American Folklore Theatre Announces 2009 Season

Critically acclaimed American Folklore Theatre (AFT) in Door County has announced its 2009 summer season, which will run from June 17 until August 29. This summer, AFT’s stage in the pines of Peninsula State Park will host three original shows: a world premiere musical (Cheeseheads, the Musical), a new birthday concert for Peninsula State Park (Sunsets & S’mores), and a revival of an AFT audience favorite (Muskie Love).

Cheeseheads, the Musical tells the story of a group of workers at Schnaybel’s Famous Cheese Factory in Sheboygan who buy lottery tickets to help take their minds off the difficulties they face at work. The factory’s founder has passed away, and tough economic times have sparked rumors that the factory may be shut down. Life goes on for these lovable characters as they dream about the magic they could make with their lottery money if they won.

Cheeseheads was written by AFT’s veteran team of Dave Hudson and Paul Libman, authors of A Cabin with a View, Muskie Love, and Main-Travelled Roads and winners of the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre. Cheeseheads, the Musical will play on Mondays and Thursdays at 8 pm, Wednesdays at 6 pm, and Saturdays at 8:30 pm.

Also this summer, the only thing better than singing songs with family and friends around the campfire will be singing campfire songs with the AFT family. Peninsula State Park turns 100 years old this year, and with Sunsets & S’mores, AFT will help one of Door County’s best-loved landmarks celebrate.

Co-authored by Doc Heide and Lee Becker (authors of the blockbusters Belgians in Heaven and Packer Fans from Outer Space) and new AFT music director Matt Zembrowski, Sunsets & S’mores will be sure to delight both old and new fans. Sunsets & S’mores will play on Tuesdays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 6 pm.

Rounding out the season’s lineup will be AFT fan favorite Muskie Love, also co-authored by Hudson and Libman and previously seen on the AFT stage in 2005 and 2006. Muskie Love tells the tale of Ben and Bea, rival fishing guides who are both single-and intend to stay that way. Through the playful scheming of Bea’s Uncle Roy (helped along by his daughter, Sarah, and her boyfriend, Claude), Ben and Bea are soon lured into a romantic trap. Despite their sworn hatred of each other, the couple find themselves inexplicably drawn together. This laugh-a-minute fish tale is a comic, contemporary take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, set on the shores of Green Bay. Muskie Love will play on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm and Fridays at 8 pm.

This year’s cast will feature AFT veterans Doug Mancheski, Lee Becker, Doc Heide, Jeff Herbst, Chase Stoeger, Molly Rhode, Emily Myre and Dan Klarer, as well as newcomers Music Director Matt Zembrowski and Door County folksinger Katie Dahl.

Tickets will cost $18 for adults, $8 for teens, and $5 for children. All prices include sales tax. Tickets are available at the AFT box office at the Green Gables shops in north Ephraim, via phone at 920.854.6117, and online at All summer performances take place under the stars in the stunning amphitheatre at Peninsula State Park.