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Thursday, September 18, 2008


If you have ever been to the Peninsula Players Theater on the lake in Fish Creek, then you know what a spectacular facility and experience this is. The new thearer building is aawesome, and they are trying to close out their capital campaign. See below, and contribute, as we do, if you see fit! Thanks!


Contacts: Brian Kelsey – Managing Director
Alan Kopischke – Development Director


September 18, 2008 - Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Three years after announcing the capital campaign to restore and preserve a Door County tradition, Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre, appeals to the community to help close the campaign that enabled the theatre to construct a state-of-the-art stage house, audience pavilion, scene shop and concession stand.

“For 73 years Peninsula Players has been distinctive among summer theaters in the United States for the quality and diversity of its productions and its beautiful setting along the shores of Green Bay,” said Brian Kelsey, managing director. “Three years ago, the Players and many of its supporters invested in the future by funding the building of a beautiful and ecologically responsible new theater. In a day and age where summer theaters of this caliber have dwindled in numbers, the Players is one of few whose operating expenses are exclusively covered through ticket sales. To ensure that this tradition of financial stability continues, we ask the public to help us close our capital campaign.”

The goal of Curtain Call is to raise $1.5 million and bring the curtain down on the theater’s capital campaign. “Raising the final $1.5 million will allow us to focus on the future and enable the organization to continue the growth of community outreach and educational programming,” said Board President, Ted Laitner. “As we approach our 75th anniversary, we ask you, our community, to continue to support the oldest arts organization in Door County by making a contribution, no matter how large or small, to this initiative. This commitment will help secure the future of the Players and usher in great theatrical performances for the next 75 years.”

In 2005 Players audiences first saw the new concession stand, built as an example of the architectural style upon which the new theatre would be based. The new scene shop quickly followed, which thrilled the Players, who for the first time in 70 years could build scenery indoors in case of inclement weather. At the close of the 2005 season, the old theater was demolished and construction began, continuing through the winter so that in June 2006 the Players could open the season in their new home.

“The construction of these new structures has not only improved our patron’s experience but also enhanced our artistic flexibility and the overall quality of our shows,” stated Artistic Director Greg Vinkler. “While the old stage magic of theater often effectively hides what goes on behind the scenes, it became impossible for us to ignore the fact that the old stage house was the original one built more than 70 years ago. Time has revolutionized the industry and we were unable to keep up with these advances. The new facilities now allow us to produce more challenging productions and provide audiences with a similar, yet more comfortable and rewarding experience.”

The Players’ new stage house incorporates a flexible proscenium, orchestra pit, costume storage and a 55-foot high flytower which enables the Players to enhance artistic productions with such capabilities as “flying in” scenery and backdrops. For audience comfort new padded seats and in-floor radiant heat were added as was an assisted listening device system. For ease of accessibility for patrons with wheelchairs, a private restroom for their use is in the pavilion. A green roof overhead was installed to ease the run-off of rain, dampen its sound echoing on the roof and serve as a natural insulation in both summer and autumn. The new pavilion, which used Wisconsin contractors and suppliers, was selected as one of 12 finalists in an international Solid Steel Design competition for its unique design and construction.

“Whether you have already supported the Peninsula Players capital campaign or are new to this initiative, we welcome you to take your bow before we bring the down the curtain,” said Alan Kopischke, development director. “Once the theater was completed, many original donors were so delighted by the results of the project that they stood back up and donated to the campaign a second time. Additionally, every member of our board has made a new contribution this year and we look forward to many of you following their lead and helping secure the Players future.”

To make a contribution to Curtain Call or to receive more information about the Peninsula Players Theatre, please contact Alan at (920) 868-3287 or via email at

Since 1935, when the Peninsula Players’ founders first staged a production of “Hay Fever” behind the former Bonnie Brook Cottage/Motel in Fish Creek, the theater has been committed to developing the arts and artists in Door County. Over the years, Peninsula Players has mounted more than 500 productions at the Theatre in a Garden, have trained hundreds of young theater professionals and has attracted over a million patrons. Peninsula Players’ open-air, garden-like setting is located three miles from Fish Creek and one-half mile west of State 42.

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