Best Seat in the Woods: Door County’s American Folklore Theatre

Illustration by Nik Garvoille.

Summer is a time of rituals, and seeing a show at American Folklore Theatre is one of those annual needs to be fulfilled. Starting from the long, slow drive into Peninsula State Park, behind a cavalcade of cars, the sounds of birds and whispering leaves, through the hike up the path to the theatre, getting popcorn – every year, it’s the same, comforting start to every show. I try to see a new show when I can, but honestly I will never get tired of seeing Lumberjacks in Love.

It’s the inner turmoil. It’s the northern isolation that makes us entertain each other. It’s Dirty Bob twirling and singing about his “Little Dress.” The music of Jimmy Kaplan and the words of Fred Alley play in goofy yet striking perfection.

Whenever I go, I tend to sit in the same area – near the back of house left. It’s less crowded back there, and it affords a great view of both the stage and the musicians’ pit – plus, it’s great to be able to duck out for more popcorn.