There are entertainment venues in Wisconsin that can do it
bigger, but none with more heart.
Davis is the president of the board of directors of
SummerStage in Delafield and believes there’s always room
for more people who enjoy theater and want to put on a show.
Door County has the Peninsula Players and then there is the
American Players Theater in Spring Green, so why not
announced its 2013 schedule that will include four comedies
and a selection of music events. The performances take place
at Lapham Peak State Park, a place where SummerStage founder
Brian Faracy envisioned live theater.
an alderman, a part-time actor and he always envisioned an
outdoor theater. We owe a lot to him for what we have
today,” Davis said.
the decision was made early on to put the theater into a state
park: “I wasn’t here in the beginning, but I know they
started a dialogue with the Department of Natural Resources to
put it here.”
humble beginnings, not unlike Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Davis
said each year they’ve tried to add something to make it a
added a concession stand, technical booth, a new transformer
for lights and an expanded roof to protect the performers. Our
average attendance has gone from about 40 people a night to
120,” Davis said. “Between increased awareness and good
weather, that’s a recipe for success.”
roof allowed for more lights, speakers and microphones, and an
addition of a storage shed made it easier to access and
community has embraced SummerStage.
in a state park, pine trees surround the stage and the seating
area, it’s near a pond,” Davis said. What’s not to
background isn’t as an actor or performer. “I’m retired
now,” he said. “They asked me to be president of the board
because of my business background, to bring in more of a
marketing or business plan. If people are going to donate,
they like to make sure you’re viable.”
he likes to tour the grounds during events in his golf cart
and do some on-the-go marketing surveys: “I ask people what
they like about the performances, and what they think we
think of sitting in the woods you’d be kidding yourself if
you didn’t think mosquitos, but Davis said overall they’ve
been lucky. “Last year, the dry conditions helped us out a
lot, but during normal years we spray the area, people bring
their own repellants and it hasn’t been a problem. I
haven’t been bitten once.”
welcomes a new artistic director, Dustin Martin, to the fold.
Martin lives in Oconomowoc.
show is Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner,” which will be
directed by Diane Powell and take place weekends from June 20
through June 29.
Foreigner” is a successful international show and has earned
two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best
New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production.
It will be
followed by “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
(Abridged),” to be staged July 25 through July 27 and Aug. 1
through Aug. 3. Shakespeare can be tricky, has a tendency to
make people yawn or turn a lot of people off.
one is different,” Davis said. “Think Shakespeare meets
Monty Python. It has been around awhile and won some Tony
Awards. A lot of people know the movie but this is a spoof on
comedy “Over the River & Through the Woods” happens
weekends from Aug. 15 through Aug. 24. It is directed by Brian
Steps” will debut with 11 performances from Aug. 29 through
Aug. 31, Sept. 1 through Sept. 5 and Sept. 8 through Sept. 12.
There will also be a final performance Sept. 14.
directed by Drew Brhel and produced through the Phantom Cicada
is described as a winning treat packed with nonstop laughs and
more than 150 zany characters played by a talented cast of
only a couple of the events haven’t lived up to its hopes,
and that was largely due to the weather. For some shows, like
“The 39 Steps,” Davis said they have built-in rain dates.
music side, SummerStage will have plenty of offerings,
starting with the Summer Music Showcase at 7:30 p.m. June 14.
It features area high schools and community theaters.
At 7 p.m.
July 6 will be “Lake Country Unplugged,” an evening of
acoustical music with Garrett Waite, Take Two and Sweet Potato
p.m. July 19, Shattered, a Rolling Stones tribute band will
rattle the forest. “I had to miss their performance last
time,” Davis said. “Heard it was a great time.”
night, a celebration of Irish music and dance, sponsored in
part by the Irish Fest Foundation, will highlight the evening.
The concert begins at 6 p.m.
bluegrass music will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10 with
the Genesee Ridge Bluegrass Band.
As for the
grounds, a successful fundraiser in February has allowed Davis
and his board to afford a lot of landscaping, and the chance
to add bushes and trees.
can bring their own lawn chairs and coolers for the shows.
want people to come out and have a good time,” Davis said.
“I think it’s cool, a neat thing to have in Lake Country