FISH CREEK, WIS.: The Peninsula Players Theatre, the oldest professional resident summer theatre in the United States, has announced its 2015 summer season, the theatre’s 80th, running June 16–Oct. 18. The season will include a new play by Paul Slade Smith, two comedic plays, a thriller and a drama.
First up is the world premiere of Smith’s A Real Lulu (June 16–July 5), in which Nervous Ned Newley has received a battlefield promotion during a political scandal, and his first day as the governor of Vermont is off to a disastrous start.
“We’ve done a whole bunch of readings of Paul’s play the past couple years and all can agree it’s a wonderfully funny comedy,” said Peninsula Players artistic director Greg Vinkler in a statement. Vinkler will sit in the governor’s chair during the production, as he plays Ned. Kristine Thatcher, who’s acted in past Players’ productions, will direct.
Frederick Knott’s popular mystery Dial M for Murder (July 8–July 26) is next. Set in 1950s London, the play follows a man convinced that his wife is having an affair, leading to intrigue, blackmail and betrayal. Joe Foust, who directed the Players’ production of Knott’s Wait Until Dark, will direct.
Ken Ludwig’s Tony-winning Lend Me a Tenor (July 29–Aug. 16) is next. When opera singer Tito Merelli passes out prior to his opening night performance, aspiring singer Max takes his place after he is pushed into costume by the opera manager.
Then comes the Wisconsin premiere of Outside Mullinger (Aug. 19–Sept. 6) by John Patrick Shanley. The show is the love story of next-door neighbors Anthony and Rosemary, caught in their families’ land dispute but destined for each other.
Closing out the season is Dan Goggin’s comedy Nunsense (Sept. 9–Oct. 18). Reverend Mother of the Little Sisters of Hoboken revisits her circus performer days after she and her fellow sisters take over the local eighth-grade production of Grease. Karen Sheridan, who has acted in the Players’ previous production of Nunsense, will return to direct.
The Peninsula Players has been performing for audiences since 1935. The theatre has presented hundreds of pre-Broadway tryouts, world premières, classic dramas, comedies and musicals over the past 80 years.