The past few weeks the Players campus has been full of hustle and bustle in preparation of the opening night of our 78th season. Having so many people back on campus is a refreshing change of pace. Things are quiet in the spring with just a few of us manning the phones working alongside groundskeeper/gardener Bob Kayser. When the actors, designers, crew and interns arrive we know we are back into the swing of things.
We extend our gratitude to those who helped make the opening of the season possible. From our Broom Squad volunteers who helped to spruce up the dorms and grounds to our volunteer ushers who help each night and to our playbill advertisers, sponsors, supporters, donors and many, many friends. Thank you.
Adventure, history, cowboys, painters, financial wizards, actors, mothers, sons; the forthcoming season features slices of life. Audiences will visit the American Old West of the 1870s, a contemporary home laced with Ponzi schemes; the art studio of a famous artist in Paris, France in the 1880s, the Connecticut castle of a famous actor in the 1930s and finally a family’s kitchen in contemporary Buffalo, New York.
“Saloon,” “Once a Ponzi Time,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “The Game’s Afoot” and “Miracle on South Division Street” offer laughs, drama, music, romance, mystery, intrigue and lighthearted moments to tickle the funny bone. We hope one or more strikes your fancy.
“Saloon” by Terry Twyman opens the season and takes audiences to the Old West. Long before the development of refrigeration cattle had to be “driven” to railheads to be shipped to the processing plants in the east.
“Saloon” follows seasoned cattlemen on a cattle drive and the dilemma they face when they try to sell the herd in the tiny railhead. Actors Sean Fortunato, Neil Friedman, Greg Vinkler, Joe Foust and Harter Clingman had fun in costume fittings of buckskin chaps, Stetson hats, bandanas, holsters and boots. Callie Johnson’s wardrobe includes corsets and petticoats.
Director Tom Mula’s vision is for a realistic-look for these characters. Costume designer Pamela J. Rehberg researched the time period and presented renderings to Mula, and they agreed on the look and feel of the show including color choices. Should they be bright? Or mute? Then Pam and her staff worked with the actors in fittings.
Costume shop manager Kyle Pingel ventured down to the shore to beat some of the newer clothing and boots onto rocks to weather and distress them. These cowboys have been on the trail for weeks in the same clothes so the cowboys shouldn’t look as if they’ve just stepped out of the general store for a night on the town. Kyle and production intern Kyla Kinnamon used sandpaper, cheese grater, spray paint, dye baths and other means to make new clothing look aged, worn and scuffed.
So catch the stage coach and mosey on down Peninsula Players Road to the Luna Bar and Beer Garden before settling in for a night featuring some often raucous cowboys who are itching to get off the trail. To learn more about our season line-up visit our new website at www.peninsulaplayers.com or call the Box Office at 920-868-3287. I look forward to seeing you by the bay, where the sun sets, the curtain rises and the stars shine.