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Your Northern Sky News • SPRING 2019

The Cabinet, the Captain, the Heir, and the King Jeffrey Herbst, Artistic Director All of the protagonists of our four musical offerings this season are masters of their domain.

The cabinet rules over Winneconne The captain over the sea The heir of a farm decided by fate The king–the father of three. With two world premieres and two remounts, we have a great variety to offer this season. And once again, our musicals all have Wisconsin connections.

Secede, you say? We Like It Where? celebrates ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Written by Corrie Beula Kovacs and Stephen Kovacs, it is based on the true “mouse that roared” story of the town of Winneconne’s brief secession from Wisconsin. The touristdependent town is left off the 1967 state highway map, and the locals take action. They come up with a clever publicity stunt, uniting their community and making world news in the process. The husband-and-wife writing team has been hard at work researching Winneconne's hilarious history. Two of the characters from the show, Jan and Russ Meerdink of Neenah, have been inspiring

The Cabinet, the Captain, the Heir, and the King , continued from page 1 resources, providing a first-person account of the events that took place more than 50 years ago. Turns out that Tim and Sue Stone, super fans of Northern Sky Theater, lived in the area and knew C. O. Rogers, Jim Coughlin and Bill Schlapman, all characters in the play. Those roles will be played by Alex Campea, Bill Theisen, Doc Heide, and me (Jeffrey Herbst). Doc and I are going to share the role of Schlapman, each taking two performances a week. Lachrisa Grandberry returns to take on the seceder-in-chief, Vera Kitchen, and Corrie will originate the role of Dottie, the wife of the governor, played by Doug Mancheski. Jamie Mercado, Isaiah Spetz, and Emily Brandt will round out the cast. The latter three will also be production interns. Molly Rhode will direct, Alissa Rhode will be musical director, and Dennis Johnson will provide arrangements for the sixties-era music. John Lewis and Colin O’Day will fill out the pit band on guitar and percussion. Karen Brown-Larimore will design the costumes, Lisa Schlenker the set, Ben Werner the sound, Neen Rock the props, and Bryce Foster the lights. Shawn Galligan and Lisa Mion will be on hand as part of our super stage management team. Stewart Dawson, as always, will swing a hammer and buzz a saw to realize Lisa’s design.

Captain, My Captain! Windjammers makes its second voyage to the stage since its premiere in 2013. Written by Robin Share and Clay Zambo and inspired by tales and tunes of 19th century Great Lakes sailors, Windjammers is a coming-of-age-tale of courage and adventure amid high waves, fresh air, legend, and song. It was the first show to come out of our ongoing collaboration with New Musicals, Inc. (NMI) in Los Angeles. Subsequent shows have included When Butter Churns to Gold and Oklahoma in Wisconsin. We currently have two more works in the hopper from teams associated with NMI, including another with Robin Share. Chase Stoeger and Doug Mancheski will recreate their roles in Windjammers. Newcomers in the cast are Doug Clemons (returning from last year), Jamie Mercado, Lachrisa Grandberry, Mikayla Locke, Mari Duckler, and Hayden Hoffman. The latter three will be our remaining intern crew. Hayden is currently a student at Gibraltar, making him another local hire, along with Isaiah Spetz. Clay Zambo has signed on to be music director for the show and will be in residence with us through the rehearsal period. As original musical arranger, he will oversee our pit and get us back up to speed with using one of our keyboards to create a lake and storm soundscape. Molly Rhode was the director in 2013. I will direct the show this year using Molly’s original staging. Dave Alley will provide sound and lighting design. I have loved this show from the first time I heard it read aloud when I visited NMI in Los Angeles and am looking forward to sharing it with our appreciative Northern Sky audience.

A Change in the Heir. Back by popular demand for a second summer is Dairy Heirs, written by Joel Kopischke, Eva Nimmer, and Alissa Rhode. It is a “modern-day 2

The Cabinet, the Captain, the Heir, and the King , continued from page 2 family farming moo-sical” comedy full of cheesy puns and singing sibling duos. 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 bovine. The cast will remain the same as last year, with the exception of the role of Elsie. This year, Corrie Beula Kovacs, will take on that role, in addition to managing her considerable responsibilities with We Like It Where? Corrie returns to Northern Sky after first appearing in Packer Fans from Outer Space in 2003, then returning for the fall run of The Bachelors in 2014. Alissa will oversee the band, once again made up of the actors going between the stage and the pit in true Northern Sky fashion. The fall season features an original musical in the Gould Theater at our brand new Creative Center, with an extended run through the end of October.

Lambeau Kingdom. Dad's Season Tickets, written by Matt Zembrowski, is a nostalgic musical celebration of family, folly and the Green Bay Packers. Matt has fashioned his tale with inspiration from Shakespeare’s King Lear. Frank Kosinski (Lear) has three grown daughters, only one of whom will inherit Dad’s treasured Packer season tickets. Old rivalries surface as the sisters try to prove who is most deserving. The sisters soon learn that family isn’t everything; it’s the only thing. Matt, a one-man musical theater writing machine, returns after writing Doctor, Doctor! for Northern Sky. Matt is one of the few people brave (foolhardy?) enough to take on all three elements of a musical–book, lyrics, and music. We have a terrific cast lined up for the fall. Kelly Doherty, Doug Mancheski, and Chase Stoeger have all been with the show from the first reading and will create the roles they’ve read and workshopped over the past couple of years. Ray Jivoff, who is stepping down as artistic director of Skylight, will create the role of Frank. This will be Ray’s first foray with Northern Sky. When we first read a draft of Dad’s Season Tickets, we knew instantly that it would be a perfect fit for Northern Sky. As our capital campaign took off, and the dream of having our own indoor theater became a reality, we were determined to make Dad’s Season Tickets our premiere show in the Gould Theater. Amazingly, we are planning for our first day of rehearsal on August 5th in the new theater. It’s rather surreal to be working on a show that’s never been done before in a space that is still very much being built. So much newness is terrifyingly exhilarating. We hope you can join us at the park amphitheater or at the Gould Theater—our own duo domain under the Northern Sky. – Jeff 3

Afterglows Extend Park Experience

ring. Afterglows this coming season will be led by company members Doc Heide, Alex Campea, Chase Stoeger, and me. We’ve been working on our best groaner jokes all winter! We have a trusty squadron of fire tenders that volunteer to build and maintain our fires nightly. Volunteer Joe Graboyes even introduced Marshmallow Mondays into the weekly line-up last year. We also hosted special guests from Birch Creek Music Performance Center and the Oneida Nation, and we’ll have more guests join us in the coming season. In short, there’s a lot going on out at our fire ring! We love it when you extend your stay and visit with us there. It’s an informal and intimate setting and allows us to connect with you more closely. So don’t be a stranger! Pull up a rock or a stump and stay awhile! Groan at Doc’s jokes and lift your voice to the sky with us. See you under the stars and in the light of the fire. Afterglows occur Monday thru Friday. We gather post show on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and in between shows on Mondays and Thursdays. Afterglows are made possible by the generous sponsorship of Nicolet National Bank.

Molly Rhode, Associate Artistic Director One of my favorite things about working in Peninsula State Park is the opportunity to meet audience members after the performances. Meeting you. It’s the best. Enjoying the stars and the pines while we talk about the show is a delight and an honor. I discover again and again that patrons are deeply invested in our work. Your enthusiasm for the new stories we bring to the stage is heartening and even restorative. This experience of connecting with you has been sweetened all the more in recent seasons with the addition of our Afterglows. Five nights a week we have the chance to cozy up around our fire ring to share stories, sing songs, tell jokes, and talk about Northern Sky. You ask questions of us, and we ask questions of you. And we laugh! Sometimes, I worry we’ll wake the campers. You’ve shared so many wonderful stories about your Northern Sky memories. It’s a joy to learn by firelight how you’ve enfolded us into your lives. Four years ago we installed our beautiful fire ring through the generous support of The Cordon Family Foundation, The Raibrook Foundation, and Jason Feldman Landscapes. Last season our Tuesday Crew gave us a lovely upgrade by stringing fairy lights among the trees surrounding the


We Like It Where?

unpacking – again! – but this time into a house that my husband and I bought. We were starting up a performing arts business at about the same time I was invited back to Northern Sky for their fall musical, The Bachelors. Unpacking into our offices, I rediscovered this single page of history. It still captured my attention, and I said, “Hey, honey, we should write a show about this!” STEVE: That’s where I come in. While Corrie has a plethora of performing experiences, she hadn’t particularly developed creative writing skills in her time out east. Unfortunately, neither had I! As a music teacher, I’d done some arranging for choirs, adapted lyrics and written sketches and scripts for school film projects, but had never written a full script or composed before. Our initial drafts read more like dry historical facts, as we piecemealed together the timeline, the names of the many people who were involved, and what we thought the story was about. But the spunk, the zany characters, and the sheer pluck of Winneconne shone through in spite of our flailing efforts. We also delighted in discovering villagers from both political parties uniting in a common cause, and how creatively and mischievously they worked together. The Winneconne Public Library was a repository of hidden treasures, and that is where we found the book We Like It Where? by Polly Zimmerman. It was pure gold! Slowly, our show started taking shape. CORRIE & STEVE: After two years and two basic read-throughs of the script among friends, we submitted our show to Northern Sky Theater for consideration. Molly Rhode, Richard Carsey, and the Northern Sky company were integral in the next-level development of this show. Finding people connected to the story became impossible to avoid – we met with Lori Meyerhofer, Vera Kitchen’s grandniece, who helped us better understand Vera. While working on other theater-related projects in the Fox Valley (it really IS a small world), we learned that Jan and Russ Meerdink lived in Neenah and were still very

Corrie Beula Kovacs & Stephen Kovacs, Playwrights, We Like It Where?

You hear all the time about how many years it takes to bring a show from inception to stage. This story is no different, and starts way back in the halcyon days of a new college graduate… CORRIE: In the summer of 2003, I was an intern with American Folklore Theater. It was the first I had been to the stage in the middle of Peninsula State Park, and also the first I had heard about the company. The season that summer was Guys On Ice, Packer Fans from Outer Space, and the story theater-based show Ya, Ya, You Betcha! Working with Laurie Flanigan-Hegge, who had just co-written Loose Lips, sparked an idea that maybe I could write a show, too. Off to the Fish Creek Public Library I went, where I investigated the history section. There in the quiet sanctity of the library, I found a single page article written about a Wisconsin town I had never heard of before, called Winneconne. It had apparently seceded from the state in 1967! This article looked like it had promise, and I remember asking my parents about Winneconne, and wondering why we had never learned about it in history class. The article was copied, put into a file folder, and once I moved out to New York City, promptly forgotten about as I focused on a performance career. Fast forward some umpteen moves (and umpteen years) later and I somehow found myself back in my home state of Wisconsin,


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At the Threshold Dave Maier, Managing Director

As I was writing you all on this same day last year, we’d just been blessed with 30 inches of new snow to shove around. Aching to get an entirely different set of shovels in the ground, we were all kind of “bouncing off the walls” around here, as Grandma Millie used to say. Yet, just over a month later, 200 of our closest friends gathered together at the corner of County Hwys A&F to kick-off the groundbreaking for our new creative center. Now, just a year later, and because of your support, we’re about to realize a vision of our future together seven years in the making. It’s fascinating to mark the passage of time through the methodical progress of a complex construction project. In just a few months we begin occupancy at our new campus and plan to celebrate the opening of the Gould Theater this September with the world premiere Dad’s Season Tickets. We’re eager to introduce you to this wonderful space and begin to make a campus visit part of your Door County routine. We’ve all taken special pride in creating this beautiful, intricate building constructed, for the most part, by local subcontractors and tradespersons. It’s been a great joy to see these artisans diligently employ their impressive skills, often through some serious winter weather obstacles. I never come back from a visit to the site not awed by what these folks are accomplishing, rain or shine. Even more so, what years of planning are finally bringing to fruition and, most amazingly, what the generosity of already over 1,200 individuals and families from all over the country has made possible. Brilliant kind-hearted souls all, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to single out

Barbara and Spencer Gould for their extraordinary lead gift. Our new state-ofthe-art, 248-seat creative center theater will be forever named in their honor. The organization has made important strides, always retaining its essential spirit and mission. As the company changes leadership organically over the coming years, it must also build and retain future generations of fans. The new campus will be the hub of that new energy and effort. We trust the park will always be our summer home, but now we get to share this beautiful new campus that we’re confident you will embrace. In fact, that is our next great goal: to make sure that our new home is indeed a place of love, community, vitality and creative fusion. By the time you read these lines, we’ll be in pre-occupancy stage over at the new property – Dave Alley and Stewart Dawson will be building this season’s We Like It Where? set in our new shop building, Neen Rock will be organizing storage in the new costume shop, the admin staff, with the help of different IT and network partners, will be migrating phone, computer and some box office systems. Cabinetry, theater seating, fixtures, appliances and AV equipment will be in the process of being installed. And on and on, no doubt to some degree right up to the hour before the first fall season curtain-raising event. Down to the wire, but not unlike most opening nights, come to think of it. And this “production” will be glorious. Because of YOUR investment in our future, the Constellation Campaign is at 95% of goal. But at the door is not over the threshold. And that small sliver, that unmet 5%, is significant. It means many of our 6

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At the Threshold, continued

room facilities, the technical booth, the concessions and merchandise booths, improvements to lighting and general landscaping. You’ve brought us this far, and we know you want to see this through just as much as we do. We’re so close to completing this most ambitious campaign to ensure our future. In the meantime, please stop by to check our progress on the new building. Holly will be conducting regular weekly tours every Friday at 3:00 pm or by appointment. We can’t wait to show you what YOU’VE made possible.

park “Master Plan” improvements remain unfunded. The good news, the longed-forhold-onto-your-oval-seat news, is that we have met the park restroom replacement funding goal! Hallelujah. That project will commence this coming fall, the minute the “curtain” goes down on our summer season. So, the new (flush!) loo’s are, indeed, right around the corner. Still in the works, designed and ready to go as soon as funding permits, are critical plans to replace or renovate the park dressing

We Like It Where?, continued (pg 5)

like those who made the secession of Winneconne an international news event, we’ve been able to do more than we ever thought was possible with this story. CORRIE & STEVE: We are so excited to be invited to tell the story of Winneconne’s secession on stage at Peninsula State Park. We hope the joy of this story will have everyone saying, “We like it here!”

active with horse breeding. Once we reached out to them, they welcomed us into their home and regaled us with hours of amazing stories! The process of working on this show has become so much greater than the sum of its parts. The discoveries and relationships we have fallen into along the way are incredibly special – just like Winneconne. And,

Leave a Legacy on Northern Sky’s Future! Limited Naming and Recognition Opportunities Remain for Constellation Campaign. Help us cross the finish line! 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. (DEADLINE: May 31st, 2019) For a contribution of $1,000 your name may be inscribed on a seat plaque in our new theater. (100 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. 7

A Confession: “I Love Sports” Coming from the world of sports, I immediately recognized the similarities between team sports and theater by the time I performed in my first show: Both require a group of dedicated, talented individuals working together in front of a crowd of spectators to produce a memorable shared human experience. Both sports and theater require years of training and commitment and, if done well, both have the ability to leave the participants and their audience completely breathless and inspired. So why are there so few instances of sports and theater co-existing? With the exception of the musical Damn Yankees, and (fittingly) Eric Simonson’s play Lombardi, there have been VERY few successful attempts at theatricalizing the world of sports. Following the workshop of Doctor! Doctor! at Northern Sky in the summer of 2015, I returned home filled with an irrepressible creative energy that demanded my attention. So I sat down at my computer and something in my head said: “You should write that show about the Packers Season Tickets you’ve been toying with”. So I started writing, and in one sitting I had written the prologue to what would eventually become Dad’s Season Tickets. Without realizing it, I had made it my goal to write a show that appealed equally to sports fans and theater goers. (Whether I was successful or not will ultimately be determined by you!) Having been an avid Packer fan for most of my life, I was fairly well-versed in Packer history and lore when I set out to write this show. (To quote Fred Alley: “I’ve been following the Packers for twenty years, I’ve only been following (my wife) for seven!”)

Matt Zembrowski, Playwright, Dad’s Season Tickets

I have a confession to make: I love sports. Baseball, football, golf, volleyball, tennis. I’ve played them all, and will continue to do so until my body won’t let me. I have Brewers season tickets, and have the privilege of going to at least one Packer game a year thanks to my father-in- law being a Gold Package season ticket holder. I feel obligated to mention this because to this day I am shocked by the giant chasm that exists between sports and the performing arts. I still get funny looks from people when I show up to rehearsal in a Packers uniform or a Brewers jersey. But I love both equally, and long for the day when both can exist harmoniously. If only there was something I could do about that… Long before I got involved in theater, baseball was my life. I started playing when I was in 5th grade and continued into high school. But in Wisconsin, you have AT MOST six good months in which to play baseball. So I needed something to fill the rest of the calendar. One day when I was in 6th grade, someone mentioned that the Packers were doing really well. My family wasn’t big into football, so I had never even seen a game on TV. But that weekend I watched the game and I was hooked. I didn’t really know what was going on, but if the guys in the Green and Gold jerseys were celebrating, that could only mean good things. It was in the fall of 1996, and the Packers ended up doing a lot of celebrating that year.


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I Love Sports, continued I have an entire shelf of books dedicated to all things Green and Gold, each trying in its own way to define the “Packer Mystique”. It may sound trite to the uninitiated, but there is something indescribably unique about the Packers franchise. Maybe it’s the team’s history of peerless success… and gut-wrenching awfulness. Maybe it’s the fact that the Packers are the only publicly owned franchise in professional sports, or that Green Bay is the smallest city in America to host a professional franchise of such importance. Maybe it’s the overwhelming shadows cast by Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi; Bart Starr and Brett Favre; Reggie White and Paul Hornung. Or maybe it’s the impossibly long waiting list of die-hard fans waiting to buy Packers season tickets. Most likely it’s all of the above, and then some. Quite simply: No

civic fan base in history has embraced their team quite like the state of Wisconsin and our Packers. As I was developing the script, I had numerous read-throughs, and each time I asked the question: “Is there too much football in this show?” After all, the play follows the Kosinski family and the Packers during the fall and winter of 1996, when (spoiler alert!) the Packers eventually go on to win the Super Bowl. And each time I asked, the response was an emphatic “No.” In fact, several people have said they learned a lot about the game and about the Packers as a result of being a part of this process. It is my dearest wish that this show will help build a bridge between sports and theater. Am I crazy? Well, this is Wisconsin, and we love our Packers.

Remembering John Hansen Doc Heide, Co-founder of Northern Sky, Playwright, Artistic Advisor John Hansen, a foundational member of our troupe, died this February of pancreatic cancer. A charismatic Colorado-based potter who adored the Heritage Ensemble, John became our first publicity person, photographer, box office manager, house manager, mug-maker, and guy-ready-tohelp-with-whatever. But his impact goes deeper. Few realize that without John there quite likely wouldn’t be a Northern Sky Theater. I met John in 1967 in Green Bay, when he and I were made 9th grade biology lab partners because my last name followed his

in the alphabet. We were an odd pair; I was obsessively studious and he was the class clown. Yet gradually we bonded over our mutual love of skiing, countercultural ideas, and Jethro Tull. When I went off to 9

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Decked out in farmer overalls, he’d get the crowd singing the show’s hit song, Cheese Curds, Booyah, and Beer. John, the very definition of “extrovert”, always wanted everyone to feel welcome. That included early cast members, many of whom stayed in his ramshackle cottage near Baileys Harbor. In June we’d hold rehearsals in its cozy living room; Northern Sky’s co-founder Fred Alley recorded his brilliant album “Woody’s Fire” there one fall. But it wasn’t for the weak of heart–Ensemble member Tim McNurlen took showers at night because in the morning the water was 35 degrees, and one year you had to cross a yawning pit 10 feet deep to use the toilet. John was a patient and inspiring teacher, both at Mudslingers (the Colorado pottery studio he founded) and the Peninsula School of the Arts. For years he was Abe and Ginka Cohn’s chief assistant at their iconic Potter’s Wheel gallery, wowing visitors with his demonstrations and selflessly caring for the Cohns as they aged. He was also an extraordinary listener; he’d get you to share stuff you didn’t even know you felt. Seated in rickety chairs under a lazy moon by his backyard campfire, we’d divulge our secret aspirations and laugh hysterically about how we narrowly escaped catastrophes, often brought on by John’s Kokopellian ability to go just a bit too far. Recently I dreamed I came upon John by the picnic table behind his house. When I plopped down, I was stunned to find that the other person at the table was Fred Alley, who passed away in 2001. I leaned over to hug him, burst into tears, and woke up. I’m not sure what this means. Perhaps these big-hearted men – two of my dearest friends – are somewhere reveling in the halcyon days when a handful of us made magic happen. If so, I know more than a few folks who, when the time comes, will want to seek them out.

college at Madison in 1970, John attended the nascent UW-Green Bay campus. Thanks to his glowing descriptions of its small class size and distinctive interdisciplinary structure, I transferred to UWGB sophomore year. That fall I auditioned for and secured a spot in a folk-singing troupe recently created on campus–the Heritage Ensemble. I loved it, staying for 18 years until its creator Dave Peterson asked Gerald Pelrine and me to co-found its successor, which we named American Folklore Theater (now Northern Sky). Without John, I definitely wouldn’t have transferred and may never have heard of the Ensemble. John left us so quickly that many didn’t know he was ill until his passing. Quite a few of us are still in shock. I’d been planning this summer to record his memories of our innumerable adventures, such as the 7,000-mile hitchhiking trip he invited me on in 1971 across Canada, down to southern California, and back. That journey found us hopping freights across Saskatchewan at sunset, subsisting for a week on oatmeal seasoned with fresh mussels we collected from the Pacific, even escaping a monster thunderstorm by spending the night in a Redwood National Park outhouse. A gifted raconteur, John never tired of sharing such stories to any who’d listen. A favorite took place in 1994, the premiere year of Belgians in Heaven. We needed red long johns for the show, so he tried a Sturgeon Bay thrift shop. When he learned a woman had just bought the last pair, he ran from the store and waved her down in the parking lot. “Are you with the police?”, she asked. “No,” John replied, “I’m with a theatre company and I need your underwear!” John loved Belgians in Heaven, and would drive to Brussels to buy cheese curds to distribute to those waiting in line to see it. 10

Kaye Christman Jeff Herbst, Artistic Director

Kaye Christman served as the managing director of Northern Sky Theater from 1998 to 2010. She died peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Thursday, February 14, 2019. Kaye had her hands full when she came on board with the trio of the two Freds (Heide and Alley) and me and our collective history and ways of doing things. But she got to work and really helped us figure out how to be a better business while still maintaining our mission of doing all new works. That Kaye also loved what we were creating was always so gratifying, and that, too, carried over into how she managed our affairs. When Fred Alley died, Kaye and I became really close colleagues and confidantes. I had a terrific working relationship with Kaye and felt extremely lucky to have been side by side with her in making sure that Northern Sky continued to flourish. Kaye’s contribution to Northern Sky in this regard cannot be overstated. She was as committed as ever, and we forged ahead. Together, as managing and artistic directors, we saw Northern Sky through its toughest period. Kaye and her husband, Ken, were gracious hosts, opening their lovely home for get-togethers and Northern Sky

events. Kaye’s outreach to visiting artists and writers was a hallmark of her generous spirit. And she was a fantastic cook. Her brunches or treats for readings, openings, and various special occasions were yet another remarkable testament to Kaye’s loving spirit. Of course we all wish that Kaye were here to see this next step for Northern Sky. Her years of dedication as managing director are a huge part of how this has even become possible. Her year-round presence in Door County gave Northern Sky continuity from the height of our season through the winter months, and Kaye became recognized, as she should have been, as an integral part of the Northern Sky team and its ongoing success. A lot of goodwill was built up at Northern Sky because of Kaye’s dedication and commitment during her tenure. Kaye will always have a special place in my heart. I am so fortunate to have known her. Our Northern Sky shines brighter because of her.

Creative Kids Day 11

Friday, July 12 Visit our web site for more info.

Out of the Woods What were Northern Sky company members up to in the off-season? MOLLY RHODE directed The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the Musical at First Stage in Milwaukee starring CHASE STOEGER as Bob Bradley, and featuring their lovely daughter Silvia Stoeger, in her on-stage debut, as Ensemble Sheep! Molly was also Mrs. Wormwood in First Stage’s Matilda and Chase was Lt. Kelly in Chamber Theater’s Ben Butler. LEE BECKER reports that his son Wilbur started kindergarten and his family moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina (where his wife Sara just got a job). Lee got to play Ernie in Guys on Ice for a week in Madison before Christmas and wrote a sixth draft this spring with DOC HEIDE of their forthcoming show Hell’s Belgians in California’s spectacular Redwood National Park. Doc taught in San Francisco, trained psychiatry residents at the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Madison School of Medicine, and schussed the Sierras which were inundated with record-breaking snowfall. CORRIE BEULA KOVACS and her husband STEVE KOVACS have been hard at work making sure that We Like It Where? is ready to premiere this summer. Corrie (previously seen here in The Bachelors and Packer Fans from Outer Space) choreographed five musicals this year, expanded dance classes at her studio in the Fox Valley, and is excitedly getting ready to perform on the Northern Sky Theater stage again this summer. DOUG CLEMONS reports, “after the fabulous summer and fall with Northern Sky Theater last year, I played a dream role of Corny Collins in Hairspray at Skylight Music Theatre during the holiday season. In the spring, I participated in a workshop of a new children’s musical Grace and the Island of Misfits with Chicago’s CPA Theatricals. Inspired by Dairy Heirs, I continued my cheese education as a cheesemonger at Village Cheese Shop in Wauwatosa.” KATIE DAHL recorded a new album in Nashville,

went to see EMILIE COULSON in southern California, and worked on finishing a new draft of a new musical. STEWART DAWSON writes, “while I was in Door County in January, I got up at four in the morning, went outside in my underwear and flipflops and stood in two feet of snow during a blizzard in a wind chill of 44 below zero. I just wanted to experience what it's like to be nuts.” DEB FETT soloed with the South Shore Chorale and a 60-piece orchestra at the Fond du Lac PAC. LAURIE FLANIGANHEGGE and husband JON HEGGE appeared together in The Diary of Anne Frank at Park Square Theater in St. Paul, MN. This past year, Jon was seen in Awake and Sing at Artistry in the Twin Cities, played Fezziwig in the Guthrie Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, and did another production of A Diary of Anne Frank in Rochester, Minnesota. This May he appears in Laurie’s new spy musical Dirty Business at the History Theatre in St. Paul and will spend the summer doing Guys and Dolls at the Guthrie. Their daughter Celia continues her training as an aerialist at Circus Juventas and plays a fairy in her upcoming middle school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. DAVE HUDSON has been busy completing his studies. On May 11th, he’ll have an MBA in Digital Marketing. This year, he also wrote an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables for The Actors Garden in Oak Park, Illinois. DAN KLARER did Miracle on 34th Street at Theater at the Center in Munster, IN, a week with Guys On Ice, and How I Became a Pirate at Children’s Theater of Madison. This summer he appears with Door Shakespeare. ERIC LEWIS recorded five new songs in Memphis and continued to play on Beale Street with Earl the Pearl and tour with Jason Petty. He’s also been working on his parents’ home in Knoxville to get it ready for sale this spring. And “for exciting news, in February I purchased a continued on next page 12

Out of the Woods, continued

raised $14,000 for the McFarland Food Pantry with our six performances.” CLAUDIA RUSSELL released Lovers Tree, her 5th CD, which hit the national Folk Charts at #5. She’s looking forward to touring the Midwest this summer, including playing shows with KATIE DAHL and Paper Birds. EVA NIMMER collaborated on an operatic junk band extravaganza called Antiology with Milwaukee Opera Theatre. In December, she made her debut with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre in James DeVita’s new play Christmas in Babylon and later participated in a staged reading of The Laramie Project. Finally, BILL THEISEN returned to his position as Director of Opera at the University of Iowa and staged productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s A Grand Night For Singing and the Mark Adamo opera Little Women.

Corvette so now I can get to Door County even faster!” KAREN MAL portrayed Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in 94-degree heat, appeared in a production of Godspell, recorded a new Celtic record, and witnessed her daughter learn to read, scramble eggs, and do a perfect cartwheel. DOUG MANCHESKI toured Guys on Ice in Wisconsin (with STEVE KOEHLER) after performing the show during the holidays at Madison’s Barrymore Theater. He performed at Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay in the romantic comedy Shooting Star and workshopped a new play in NYC. TIM MCNURLEN reports that he was “very pleased to perform as Ernie the Moocher in a fundraiser in McFarland, WI this year. We

Huge Thank You to Our Sponsors! Their support ensures the future of Northern Sky while keeping our ticket prices affordable.

Season Sponor: Door County Medical Center Dairy Heirs Sponsored by The Cordon Family Foundation, Door County Candle Company and Parkwood Lodge

We Like It Where? Sponsored by Tony & Judy Licata, Peninsula Pulse & Door County Living and Sweetness at Julie’s Park Café & Motel

Windjammers Sponsored by Susan Caldwell, Door County Maritime Museum and Oneida Nation

Postshow Afterglow sponsored by Nicolet National Bank Dad’s Season Tickets Sponsored by

Edgewood Orchard Galleries, Main Street Market, On Deck Clothing Company and White Gull Inn 13

2019 Summer Schedule Season Sponsor: Door County Medical Center







WLIW - 8:00





WLIW - 6:00

DH - 8:00


15 WLIW - 8:00

(No 8:30 show)


Begins Friday, June 14 at 8:00 pm Mondays at 6 pm; Fridays at 8 pm

DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30


Sponsored by:


The Cordon Family Foundation, Door County Candle Company, Parkwood Lodge


World Premiere! Begins Wednesday, June 12 at 8:00 pm Mondays at 8:30 pm; Wednesdays at 8 pm Thursdays at 6 pm, Saturdays at 8 pm Sponsored by: Tony & Judy Licata,

Peninsula Pulse & Door County Living and Sweetness at Julie’s Park Café & Motel

DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30


DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30


WJ - 8:00

2 WJ - 8:00


DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30



DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30


WJ - 8:00

DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30




DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30

19 WLIW - 8:00

26 WLIW - 8:00

3 WLIW - 8:00

10 WJ - 8:00

16 WJ - 8:00

23 WJ - 8:00

30 WJ - 8:00

WLIW - 8:00

17 WLIW - 8:00

24 WLIW - 8:00

31 WLIW - 8:00

21 DH - 8:00

WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30

27 WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30

28 DH - 8:00



DH - 8:00


WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30


DH - 8:00


WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30


DH - 8:00


WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30

DH - 8:00


1 6

DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30

12 Begins Tuesday, June 19 at 8 pm Tuesdays at 8 pm, Thursdays at 8:30 pm (Not showing Thur, June 13 or Thur, July 4)

Sponsored by: Susan Caldwell, Door County

Maritime Museum, and Oneida Nation


DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30


DH - 6:00 WLIW - 8:30

WJ - 8:00

13 WJ - 8:00

20 WJ - 8:00

29 WLIW - 8:00

WLIW - 8:00

13 WLIW - 8:00

20 WLIW - 8:00

27 WLIW - 8:00

Creative Kids Day 2

WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30


WLIW - 8:00


WLIW - 6:00 (No 8:30 show)



JULY 12 - see web site for info.




7 WLIW - 8:00

14 WLIW - 8:00

21 WLIW - 8:00

8 WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30

15 WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30

22 WLIW - 6:00 WJ - 8:30

3 DH - 8:00

9 DH - 8:00

16 DH - 8:00

23 DH - 8:00

WLIW - 8:00

10 WLIW - 8:00

17 WLIW - 8:00

24 WLIW - 8:00

Post Show AFTERGLOW Sponsor: Nicolet National Bank

Adults - $22 • Students - $11 • Children under 12 - $7 • Children under 3 are free Wisconsin sales tax of 5.5% is additional. All shows run about 90 minutes 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 $8 more. Purchase tickets from 10 am to 4 pm, Mon thru Fri and 10 am to 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 for those unfamilar with the Northern Sky experience!


World iere Prem

2019 FALL SHOW SCHEDULE August 30 - October 26 in the Gould Theater, at the New Creative Center

A musical celebration of family, folly and the Green Bay Packers. Funded in part by a grant from the Green Bay Packers Foundation Sponsored by: Edgewood Orchard Galleries, Main Street Market,

On Deck Clothing Company, White Gull Inn

book, music & lyrics by Matt Zembrowski

All seats are reserved: Adult: $35 Student: $20 Children (12 & under): $15

With your help… We make amazing things happen! Name ________________________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________ City ___________________________________________________ State ________ Zip ________________________ Phone _______________________________________ E-Mail __________________________________________

Use my Gift Where Needed Most ❑ $25,000 & up - Belgian Angel ❑ $10,000 to $24,999 - Victory Farmer ❑ $5,000 to $9,999 - Spitfire Griller ❑ $2,500 to $4,999 - Windjammer ❑ $1,000 to $2,499 - Ice Fisher ❑ $500 to $999 - Happy Lumberjack ❑ $300 to $499 - Music Lover ❑ $125 to $299 - Galactic Packer ❑ $75 to $124 - Bone Dancer ❑ $1 to $74 - Cheesehead

❑ My employer will match my gift Paperwork: ❑ is enclosed

Designated Funds

❑ Please accept my gift of $ __________________

Fred Alley New Musical Fund

for the Fred Alley New Musical Fund.

Northern Sky Endowment Fund

❑ Please accept my gift of $ __________________ for the Endowment Fund.

Northern Sky Constellation Campaign

❑ Please accept my gift of $ __________________ for the Constellation Campaign. Northern Sky Theater is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your donation is tax deductible as allowed by law.

Employer Name: _______________________________________

❑ will be sent

❑ My check for $ _______________________ payable to Northern Sky Theater is enclosed. ❑ Please charge $ _______________________ to my ❑ MasterCard ❑ Visa (Please provide info below) _________________________________________________________ ___________________ ______________ ACCOUNT NUMBER


Please clip & mail to: Northern Sky Theater - PO Box 273, Fish Creek,WI 54212

CVV 3-digit

Thank You!

Your donation from April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2020, will be recognized in our 2020 playbill.

Carla Peterson John Sawyer Paula Wright-Keller

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. 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.

Our Mission

Mark Breseman Katie Dahl Frederick J. Heide Michael J. McCoy

Heidi Ling Secretary

Thomas A. Moore Treasurer

Cynthia Stiehl Vice-Chairperson

Mary Seeberg Chairperson


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

Profile for Northern Sky Theater

SkyWords Spring 2019 Newsletter