “The Game’s Afoot.” The mysterious and hilarious “Baskerville” will be a wonderful way to end the season.
Additional information on the 2023 season, creative teams and casts will be announced in the weeks ahead. Season ticket information will be available in the new year, and individual and student ticket sales will begin on March 1. Group leaders may make reservations for 15 or more by phoning the Box Office on weekdays at (920) 868-3287. To order a Gift Certificate, learn curtain times, ticket prices and more, visit www.peninsulaplayers.com.