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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Peninsula Players: "Over the Tavern" Opens July 7th!

July 1, 2010 920 868 3287
Dudzick’s Comedy “Over the Tavern”
Up Next on Peninsula Players stage

Fish Creek, Wisconsin – Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, presents Tom Dudzick’s delightful comedy “Over the Tavern” from July 7 through July 25. Even the Cleavers would be at a loss to give advice when wise-cracking Rudy starts to question ruler-cracking Sister Clarissa. “Over the Tavern” is a rollicking comedy filled with warm humor, nostalgia and coming-of-age mischief. Dudzick’s hit comedy “Greetings!” was produced by Peninsula Players in 2008.

“Over the Tavern” is set in 1959. Eisenhower is president; Ed Sullivan rules Sunday night; the superpowers are in a Space Race, and the Pazinski family is trying to raise four teenagers over a tavern in Buffalo, New York.

Life in their cramped apartment is no walk in the park as parents navigate sibling rivalries, school girl crushes and sugary cereal while the kids wonder why their parents are so strict and not like those they see on “Father Knows Best.”

Everything hits the fan when the youngest, Rudy, is more interested in developing his Ed Sullivan impression than studying his Catechism. Sister Clarissa visits the home when Rudy pronounces he is shopping around for a more fun religion.

“I have wanted to bring this comedy to Door County for years,” said Greg Vinkler, the Players Artistic Director. “Finally this season it fit the bill, and I was able to find some really talented actors to play the children. It’s a show that any family can identify with because it looks at all of the various relations within a family, mother, daughter, sister, brother, etc., and does it in a loving and caring way. On top of that, it’s very funny – it really makes me laugh out loud!

“Having gone to a Catholic school myself and been taught by a very strict nun, the play does hit home for me, but you don’t have to have been raised Catholic to understand Sister Clarissa in the show. She’s the scary teaching figure probably everyone who has been a student has experienced at one time or another. It’s a great night of theater.”

“Over the Tavern” is under the direction of Kristine Thatcher who last appeared on the Players’ stage as Eliza in “Pygmalion” and LCDR JoAnne Galloway in “A Few Good Men.” She wrote the Door County-themed play “Apparitions” that the Players commissioned for its 1995 season. Thatcher has directed several plays for BoarsHead Theater in Lansing, Michigan where she was artistic director from 2005 – 2009 and is founding director of Stormfield Theater.

Returning to the Players stage are Neil Friedman and Karen Janes Woditsch as the parents coping with four teenagers and Peggy Roeder as Sister Clarissa. Friedman was in past Players’ productions of “Born Yesterday,” “Greetings!,” “Into the Woods” and “Unnecessary Farce.” Woditsch was last seen at the Players in “Sherlock Holmes: the Final Adventure” and Roeder in “Cabaret.”

These actors have extensive credits in Chicago theaters such as Writer’s Theater, Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman and Steppenwolf. Roeder’s additional credits include film credits in “Road to Perdition,” “Stranger than Fiction” and “Groundhog Day.” Friedman recently performed at the Utah Shakespearean Festival and Woditsch in Writer’s Theater’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”

Making their Players debut are the actors playing the four teenagers. Zachary Keller is the 12-year-old wisenheimer Rudy. Keller’s stage credits include “Ragtime” and “A Christmas Carol” with Drury Lane Oakbrook, City Lit Theater’s “Macbeth” and a Munchkin in the national tour of “The Wizard of Oz” at The Chicago Theatre. Andrew Keltz plays the eldest brother Eddie. Keltz’s recent credits include “The Snow Queen” and “Jacob and Jack” at Victory Gardens.

Jessie Mueller is cast as Annie, the only sister in the family. Her recent credits include “Animal Crackers” and “A Christmas Carol” with Goodman Theater and Drury Lane Oakbrook’s regional premier of “Curtains.” Isaiah Spetz, a student in Door County, is cast as Georgie, the middle brother who is mentally challenged. Spetz played the Candlestick in “Beauty and the Beast” and Philippe the Chef in “Little Mermaid” with the Door County Music and Art School.

The design team for “Over the Tavern” includes scenic designer Tom Burch, costumes by Samantha Jones, props by Sarah Ross, lighting by Stephen Roy White and sound by Cecil Averett, all seasoned Players veterans.

“Over the Tavern” will be on stage July 7 through July 25. Curtain times are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m., except the closing performance July 25 at 4 p.m. Group and individual tickets are available. Individual ticket prices range from $29 to $36; there are no performances on Mondays.

The Saturday, July 24 performance is the 75th Timeless Theatrical Treasure celebration of Peninsula Players birthday with a picnic dinner served on the theater grounds before the show. Tickets for July 24 are $51, $48 and $44. For more information or to reserve tickets phone the Peninsula Players’ box office at 920-868-3287 or visit the website at

Peninsula Players is America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and 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 75 years, the theater has become a Door County landmark and its cornerstone arts institution, attracting audience members from throughout Wisconsin and across the country. For more information, please visit

Peninsula Players Theatre
2010 Playbill – 920-868-3287
Over the Tavern a delightful comedy by Tom Dudzick (July 7 - July 25)

A Little Night Music Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Tony Award–winning masterpiece (July 28 – August 15)

Comic Potential by Alan Ayckbourn named by Time Magazine as "one of the 10 best plays of the past decade." (Aug. 18 – Sept. 5)

Panic by Joseph Goodrich, 2008 Winner of Mystery Writer’s of America Edgar Award for Best Play (Sept. 8 – Oct. 17)

Curtain Times:
July 7 – Sept. 4, Tuesday - Saturday 8 p.m; Sunday 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 –October 16, Tuesday - Saturday 8 p.m.; Sunday 7 p.m.
EXECEPT SUNDAYS July 25, August 15, Sept. 5, Sept. 26, and Oct. 17 at 4 p.m.
Ticket prices: Rows 1-10 $36, Rows 11-14 $33 and Rows 15-18 $29, Group rates available

Mission Statement
Peninsula Players Theatre is committed to preserving America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre in its unique setting on 16 forested acres along the shores of Green Bay. The theatre’s mission is to support, without reservation, the most exciting theatre company possible; to preserve the Theatre in a Garden’s natural beauty; to provide artists the freedom, tools, and facilities they require to entertain, uplift, and inform our audiences; to foster future generations of theatre professionals through the internship program; and to maintain fiscal policies that insure the future security of the theatre.

  • America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre, established in 1935 by Caroline and Richard Fisher, a brother and sister team who envisioned an artistic utopia in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
  • Actors are members of Actors’ Equity, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
  • Peninsula Players is a non-profit theater with 501(c)3 status.
  • Voted Favorite Door County Theatre by the readers of Door County Magazine

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