Fish Creek, Wis. (June 17, 2022) – Peninsula Players Theatre is thrilled to announce the public launch of its capital campaign, Act II: Protecting the Past, Ensuring the Future. Through the Act II Housing Campaign, the theater plans to raise $3.5 million to build two new dormitories which will replace the aged, insufficient structures in which members of the company currently reside.
“Our current housing is directly threatening our ability to operate,” said Peggy Reineck-Simpson, board member and chair of the housing campaign committee. “Peninsula Players Theatre has been a catalyst for inspiring the creation of many cultural institutions in Door County who together have created a significant economic impact of more than $24.7M per year by attracting much-needed visitors each season. It has been more than 17 years since we’ve launched a campaign because we operate with great fiscal prudence and have worked hard to rely heavily on ticket sales versus donations. The purpose of this campaign is not to expand our mission, it is to provide adequate housing with indoor plumbing so we can attract and retain staff and interns.”
Peninsula Players Theatre was honored to receive a $500,000 lead gift from The Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Foundation to kick off this critical campaign.
“The Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Foundation is proud to support the construction of the new housing project for staff and interns at Peninsula Players Theatre,” stated a Foundation representative. “In the 1950s, Pat and Bea Haggerty established a family retreat, a ‘happy place’ enjoyed by their entire family ever since. Children through great-great-grandchildren continue their love and support for the Door County community, of which Peninsula Players Theatre remains a mainstay.”
The Haggertys’ desire for “a happy place” and creating deep familial roots also speaks true to the entire Peninsula Players Theatre company since its founding in 1935 by sister and brother duo, Caroline and Richard Fisher.
“When Caroline and Richard Fisher built the theater, they did everything they could within their power to provide a wonderful living experience for those who worked here,” said Managing Director Brian Kelsey. “We need to be good stewards and build for the future and provide future generations the housing that they guaranteed to the individuals who started when they began on this property in 1937.”
Many of these structures date back to when Camp Wildwood inhabited the property before the theater’s residence in 1937. The dormitories will also replace the mobile outdoor shower trailer, which currently acts as the main bathroom facility for a portion of the company. Modern amenities, such as indoor plumbing and climate control, will help attract the essential young professionals, artists and tradespeople to the theater and retain those talented individuals.
“Pat and Bea believed the arts were a key ingredient for a full life and a healthy society,” said the Foundation. “Arts education makes students and young people stronger, more well-rounded members of our communities, while learning to be the creators of tomorrow. We applaud the hard-working interns, dedicated staff, talented production and artistic personnel.”
“Community is what I love about Door County,” said Reineck-Simpson. “My hope is that our neighbors and friends will join our efforts of protecting Peninsula Players Theatre’s legacy with their support so that we can enjoy the theater for many years to come.”
The theater has contracted with The Boldt Company and will break ground in September 2022. To learn more about the theater’s Act II Housing Campaign and support this vital project, please visit www.peninsulaplayers.com or contact Development Director Danielle Szmanda at (920) 868-3287.
Peninsula Players Theatre is America’s oldest professional resident summer theater. It is unique in the country for its diverse productions, continuing loyalty to a resident company, and its beautiful setting of 16 wooded acres along the cedar-lined shores of Green Bay. In the past 87 years, the theater has become a Door County landmark and its cornerstone arts institution, attracting audience members from throughout Wisconsin and across the country. To learn more about Peninsula Players Theatre, visit www.peninsulaplayers.com.