Behind the Curtain of a Door County Summer Theater

It began as a tiny stage behind the Bonnie Brook Motel in Fish Creek, a production called Peninsula Players. Today Door County is known as a haven for the arts, whether on stage, on canvas, on paper, but in 1935 such a reputation would have seemed absurd.

In our latest edition of Our Door County, the monthly web video series produced for the Door County Visitor Bureau, we look behind the curtain at Peninsula Players and the lives of those who call it home every summer.

Each summer they funnel back to the shoreline stage from across the country, drawn not just by the theater, but an atmosphere that has come to be known as a “summer camp for actors.” It’s a theater where actors and crew live in cabins on the grounds, and eat at the call of a dinner bell, together.

For visitors, it’s a step away from the rest of the world to a place where “mother nature is your lobby.” Found at the end of the road, nestled into the cedars on the shoreline, attendees wander paths and skip stones before the show.

As one Players veteran says in the video, the Players is “an escape, a fantasy land.”

But what sets Peninsula Players apart is more than the caliber of the plays, the beauty of the theater, and the sunset pre-show. It’s a connection best summed up by another of the theater’s vets.