American Folklore Theatre Announces 20th Anniversary Season

Door County’s critically-acclaimed American Folklore Theatre has announced its 2010 summer season, which will run from June 16 until August 28. This summer, the theatre will celebrate its 20th Anniversary of “theatre under the stars” at the outdoor AFT Amphitheatre in Peninsula State Park. The summer season will include: a world premiere musical – Life on the Mississippi; a reprise of last summer’s smash hit – Cheeseheads, the Musical; and the AFT audience favorite – Bone Dance, last seen on the AFT stage in 2005.

Life on the Mississippi will take audiences on a journey with young Samuel Clemens as he leaves his home in Hannibal, Missouri to be a cub pilot on a Mississippi steamboat in 1858. With this production, American Folklore Theatre welcomes newcomers Douglas M. Parker and Denver Casado to the AFT playwriting family. Life on the Mississippi plays Mondays at 8 pm, Wednesdays at 6 pm, and Fridays at 8 pm starting Friday, June 18, with a special opening performance on Wednesday, June 16 at 8:30 pm.

Cheeseheads, the Musical, billed as a “modern day dairy-tale with a lotto heart,” revolves around the lives of fellow workers at Schnaybel’s Famous Cheese, a family-owned factory set in Sheboygan, WI. Returning for a second season in a row, Dave Hudson and Paul Libman’s Cheeseheads, the Musical is a touching and joyful Wisconsin “gouda-luck fable,” sure to delight families and fans of all ages. It will play on Tuesdays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 6 pm, with a special opening performance on Thursday, June 17 at 8 pm.

Bone Dance, created by Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst, is a funny and frightening musical carnival of mystical ghost stories gathered from campfires around the world. Originally presented in 1995, Bone Dance played to record crowds at Peninsula State Park. Ralph Lee, master puppet designer from New York, will be augmenting his creations from the 2005 production with new creatures as the ghosts, goblins, and skeletons repossess the AFT Amphitheatre. Bone Dance will play Wednesdays at 8:30 pm, Thursdays at 8 pm, and Saturdays at 8:30 pm beginning on Wednesday, June 23.

This year’s company will feature AFT veterans Doug Mancheski, Lee Becker, Doc Heide, Jeffrey Herbst, Chase Stoeger, Molly Rhode, and Pamela Niespodziani. Joining them will be Door County actors Chad Luberger and Mark Moede, local musicians Lynn Gundmundsen, Pat Judy, and Craig McClelland, and newcomers Alissa Rhode, Michael Birr, Jolyn Sherman, Bobby Johnson, Kelliann Kary, Sean Smith, and Chuck Larkin.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $8 for teens, and $5 for children. All prices include sales tax. Tickets are on sale in 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.