Shakespeare's "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" at American Players Theatre in 2017 (Photo by Liz Lauren).

American Players Theatre Announces 2019 Season

The theatre’s 40th season will include Shakespeare and several comedies, and will pair Ibsen’s ‘A Doll House’ with Lucas Hnath’s sequel.

SPRING GREEN, WISC.: American Players Theatre (APT) has announced its 40th summer season. The shows will run June 8-Oct. 9, 2019 at the company’s newly renovated outdoor ampitheatre, the Hill, and the indoor Touchstone Theatre.

“We are very excited about the way this season has come together,” said artistic director Brenda DeVita in a statement. “As we delve into plays that are considerably newer than anything we’ve done on the Hill, we will continue to examine this constant conversation we’re having about ‘what makes a classic?’ We’re just so thrilled to dive in, and look forward to the joys and growth they’ll bring to our company and our audience.”

The Hill season will begin with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The classic tale follows the love affairs of twins separated during a shipwreck, with La Shawn Banks as Feste, Kelsey Brennan as Viola, and David Daniel as Malvolio. John Langs will direct.

Next will be Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer. Directed by Laura Gordon, the comedy follows a father-daughter duo who plan a hoax in order to catch the attention of a wealthy suitor and eventually trick him into marrying her. The cast includes Sarah Day and Josh Krause.

Following will be another Shakespeare classic, Macbeth, in its first performance on the Hill in 15 years. The play, which features Melisa Pereyra as Lady Macbeth and Marcus Truschinski as Macbeth, follows a couple on a deadly quest for power. James DeVita will direct.

Next up is August Wilson’s Fences, directed by Ron OJ Parson. The play follows a garbage collector as he reflects on his life and regrets, like the dream of becoming a professional baseball player he could never realize due to the color of his skin. The cast will include Gavin Lawrence.

Following will be The Book of Will, a play by Lauren Gunderson about members of Shakespeare’s acting troupe who, after learning about a Hamlet rip-off, attempt to end the plagiarism by putting the Bard’s work on paper themselves. The comedy will feature Tracy Michelle Arnold, Sarah Day, James DeVita, Colleen Madden, Melisa Pereyra, and James Ridge.

The Touchstone Theatre season will open with George Bernard Shaw’s The Man of Destiny, which follows Napoleon Bonaparte’s discovery that important dispatches have been stolen, and his search for the thief. The cast will include James Ridge and Cassia Thompson.

Next will be Tennessee Williams’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, a play about Dorothea, a teacher who leaves her friend and roommate to find a more upscale apartment to entertain her beau and boss, the school principal. The performance will feature Tracy Michelle Arnold and Colleen Madden.

Concluding the summer season will be A Doll’s House, the first Henrik Ibsen play performed by APT in 20 years. In this 1879 social drama, which will feature Kelsey Brennan, a seemingly happy family eventually falls apart as blackmail and love triangles are revealed. Marti Lyons will direct.

The fall season in the Touchstone will feature Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, directed by Brenda DeVita. Set 15 years after Ibsen’s original story took place, we return to the broken home to witness the changes that have occurred in the household. The play will feature James DeVita, Sarah Day, Colleen Madden and Melisa Pereyra.

Founded in 1979, APT is a professional repertory theatre which features both indoor and outdoor performances at its 110-acre home above the Wisconsin River.