Heads up, Door County – there’s a new theater company in town. Actors Collaborative Door County (ACDC) is kicking off its first production at the end of this month.
It’s starting small with a six-person cast performing a one-act play titled Hello Out There, but the organization’s founder – theater instructor and longtime actress Ginger Auld – has big plans for the company’s future.
“We’re going to stick with the small one-acts in smaller venues until we get to a bigger space,” she said. “Then we can spread out and do bigger productions.”
Eventually, Auld wants to see ACDC bring in teachers and develop its own acting curriculum.
Of course, ACDC is far from the first theater company in Door County, but what will set it apart will be its focus on classical plays, according to Auld.
“We’ve always had these wonderful companies here, but the one thing that struck me was that we have all these tremendous artists, but no classic theater,” Auld said.
Classical theater focuses on the major playwrights of the past. Such plays are most often produced by regional theaters, which have larger budgets for historical costumes, props and sets, and because many Door County companies don’t have such big budgets, theaters here tend to focus on shows with small casts and more modern scripts, Auld said.
Her hope is that ACDC can change that.
“I thought, why not take on that challenge?” she said. “We have extremely talented people in this county, and people who help from out of the county because they love it here.”
Auld notes that there’s a strong sense of community among actors, especially in close-knit areas such as Door County, and that community served as the bedrock of ACDC. In 2020, when Auld started putting together her own theater company in earnest, one of the first things she did was reach out to people who are involved in local theater to get feedback.
The name of the company, Actors Collaborative, is an homage to the communal support within acting circles, and the connotations of the company’s acronym, ACDC, weren’t lost on Auld.
She said, “There are three ways you can take ACDC”: as a rock band, as an electrical term, and now as a budding classical theater company.
Getting the Gang Together
Hello Out There, a 1941 drama exploring a newfound connection between an unhappy cook and a wrongly imprisoned inmate, features actors Marcel Bruyere, Ross Dippel, Michaela Kraft, Chris Weidenbacher, Pamela Johnson and Mark Moede.
Behind the scenes, ACDC has already assembled people with costuming, tech and stage-management experience, as well as a seven-member board of directors.
Although many people involved in local theater have been helping ACDC to get off the ground, the process still hasn’t been easy. Hello Out There was originally set to run in November 2022, but multiple setbacks forced the budding company to postpone the show until this month. It was then supposed to open the third weekend of this month, but it was pushed back to the fourth weekend of this month and the first weekend of February.
The setbacks that ACDC has faced in getting its first play off the ground have been frustrating, but they’ve also made Auld realize how supportive the local theater community is.
“We’re in constant collaboration,” Auld said. “I want a company that is actor driven – something actors want to give and share and interpret for an audience.”
Hello Out There will run Jan. 27-29 and Feb. 3-5, at 7:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 pm on Sundays, on the lower floor of the Margaret Lockwood Gallery, 7 S. 2nd Ave. in Sturgeon Bay. Purchase tickets ($20) with cash or check at the door. To help ACDC in any capacity, email Auld at [email protected], and learn more at acdcclassictheater.com.