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Your Northern Sky News • SPRING 2018

The Jungle, the Farm, the Woods, and the Lake Jeffrey Herbst, Artistic Director

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f I were to tell you that the title of this article is a clue about where all four of our season’s offerings are set and that they are set in the same geographic area, you’d probably not guess the setting to be Wisconsin. The outlier, no doubt, would be the jungle. But, in fact, our two world premieres this summer are set in Wisconsin, as are the two remounts. Our world premieres feature some new writers and teams for us, yet again, and our remounts are from the two most prolific writing teams in the Northern Sky stable.

The Jungle: A hobo encampment found during the Great Depression, alongside the railroad, often on private property. Boxcar, with book and lyrics by Laurie Flanigan Hegge and music by James Valcq, is set in the 1930s in Whitehall, Wisconsin. Boxcar tells the story of a young boy named Charlie who befriends two hobos camped out on the edge of his family’s property. As this tender story unfolds and soars, Boxcar explores the hardships of the era while celebrating the ultimate triumph that comes from one human being coming to the aid of another in tough times. Laurie, who co-wrote Loose Lips Sink Ships and See Jane Vote, and James, who composed Spitfire Grill, Victory Farm, and The Passage, are collaborating for the first time. Laurie and her husband, Jon Hegge, who is directing and choreographing Boxcar, owned the family


The Jungle, the Farm, the Woods, and the Lake, continued from the front page homestead house in Whitehall where, during the Great Depression, a rail line ran right next to the back yard. Hobos would hop off the train and set up camp, which they called the jungle, hoping they would pick a spot with hospitable owners. Like Fred Alley’s use of specific lumber camp vernacular in Lumberjack in Love, Laurie has peppered her story with the colorful language of the characters that made up an often misunderstood element of the Great Depression: hobos, tramps, bums. Through humor and pathos, we come to understand both the family and the hobos and what it means to have and have not. The family of mother, father, son and daughter will be played by Molly Rhode, Doug Mancheski, Ben Martin, and Nadja Simmonds, respectively. Ben, who is nine years old, is a local boy making his Northern Sky debut this summer. Nadja is graduating from Marquette and will also intern for us. The two hobos, Mac and Fred, will be played by newcomer Doug Clemons and me. Doug was seen last season at TAP in Candide. Rounding out the cast is Alex Campea, returning for his fourth season, who will play the role of the stationmaster, Gordon. Sets, costumes, lighting, props, and sound will be by Lisa Schlenker, Karen Brown-Larimore, Dave Alley, Neen Rock, and Nic Trapani, respectively. Tim Lenihan, with an assist from Alissa Rhode, will be back as musical director, joined by returnee Bruce Newbern and newcomer Dennis Johnson in the pit. Jason Hansen will supply the orchestrations. Our four other interns this summer are: Maggie Godfrey, who is also doing a Northern Sky coloring book for us; Elizabeth Henry, a Gibraltar grad who worked for us last summer and is now studying at Carthage College; Libby Carr, who has been coming to see us since she was a little girl and is now studying at University of Texas; and James Balistreri, who is currently at Ripon College. They will be supervised by stage managers Shawn Galligan and Lisa Mion, all masterfully under the guidance of Neen Rock.

The Farm: A small, family-owned, Wisconsin dairy farm in Door County. Dairy Heirs, with book by Eva Nimmer & Joel Kopischke, music by Alissa Rhode, and lyrics & story by Joel Kopischke, is a modern-day “moosical.” A sister and brother wrestle over the future of the family farm–a decision that affects the fate of neighbors, new loves, ex-loves, two quirky farmhands, and one extraordinary cow. Joel came to me with this idea a number of years ago, initially as a real homage to our quirky Northern Sky style, where characters play instruments, cut up and tell shaggy dog stories. Since then, the charm has remained and the element of siblings trying to figure out issues of inheritance of a small family business has deepened. Eva came on as a collaborator after the initial reading of the piece, and she and Joel have worked at blending their styles to fortify all aspects of the story. Eva and Doug Clemons will play the brother and sister, Gabe and Elsie. Chase Stoeger and Alex Campea (definitely not twins) will be playing the two identical twin farmhands. You’ll have to see the show to understand that one! Molly Rhode will play the neighbor, and newcomer Lachrisa Grandberry will play the snappy Hollywood 2


The Jungle, the Farm, the Woods, and the Lake, continued from page 2 agent, Rita. Because Molly is in the show, she will have Kelly Doherty as a co-director. With this, Kelly will have worn at least five different hats at Northern Sky. Lisa and Karen will do sets and costumes. Bryce Foster, after being our light tech and electrician for a couple of years, will make his debut as a lighting designer. Nic and Neen will do sound and props. Stewart Dawson, as always, will put things together for us as our head, and sole, carpenter.

The Woods: Hayward lumber camp in the 1890s. Lumberjacks in Love, with book and lyrics by Fred Alley and music by James Kaplan, makes a return, but with a twist. Our most beloved show, by our most popular writing team, will play one night a week, but this time around the audience is invited to sing along and dress up inspired by the show. We’re expecting hordes of Dirty Bobs, Blue Soaps, Annabelle Bravehearts, and lumberjacks of every shade and imagination–just not naked, please. Molly, Doug, Chase, Doc, Eva, and I will again inhabit our six intrepid north woods characters. We think this is a perfect way to celebrate the popularity and longevity of this Northern Sky gem. The Lake: Lake Michigan and Green Bay, home to dueling fishing guides. Muskie Love, with music by Paul Libman and book and lyrics by Dave Hudson, is indoors for the first time. And that means DNR Doug will be on the prowl. This delightful retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing was the first musical penned by Dave Hudson and Paul Libman, now our most prolific writing team. We presented the world premiere in 2004. Jim Maronek’s delightful set will be Ben, Bea, Roy, Sara, Claude and DNR Doug’s playground. The cast will include the two Dougs (Mancheski and Clemons), Molly, Chase, and me. The role of Sara has not been cast yet. Pam Kriger returns as director. With good-humored digs at our “Illinipution” neighbors to the south, Muskie Love remains a fan favorite. We are also proud that our run of Muskie Love will be part of Door County’s Celebrate Water initiative. Celebrate Water is a year-long series of activities to celebrate Door County’s water, understand the threats to our water, and inspire people to act and protect our water. Muskie Love is just one of a great line-up of events all focused on preserving and celebrating our greatest resource, water.

Wisconsin: land of myriad wonders and inspiration for the four settings of our Northern Sky 2018 season. We hope you’ll enjoy all four locations under the stars, beneath the northern sky in Peninsula State Park and the Door Community Auditorium. We look forward to seeing you under the Northern Sky. 3


We’re Almost Home! Dave Maier, Managing Director

At the time of the writing of this article, you’ll have to picture me staring out at the remains of Northeast Wisconsin’s recent snowstorm of the century. Tunnels of piled snow surround the entrances to our office as we huddle at our desks planning all the logistical and company details required to ready us for the upcoming season. It’s hard to imagine that we are just four weeks away from the arrival of more than 30 brilliant artists from all over the country. Despite our little spring setback, I can’t help but reflect on how much we have to be grateful for. We have a wonderful 2018 season already showing great demand, and your generosity made our 2017 end-of-year fundraising campaign a huge success. Perhaps most momentous, we hit all of our Constellation Campaign benchmark goals over the winter! Because of YOUR investment in our future, we are now poised to begin work on our campus this spring, and plan to celebrate the opening of our brand new Creative Center theater with a premiere show for the 2019 fall season. The off-season wasn’t without a few hiccups. Winter Storm Evelyn was indeed epic – a Naked-Radio-“Road Closings”-onefor-the-ages blizzard that put a crimp in our building timetable. The ongoing construction bidding process has demanded our patience – no surprise there, the building market is red hot around the entire country now. We’re undaunted. Based on the phenomenal success of the campaign to date, the company will move forth in good faith with a spring 2018 ground-breaking. We have a beautiful design plan, the approvals we need, an excellent construction team, the bulk of the funding in place, and the steadfast leadership and support of a visionary Board of Directors. We can’t wait to get started, but we also

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know that many challenges remain ahead. Have you seen magicians Penn & Teller reveal the secret behind a trick and then amaze you all over again with the same trick even though you now know how it’s done? That’s kind of what we’re about to do over the coming year. There’s an old adage in fundraising campaigns that once you start digging, donations start to thin. We can’t let that happen. So, while we need to celebrate the amazing success the campaign has achieved so far and celebrate the work underway, we also need you to know, urgently, there is still a lot of money yet to raise. We need your help to get over the finish line. Our campaign Big Finale message is going to focus on realizing our original campaign vision and “master plan” for the park amphitheater. We’re now in the process of finalizing park improvement design plans, getting estimates and bids for the construction work and working through the DNR capital improvement approval process. In fact, we just received the completed design plans for the new park sound system, a project we plan to complete before the 2018 summer season - Ta Da! Peninsula State Park will continue to be our performance home for the summer seasons. Where else can a person get what we can only describe as the “Northern Sky Experience” – that extraordinary blend of relaxed and festive fellowship celebrating sublime, honest human joy and purpose in such a magnificent, natural cathedral? By the time you read these lines, the snow will have melted, we’ll have written the last few lines of our two new musicals, and our company members will be hard at work preparing our season so that you can add to your memories of music and laughter beneath the Northern Sky. We are at a pivotal chapter in our development. Please help us ensure that we can continue to create these memories for years to come.


“Northern Sky is Just Too Amazing…” Doc Heide, Co-founder of Northern Sky, Playwright, Artistic Advisor

Last year in this column, I announced I’d be retiring this spring from my day job teaching doctoral students at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. However, for a variety of reasons, I now plan to stay on there for at least one more academic year. A few people–including some in the media–thought I also planned to retire from performing at Northern Sky Theater. So allow me to clarify that such rumors–like those of Mark Twain’s passing–are greatly exaggerated. I plan to be here forever, or at least as long as I can warble and dance in lumberjack boots while playing a banjo. Northern Sky is just too amazing to leave. Indeed, it’s the pride of my life to have helped give it birth. If there’s a Day of Judgment and I need to marshal a case to enter those Pearly Gates, I plan to say, “Well, I do have a few stains on my record, but did you hear about Belgians in Heaven?” Hopefully that’ll do the trick. I’ve been performing in the Peninsula State Park Amphitheater a long time–45 years this summer. When I first got here, the Dead Sea was only sick. My memory is not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory is not as sharp as it used to be. But I do remember how things were in the early days, back when we were called the Heritage Ensemble and sang folk songs before book musicals became our signature offering. We had no reserved seats or cushions–you sat on a bench that looked like it had been carved from a log with a

crosscut saw. Instead of lighting technicians, we just hit a footswitch onstage that turned the lights on and off. We didn’t have a whole air-conditioned building in which to change costumes–we stuffed ‘em in the trunk of my Ford Pinto and squatted behind the car to put them on. Actors stayed in cabins that were slightly nicer than prairie sod houses. Ensemble veteran Deb Fett had mushrooms growing in her shower. One summer she had to share the tiny place with two girls named Paige–she called them Page One and Page Two. Tim McNurlen, another Ensemble member, had to wait until nighttime for his shower to heat up because in the morning it was 35 degrees. Finances were simpler back then. Ensemble veteran Gerald Pelrine recalls that he was paid $650 for the season. That was good money, considering that we were only charging $1.50 for admission. I kept the cash from concessions stuffed in a wad under my mattress and deposited it at the end of August. I’m not thrilled to be aging. I agree with Will Rogers, who said we could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. On the other hand, I am thrilled to have worked at a place whose ceiling is the boundless sky, whose cast is kind-hearted friends, and whose fans come nightly by the hundreds to a show they’ve never heard of, trusting us to make it delightful. Who’d wanna retire from that?

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Hop a Train! Laurie Flanigan Hegge, Playwright, Boxcar

a child, and he made no apologies for it. His childhood home abutted train tracks in South Beloit. As the train went by, it was his job to run alongside the tracks, picking up coal that fell out of the train’s coal bin to heat his house. He gave us the romantic impression that the train’s fireman made sure some coal fell off as it went by, tipping his hat to the little boy who ran alongside the train. James’s father Jack had an extraordinary experience as a child in Menominee, Michigan, one that inspired our character, Charlie. He loved to watch the Chicago and North Western trains pass, and one day threw a stick at some hobos who were riding the rails in an open boxcar, intending to scare them off. In return, one of the men threw something back—a piece of folk art whittled out of wood, which left quite an impression on him and changed his mind about who these Jack Valcq “bad men” were. This story tugged at us and became the genesis of our project. As we dug in, even more personal threads worked their way into our story. For many years, my husband Jon lovingly restored the family homestead in Whitehall, Wisconsin, a property that abutted train tracks that was home to a hobo camp, or “hobo jungle” as it was affectionately known, frequently visited by his Uncle Vern and his best friend Gale, who seventy-five years later regaled me

What a joy it is to return to Northern Sky this summer with Boxcar, a collaboration with James Valcq, composer of the beloved Northern Sky musical Victory Farm. Set in the Great Depression, Boxcar tells the story of a young boy who befriends two hobos camping in a hobo jungle behind his house. The Depression was a challenging time for our nation. Fortunes were lost, unemployment raged, homes foreclosed on, and banks closed—especially here in the Midwest, the epicenter of the bank closure crisis. As this was happening, our nation was deeply insecure about both its present and its future. There was no crystal ball that could reassure the public that prosperity would return to the United States, as it did during WWII. But even in this time of great economic anxiety and hardship, people still helped each other, and Millie & Sig Hegge kindness prevailed. This play is set in 1931, the year my parents were born. Like many “depression babies,” my father had a hard time throwing anything away. We loved to tease him about his collection of used nails, carefully categorized and stored in his garage, but he took it in stride. We may not have understood the need for such thrift, but he had lived it as 6

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Hop a Train!, continued from page 2 own voice. That conversation planted the seed for Loose Lips Sink Ships, my first writing project with the wonderful collaborators Jacinda Duffin and James Kaplan. Like Boxcar, Loose Lips sprang from a story passed down from my own grandfather in WWII. As a writer, I never take for granted the ways in which personal inspirations offer a kernel of truth on which to hang my own hopes and aspirations. It’s my hope that even now, in what feels for many of us a time of great insecurity, we can collectively find ways to turn to each other in kindness and understanding, that we find more in common with each other than differences, and that Boxcar might bring some wonder, joy, and curiosity to you and your family the way it has for James and for me. And, oh! Just wait until you hear James’s glorious score. It’s going to make you want to hop a train.

with stories of their boyhood visits to the jungle. Jon’s grandmother had a large fenced garden in her yard, marked by the hobos who came through with the sign of a cat, a hobo symbol meaning “kind lady lives here.” His grandfather owned the local bank, which struggled during the Depression. The family in our story, while fictional, is born out of these people from our past, and Boxcar’s jungle is set in a very real place where my own daughter spent many days playing while her dad worked on the house up the hill. I became a writer because of Northern Sky Theater. Walking down the path on the way to a performance one day, I begged Fred Alley to write a woman’s show for what was then AFT. He turned to me and said, “Why don’t you write it?” With those five words, Fred gifted me with the permission I didn’t even know I needed to start writing for a company that in turn gave me the opportunity to discover my

On Time!!!

Limited sponsorship opportunity for Lumberjacks in Love Lumberjacks in Love will make a one-showa-week appearance this summer, but this time Northern Sky plans to hand out lyrics, encourage fans to dress as their favorite lumberjack or Jill, and feature a pre-show costume contest. To celebrate this new take on an old favorite, the company is offering sponsorships on a first come, per-show basis. Sponsorship of a Lumberjacks performance is $750. Sponsor perks include six reserved seats, a photo on stage with the cast and a backstage tour prior to the show. Sponsors will also hear their business or family name featured somewhere in the show.

Holly Feldman at 920-854-6117 ext. 105 or email holly@northernskytheater.com.

Creative Kids Day 7

Friday, July 13 Visit our web site for more info.


Even for the Lactose-intolerant Joel Kopischke, Playwright, Dairy Heirs

Northern Sky Theater has always been almost home for me. In the 1980s I turned down a summer job with Heritage Ensemble. Soon after, friends I knew from Milwaukee (Jeff Herbst, Suzanne Graff, James Valcq) were performing with AFT. Later, I got to know Doc and Fred and many others as I watched over 20 original musicals come to life on the Northern Sky stage. And in 2001, I was humbled and honored to perform in the concert performance of The Spitfire Grill. That summer I experienced something that had never happened before: an idea for a show came to me. I imagined a family farm where the father has passed away, leaving a brother and sister to sort things out; I also imagined them gathered on a porch with friends singing songs and telling jokes. I shared this idea with Jeff and he encouraged me to write it. I had never written a show before and I didn’t get very far before stuffing it in a drawer. Then in 2009, while workshopping Life on the Mississippi, I dug out my story, now entitled Dairy Heirs, and two happy surprises followed: I still liked it, and Alissa Rhode said yes to writing music for it. The next year, Alissa and I premiered a couple songs from Dairy Heirs in a cabaret show, and in 2011 we held our first readthrough in Door County. But I quickly found myself stuck, and Dairy Heirs went back in a drawer for a handful of years. In 2015, Doug Jarecki helped me move the show forward again, and later that fall, we held a concert reading of the show at Door Community Auditorium. We received feedback, did more rewrites, and…I got stuck again.

Dairy Heirs workshop

In June 2016, Molly Rhode told me that Eva Nimmer, an actor from our 2015 reading, liked Dairy Heirs a lot and always had great ideas when developing new shows, although Eva had no experience as a playwright. For some reason we all thought that having two novice playwrights work on this musical was better than just one. Less than a week later we gathered to read Eva’s first re-write. I hated it. But no one else seemed interested in charging her with treason, so I kept my mouth shut. Over the next 6 months Eva brought more character development and dramatic arc to my goofy story and dumb jokes and Dairy Heirs really started to take shape. Eva’s treason turned to treasure and I learned to appreciate not just her knowledge of cheese, but her different viewpoint as well. In the winter of 2017, with Molly’s guidance, our Dairy Heirs team met weekly for several hours at a time to discuss rewrites and brainstorm, then we continued fine-tuning through the spring and summer. Last September, our hard work culminated in a week-long workshop followed by a staged reading. And finally, 17 years after that initial idea, Dairy Heirs will premiere this summer. From June to August, you’ll get to meet siblings Gabe and Elsie, who bring different perspectives home as they determine the fate of their family’s farm. You’ll meet their kindhearted neighbor Linda, quirky farm8

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(including favorites “The Milk of Human Kindness” & “More Cow Bell”). And Eva has been the savior and teammate I needed to help these characters come fully alive and tell their stories. Of course, thanks go to Anne and Ro for supporting me and letting me put so much time into this labor of love. I hope our story resonates with everyone —young and old, rural and city folk (like me), and even the lactose-intolerant. Dairy Heirs is about the heroes of America’s Dairyland, especially women farmers. It’s also about how important it is to keep music in our hearts, share a laugh, and to find what family and home mean to us. I first performed onstage almost 50 years ago and throughout my entire life, theatre has felt like home. And now, finally, this theatre truly is home. I’m beyond tickled and honored to share Dairy Heirs with you all and I can’t wait to join you sitting under the Northern Sky this summer. There’s no place that I’d rather be.

hand twins TJ and JT, and one extraordinary cow. Our story will, I hope, reflect my favorite experiences with Northern Sky Theater and the wonderful people that call it home—sitting around a campfire singing songs, making jokes, spinning tales, and sharing our lives’ highs and lows with one another. I also hope you’ll recognize a few Fred Alley inspirations in the show— characters dealing with mortality, some corny jokes (old and new), and a tenderhearted story beneath the goofy fun. I couldn’t be happier that Dairy Heirs will be playing the only stage on which I’ve ever imagined it. I’m so grateful to everyone who has encouraged us, read countless scripts or helped with readings and workshops. Jeff has been steadfast in his support. Molly has been the champion and catalyst that we needed. Alissa has provided a musical world beyond my hopes and dreams, writing over two dozen songs, nine of which ended up being cut along the way

Leave a Legacy on Northern Sky’s Future! Naming and Recognition Opportunities Remain for Constellation Campaign. To ensure our future, we need your support! In addition to our deepest gratitude, we are pleased to offer recognition of your gift to our Capital Campaign.

• For a contribution of $500 your name may be inscribed on a brick paver at our new campus.

• For a contribution of $1,000 your name may be inscribed on a seat plaque in our new theater. (150 remain!)

• For a contribution of $2,000 your name may be inscribed on a bench in the park.

• For a contribution of $5,000 or more your name will be honored on a wall in the lobby of our new space. 9


It Started on the Internet Dave Hudson, Playwright, Muskie Love

For those of you long-time Northern Sky fans, you’ll remember some names who were in that production. Laurie Flanigan and Jon Hegge played Bea and Ben, Lee Becker played DNR Doug, and Doug Mancheski put his inimitable stamp on Roy (which he will again, this fall). Most of that same original cast went on to perform the show at Madison Rep to great success. Muskie Love has gone on to many productions across Wisconsin, but one thing has always perplexed us: it is a good show, we know that, but we have never been able to get theaters interested beyond Wisconsin’s borders. We had one theater in Minnesota express great interest, but in the end, the artistic director felt that she just couldn’t put something with so many Packer references on in Viking territory. This has always confused me. While there are strong Packer references, it seems to me that rivalry is the fun part. In seeing Cheeseheads dislike ‘Illinutions’ as DNR Doug says, I’m pretty sure that other markets would see their own rabid fans in the Packer-loving characters of Muskie Love. As I always put it, Oklahoma! has played pretty well in other states, even Texas and Nebraska. But, the lack of national success doesn’t dampen our excitement that Muskie Love is returning to the Northern Sky stage this fall. I have so many fond memories surrounding that show, not the least of which is the way the lyric “There ain’t nothing like a sunrise spreading out across the water” came to me when I was driving through Peninsula State Park on a misty morning, how Paul Libman set those lyrics to a magical melody, and how Doug Mancheski brought the whole thing to life. It’s a wonderful feeling to be bringing this old friend back to the Northern Sky Theater stage.

Paul Libman and I were both members of the same Yahoo group where people posted online discussions about writing musicals. We had a roll call where everyone said who they are, where they are, and what they do, and Paul and I found out that he lived two blocks from where I worked. We soon met for lunch, and within a short while, we started work on Muskie Love. We just clicked. Paul wrote quickly and he made my words just ‘work’ once they were given a melody. Since then, we have written nine musicals together (I think, it’s hard to count), and we’ve worked on several others that we either decided weren’t worth pursuing, or we just decided to set aside. But Muskie Love started the whole thing. We wrote it, and a few months later, we were offered our first contract by Jeff Herbst. Later, it was presented in the Stages Festival of New Musicals in Chicago, and we learned a few things and did a couple of rewrites. Then it was workshopped with Northern Sky Theater (then AFT) and we learned a few things and did a couple of rewrites. We started rehearsals in May and we were finally under the pressure that only comes with knowing that the show will be in front of a real audience in a month. Details drift away with time, but I know that we wrote two new songs that got put into the show, “Not Finished Yet” and “With All of My Heart”. I know that we also wrote a couple of versions of those songs before we decided on the versions that made it into the show. 10


kitchen table since then. No matter what coloring book we’ve shared with Silvia along the way, Chase would always muse, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could color pictures from our shows? We should really call that Maggie girl.” Well, we finally did. It turns out that Maggie Godfrey has been attending Northern Sky shows her whole life. She’s been a spokesperson for our Constellation Campaign, and she is now a freshman in college majoring in Art at UW Madison. Lucky for us, she was ecstatic at the idea of creating a Northern Sky coloring book. And luckier still, Maggie is going to be interning with Northern Sky for the 2018 summer season. She and Chase have been hard at work this winter and spring collaborating on a book that our fans are going to love. Maggie has drawn some of the most memorable moments from our favorite shows, and Silvia has eagerly “tested out” each new drawing. My now 6-year-old artist has given each picture her hearty approval. Younger fans will love unleashing their creativity into the pages of this beautiful book, and older fans will find it’s a welcome trip down memory lane. As we put finishing touches on the book, our home feels like a Crayola commercial populated by the faces of all our best friends. It’s utterly delightful and we can’t wait to share it with you. Color the Northern Sky will be available this summer.

Color the Northern Sky Molly Rhode, Associate Artistic Director

On occasion the performers at Northern Sky receive fan mail. Doug Mancheski gets the most. No contest. But usually the rest of us can boast a few letters each season—often from parents telling us about the impact our shows had on their kids. I love that, because I can relate both as a parent and as a former young person who was deeply changed by seeing live theater. The greatest, though, is when our young fans write to us and include a picture they drew after seeing the show. Drawings from our young fans are awesome. Kids include the most delightful details in their pictures. They notice things about the costumes or sets that they include, and it’s evident how engaged they were in the performance. Three years ago, the most impressive fan art I’d ever seen was shared with the cast. A high school student named Maggie Godfrey had attended No Bones About It and loved it. She came back several times throughout the summer and eventually put pen to paper to draw characters from the show. She sketched the show’s char-crossed lovers, Ronnie and Julie (Chase Stoeger and Eva Nimmer), as well the show’s two food bloggers (Kelly Doherty and Alex Campea). Maggie’s drawings were, without a doubt, the most delightful and impressive artwork that I’d seen from a fan. Chase felt exactly the same way. “She should make a coloring book for us,” he commented after seeing Maggie’s drawings. It’s an idea that Chase couldn’t shake. Our daughter, Silvia, was three when No Bones About It premiered. We’ve logged many hours coloring with her at the 11


Out of the Woods production of Silent Sky. She then went on to curate some amazing ventriloquism skills for Skylight Music Theatre’s production of Annie, a production directed by MOLLY RHODE that included ALEX CAMPEA in the cast as well as Northern Sky Theater new-comers DOUG CLEMONS and LACHRISA GRANDBERRY, who will be on stage this summer. In true Wisconsinite fashion CHASE STOEGER took his talents from the stage and became a tour guide at the Lakefront Brewery of Milwaukee. EVA NIMMER performed as Percy in The Spitfire Grill in Madison, and then as Shakespeare’s daughter Judith in a production of Equivocation in Milwaukee. She has also continued to work out her writing muscles while preparing Dairy Heirs for its premiere this summer. LAURIE FLANIGAN HEGGE is currently appearing in the long-running production of The Diary of Anne Frank at Park Square Theatre, which plays to 12,000 students a year. She has been hard at work on a new spy musical titled Dirty Business, set to premiere at St. Paul’s History Theatre in May 2019. After a critically-acclaimed run of Sweet Land at the HT last spring, the show went on tour to greater Minnesota with JON HEGGE in the role of Frandsen. Jon directs Boxcar (co-authored by Laurie and James Valcq) for Northern Sky Theater’s upcoming season. Director PAM KRIGER writes that she has two great things to report: (1) Directed a production of Zombies From the Beyond (by JAMES VALCQ) for Skylight, and (2) New grandson! Colin Patrick Kriger. Big and strong and very healthy. She is besotted! JIMMY KAPLAN reports that this year marks the 20th anniversary of Guys on Ice, which this winter had

So what have the stars of Northern Sky been doing this last year? DOUG MANCHESKI acted “across the pond” in Michigan in the movie Coming Up for Air. He again performed in Guys on Ice in Madison during holidays, then went on a mini-tour throughout the state. He performed in Gray’s Anatomy, a one-man show, at Third Avenue Playhouse in spring. RHONDA RAE BUSCH had a blast playing Sister Hubert in Nunsense at the Palace Theatre in Wisconsin Dells. This spring she’ll be in Skylight Music Theatre’s production of Urinetown. BILL THEISEN returned to his position as Director of Opera at the University of Iowa last fall and staged productions of The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti and Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart. He will once again spend his summer in Door County performing in Shinbone Alley at Third Avenue Playhouse as well as participating in two new play workshops at Northern Sky. DAVE HUDSON spent much of 2017 in the studio and at the computer preparing his shows for publishing through his own company, Marengo Publishing. Many are for the youth market, and the rest premiered right here at Northern Sky Theater. Dave is also back in school, getting an MBA with an emphasis in Digital Marketing. DOC HEIDE had two research papers accepted for presentation at this summer’s American Psychological Association convention. He also co-wrote a fifth draft of the forthcoming musical Hell’s Belgians with LEE BECKER, who’s been performing the role of stellar parent for his 5-year-old son Wilbur and giving support to his wife Sara, recently promoted at American Players Theater. KELLY DOHERTY perfected her Scottish brogue for Next Act Theatre’s critically acclaimed

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Out of the Woods, continued

Adventure. Heritage Ensemble founding cast member CRAIG KONOWALSKI writes that he and his wife Trish “moved from Sister Bay down to Sevastopol...did you know that you can go out and buy a quart of ice cream at 11:30 PM in Sturgeon Bay?” On the creative side, he’s been contemplating work on a CD of traditional and original mining songs (Songs in Miner Key). Meanwhile, chronic underachiever AMY CHAFFEE has written and directed a new play, A Light Romp Through the Minefield of Sexual Harassment. It will have its world premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June and a European premiere in London at Rose Bruford College in July. She just finished dialect coaching Jason Isaacs on the Netflix series The OA, season two, is currently coaching Orlando Bloom for his lead in the West End production of Killer Joe in London, is now an assistant professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, and will be presenting on panels and teaching workshops in Athens, London, Seattle and Boston this summer. Costumer KAREN BROWN-LARIMORE has spent six months out doing wardrobe on the national tour of The Little Mermaid as well as designing two recent productions for Madison Opera: The Abduction from the Seraglio and Florencia en el Amazonia. PETER WELKIN (When Butter Churns to Gold) has been hard at work taking the Core Curriculum musical theater writing workshop through New Musicals, Inc. in Los Angeles. CLAUDIA RUSSELL is busy completing her fifth CD of original songs for a summer release and will be back in Door County in late August for shows with fellow Northern Sky Theater veterans Eric Lewis and Katie Dahl. Finally, STEWART DAWSON has begun the I Can't Possibly Make This Stuff Up radio show. Watch for it soon on a Youtube channel near you!

Wisconsin performances in Madison, Fond du Lac, Viroqua, Beaver Dam and Hudson, as well as the Rialto Theater in Aransas Pass, Texas. Upcoming productions include Fort Peck, Montana, and Manley, Nebraska. Happy Birthday, Guys on Ice! Music director TIM LENIHAN conducted Hot Mikado at the Skylight in Milwaukee, played Elf and Cabaret at the Paramount in Aurora, subbed on shows for Mannheim Steamroller, and subbed on the National Tour of Les Miserables. DAN KLARER had a great run of Every Brilliant Thing at TAP and another turn as Ernie in the Guys on Ice tour. He’s currently a townsperson in An Enemy of The People at the Goodman Theater, followed by another summer season at Peninsula Players. COLIN WELFORD reports that he’s been slaving over a hot keyboard while conducting Hamilton for the past year in downtown Chicago. He took two little crazy weekend breaks to fly to see his expanding family in England, and took three weeks off in the summer to conduct a mammoth production of Jesus Christ Superstar in the biggest open-air theatre in the country: the 11,000-seat MUNY theatre of St Louis. On opening night, who showed up but Northern Sky Theater’s very own Patty and Howard Williamson! ERIC LEWIS performed in Home for the Holidays with RICH HIGDON and KATIE DAHL, and toured extensively with Jason Petty. MATT ZEMBROWSKI (Doctor! Doctor!) has been busy trying to get William Shakespeare and Brett Favre to play nice as he prepares for a summer workshop of Dad’s Season Tickets at Northern Sky. He also guided the St. Thomas More High School theater department to the State High School Theater Festival for the second year in a row with their production of Sherlock Holmes and the Unfinished 13


2018 Summer Schedule

BC SUN

MON

TUE

WED

13

JUNE

THU

14

BC - 8:00

18 World Premiere! Begins Wednesday, June 13 at 8:00 pm Mondays at 8:30 pm; Wednesdays at 8 pm Fridays at 8 pm (Wed, July 4 at 6 pm) Sponsored by: Main Street Market,

On Deck Clothing Company, White Gull Inn

NO SHOW

DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

25 NO SHOW

DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

2 DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

NO SHOW

9 DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

16 NO SHOW

World Premiere!

Sponsored by:

The Cordon Family Foundation, Parkwood Lodge, Wilson’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor

26

21

20 BC - 8:00

27

28

DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

23 NO SHOW

DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

30 NO SHOW

3

LIL - 6:00

23

BC - 8:00

29

DH - 8:00

30 DH - 8:00

BC - 8:00

DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

17 24

12

11 18

19

25

26

BC - 8:00

6 NO SHOW

DH - 8:00

13 NO SHOW

DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

20 NO SHOW

DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

14 DH - 8:00

21 DH - 8:00

14

BC - 8:00

20

DH - 8:00

21

BC - 8:00

27

LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

DH - 8:00

28

BC - 8:00

DH - 8:00

JULY 13 - see web site for info.

1

DH - 8:00

DH - 8:00

Creative Kids Day

31

7

DH - 6:00 BC - 8:30

13

LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

BC - 8:00

DH - 8:00

7 BC - 8:00

LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

BC - 8:00

DH - 8:00

6 LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

BC - 6:00

DH - 8:00

AUGUST

LI L

(Also showing Sat, June 16 at 6 pm)

22

LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

5

4

DH - 8:00

2 BC - 8:00

Begins Thursday, June 14 at 6 pm Thursdays at 6:00 pm

16

BC - 8:00

LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

BC - 8:00

DH - 8:00

10

NO SHOW

(Not showing Thurs, June 14 or Sat, June 16)

DH - 8:00

15

LIL - 6:00

SAT

JULY

DH

Begins Monday, June 18 at 6:00 pm Mondays at 6:00 pm; Tuesday at 8 pm; Thursdays at 8:30 pm; Sat at 8 pm

19

FRI

LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

9

8 BC - 8:00

15 BC - 8:00

22 BC - 8:00

LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

16 LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

23 LIL - 6:00 DH - 8:30

3

4 DH - 8:00

BC - 8:00

10

11 DH - 8:00

BC - 8:00

17

18

BC - 8:00

24

DH - 8:00

25

BC - 8:00

DH - 8:00

POST SHOW AFTER GLOW Sponsor: Nicolet National Bank

Adults - $22 • Students - $11 • Children - $6 • Children under 3 are free WI sales tax of 5.5% is additional. All shows run about 90 minutes in length with no intermission. Starting one hour prior to show times, State Park sticker is not required to attend performances. Most seating is general admission. Arrive early for best seats. Limited Reserved Seating available for $7 more. Purchase tickets from 10 am - 4 pm, Mon thru Fri and 10 am - 2 pm on Sat at the Northern Sky box office in Ephraim or by phone. Tickets are also available at the amphitheater one hour prior to the show. Gift cards are available for any occasion!

Please review us on TripAdvisor.com for those unfamilar with the Northern Sky experience! 14


2018 FALL SHOW SCHEDULE August 31 - October 20 at Door Community Auditorium

A laugh-a-minute fishtale Sponsored by: The Cordon Family Foundation, Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Julie’s Park Café & Motel

ALL SEATS RESERVED music by Paul Libman

Adult: $30 Student: $18 Children (12 & under): $14 See our website for complete schedule.

book & lyrics by Dave Hudson

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Thank You!

Your donation from May 1, 2018, through April 30, 2019, will be recognized in our 2019 playbill.


Michael J. McCoy Carla Peterson John Sawyer Paula Wright-Keller

Northern Sky Theater is dedicated to maintaining standards of artistic excellence; celebrating and illuminating the human condition; reaching a large audience of all ages, including families; and fostering a humanistic work environment with adequate and appropriate emotional, financial and creative support for all those associated with us.

The mission of Northern Sky Theater is to create, develop, and present professional musical and dramatic productions which will further the knowledge and appreciation of the culture and heritage of the United States.

Our Mission

Mark Breseman Katie Dahl Frederick J. Heide Heidi Ling

Thomas A. Moore Treasurer

Cynthia Stiehl Vice-Chairperson

Mary Seeberg Chairperson

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Northern Sky Theater, Inc. PO Box 273 Fish Creek, WI 54212-0273

Profile for Northern Sky Theater

Skywords Spring 2018 Newsletter