October 2 Players Pen


Colorful mums, crisp fresh air, hot apple cider, preshow bonfires and spectacular sunsets across the water. Fall season highlights at the Players. As I walk along the shoreline path and feel the leaves crunch under foot I am reminded why I love fall.

As the day-to-day production schedule winds down at the Players everyone in the company has the opportunity to enjoy this stunning environment. Several ventured onto the ferry to Washington Island or mounted bikes to explore the byways and parks the county has to offer.

As we gather in the lodge for dinner many recap their day. Some give an account on what projects they’ve accomplished around property or backstage. Others, if they had the afternoon off that day, share with us their adventures exploring.

This week the dinner chatter was about the Joseph Jefferson Award nominations that were announced in Chicago. And for the cast of “Miracle on South Division Street” it was a very exciting day because director Kristine Thatcher and costume designer Emily Waecker were both nominated for Jeff Awards.

The Joseph Jefferson Awards, or Jeff Awards, nominations are Chicago theater’s equivalent to Broadway’s Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards. The Jeff Awards were established in 1968. Many past and present steadfast Players have been honored by their peers with a nomination or award including, but not limited to Robert Thompson, William Munchow, James Maronek, Michael Tezla, Pamela Gay, Kärin Simonson Kopishcke, Greg Vinkler, Tom Mula and Peggy Roeder who plays Clara in “Miracle on South Division Street.”

Kristine portrayed Eliza Doolittle in the Players production of “Pygmalion” and Jo in the Players first production of “A Few Good Men” and was nominated for her solo performance in “Underneath the Lintel” at First Folio.

Emily was nominated for her costume design of “You Can Never Tell” at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company.

Also nominated for their performances are Callie Johnson (“Chicago,” “Saloon”) and Carmen Roman (“Lombardi,” “Murder on the Nile,” “Master Class”). Carmen was nominated for her principal role in “Collected Stories” at American Blues Theater. Callie was nominated for her cameo performance in “Pal Joey” at Porchlight Music Theatre.

Players 2013 designers and choreographers nominated include sound designers Nick Keenan (“Sunday in the Park with George”) for his sound design of “Everything is Illuminated” at Next Theatre Company, and costume designer Rachel Laritz (“Is He Dead?,” “The Game’s Afoot”) was nominated for Edward Albee’s “Seascape.”

Nominated in the choreographer category was Linda Fortunato (who directed “Once a Ponzi Time” and performed in “Sunday in the Park with George”) for “42nd Street” at Theatre at the Center.

Jack Magaw’s scenic design work was on the Players’ stage this season with “The Game’s Afoot,” “Saloon” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” Magaw was nominated for his design of “The Whipping Man” at Northlight Theatre.

Sarah E. Ross, property designer with the Players for many seasons and scenic designer for “Once a Ponzi Time,” was nominated for her scenic design of “Collected Stories” at American Blues Theater.

Players alumni who received nominations include actors Brad Armacost, Heidi Kettenring, Christine Sherrill and Larry Yando; choreographers Marc Robin, Tammy Mader and Amber Mak; directors William Brown and Michael Halberstam; scenic designer Brian Sidney Bembridge and sound designer Lindsay Jones.

“The Peninsula Players extends its congratulations to the 20 past and current company members on their accomplishments in Chicago,” said Greg Vinkler, Players Artistic Director. “Every season we try to bring the best talent there is to Door County audiences, and every season with the announcements of the ‘Jeffs’ I am pleased to see many of our company members being recognized just as that – the best.”

With a performance history of 78 years, Peninsula Players company members work and perform across the globe. In a coming article I’ll share with readers future projects of our company members.

Till then, join us in the Beer Garden around the preshow bonfire before a visit with the Nowak family, who take life’s road bumps in stride and with humor. Every family has a story, and the Nowaks have a doozy!

The Players new 7 p.m. curtain time accommodates earlier sunsets and they have been spectacular. For tickets or information visit www.peninsulaplayers.com or phone 920-868-3287. I’ll see you by the bay where the sun sets, the curtain rises and stars shine!