Kristine Thatcher’s “Niedecker” Performed

Peninsula Players will present a reading of Kristine Thatcher’s stage portrait of beloved Wisconsin poet Lorine Niedecker Monday, Feb. 27 at Scandia in Sister Bay at 7 pm. Produced as part of Peninsula Players’ new series of play readings, The Play’s the Thing, the reading of “Niedecker” will feature Players actors Kristine Thatcher, Cassandra Bissell and Barbara Simpson Fuhrmann. Thatcher will also direct the cast that will include Arthur “Doc” Hopper and Dee Hopper. Suggested donation at door is $8, but Scandia residents and staff and their families and students will be admitted free.

Fuhrmann spent several seasons in the Players acting company and now serves on the Players board of directors. She originated the role of Eva Ranney in Thatcher’s Door County history play, “Apparitions,” and appeared in the immensely popular “You Can’t Take it With You.” Bissell is currently appearing in “The Vibrator Play at Actors Theatre of Louisville” and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and has appeared in nearly a dozen Players productions, most recently “Around the World in 80 Days.”

Thatcher is currently the Producing Artistic Director at Stormfield Theatre in Lansing, Michigan. Her Peninsula Players directing credits include “The Uneasy Chair,” “Over the Tavern” and “Panic,” while her stage credits include Jo in the 1990 production of “A Few Good Men,” Eliza in “Pygmalion” and Agnes in “Dancing at Lughnasa.” Peninsula Players also commissioned her to write “Apparitions,” a project which investigated the “unique character and history of Door County.”

Doc Hopper was Chair of the Theatre Department at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and he and his wife, Dee, have been active in the Door County theatre scene since moving here.

The Play’s the Thing is providing play writing instruction to high school students from Gibraltar and Sevastopol schools, and those students will write plays for a contest to be judged by Players company members. The winner will receive $100 and have their play read publicly. Continuing support will be provided to the students, including free admission to these professional play readings which continue Mondays April 2 and 30 at Bjِrklunden.

The Play’s the Thing is funded in part by a grant from the Peninsula Arts Association and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, as well as generous grants from Ministry Door County Medical Center, Door County Community Foundation Arts Fund and the Raibrook Foundation.

Members of the Friends of Lorine Niedecker Society are expected to be in attendance and participate in the post-reading discussion. Scandia is located at 10560 Applewood Rd. in Sister Bay. Entry to the reading will be through the south doors.