July 6, 2006
We did it! We have moved into our new home.
In May and early June many patrons would drive down, take a look at the machinery, the construction workers and the “Hard Hat Area” signs and comment, “You are opening when?”
This past week we have answered proudly – we already have! The roof is on, the seats are in, the lights work and the cast of “Master Class” have been receiving standing ovations nightly. If you love great works of theater, we hope you attend this performance.
Recently a one night revival of “Master Class” for the benefit of the Metropolitan Opera Guild was held and the New York Times interviewed the playwright, Terrence McNally. McNally said he attended a few of the classes held by Maria Callas and that he pulled most of his “diva attitude” from another teacher, Leontyne Price.
If one reviews the transcriptions of her class with McNally’s script, some borrowing was done verbatim, particularly her speech to students: “The only thing I ask is that you sing properly and honestly. If you do this, I will feel repaid.”
Participants in our backstage tours and post show discussion continue to ask questions about our new home. ‘What has changed?’ ‘What has stayed the same?’ ‘Are the bats still there?’
Are the seats more comfortable? Yes. Is the theater still outdoors? Yes, we are still an all-weather pavilion with open sides that can be closed in inclement weather. So we do perform rain or shine. In the fall the radiant floor heating will be turned on. Until then one may bring a blanket along if there is a nip in the air.
The bats are still around and making themselves right at home in the new space. We still have a stone staircase that leads through the garden and brings you to the entrance of the theater.
We are still adjusting to our new home and experience new things every day, such as learning how many things we can plug into the outlets before we trip a breaker. I want to thank our patrons for their understanding and patience as we adjust to our new surroundings this year and learn, so to speak, where all the floor boards creak.
What is new around campus? We no longer have the canvas-backed directors’ chairs and gone is the gravel floor. We still have friendly ushers and ticket takers to help you, and the beer garden is still here to relax in and enjoy the view of Green Bay while sipping a beverage from the Luna Bar.
Also new on campus this week is the acting company for “Noises Off,” our upcoming comedy.
“Noises Off” is a term used in England to refer to “quiet backstage!” Our acting company will get to play – what else – but actors! Rehearsals are going well and some times I think the cast is having too much fun, but that is what happens when you get Tom Mula, Tim Monsion, Barbara Robertson, Kevin McKillip, Peggy Roeder, Maggie Carney, Marc Pera, William J. Norris, Linda Parsons and director Joe Foust all together in one room – madcap chaos!
“Master Class” is on stage through July 9 and “Noises Off” will open July 12. You are welcome to see the changes for yourself. For tickets visit our website at www.peninsulaplayers.com or phone the box office at 920-868-3287. Perhaps I’ll see you by the bay, where the sun sets, the curtain rises and the stars shine!
Audra Baakari Boyle is the Players Business Manager and has been with the company for an eventful 12 seasons.