Peninsula Players Present Final Winter Play Reading
Peninsula Players Theatre will present a reading of two one-act plays, I Shall Love You Forever, by Kathleen Thompson and Waiting for Tina Meyer, by Kristine Thatcher and Larry Shue at Björklunden on Monday, April 6. Both comedies take a light-hearted look into the twists, turns, and varying degrees of romance.
I Shall Love You Forever features Malcolm and Ruth, a young couple very much in love. When one has a near-death experience, the other offers an extremely fascinating idea for their long-term commitment. Thompson also wrote last winter’s piece A Two Story House.
“Two guys walk into a bar” is the opening stage direction in Waiting for Tina Meyer by Kristine Thatcher and Larry Shue. It is New Year’s Eve and actors Bob and Walter are on tour with a musical version of “King Richard the Third.” Bob, a widower, receives a note backstage from college student Tina Meyer, inviting him for a drink. Bob, nervous about dating again, asks leading man Walter along to be his wingman and to help Bob overcome the jitters. As they wait for Tina’s arrival, the two men strike up a conversation with the sole patron, the barkeep and the piano man. Their chance meeting alters their view on more than just romance.
Both one-act comedies were crafted more than 20 years ago, yet the underlying themes of love and romance are timeless and connect the two one-acts. Peninsula Players Artistic Director Greg Vinkler will direct both readings and read stage directions.
“I’ve known these plays for a very long time and have always been delighted by them,” says Vinkler. “They’ve never been published and I am so pleased to bring them at least to a little light in the world. Love is a subject that never goes out of fashion.”
I Shall Love You Forever was written for the Commons Theatre, which Thompson co-founded in 1980 in Chicago.
Thatcher and Shue met while cast opposite each other in Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of Merton of the Movies. Shue was embarking on a playwriting career and Thatcher played numerous roles in workshops of his plays.
Shue and Thatcher began to collaborate on a script for the television series One Day at a Time. The day after they submitted the script, they learned the series was to be cancelled. Rather than dismissing all of their work, they adapted a character into the plot of Waiting for Tina Meyer. Not long after, Shue was killed in a plane crash and Thatcher set the script aside. She hadn’t done anything with it until Vinkler contacted her about the idea of doing it as part of “The Play’s the Thing.”
“It’s not exactly the same as uncovering a lost Shakespeare play,” says Vinkler. “But to introduce an unknown Shue play – well, that’s pretty close!”
Veteran Peninsula Players company members will perform in both readings. The cast of Waiting for Tina Meyer includes Chicago-based actors Erica Elam, Kevin McKillip and Joe Foust. Also cast are Door County residents Mark Moede and Barbara Simpson Fuhrmann. All have participated in past winter play readings.
Foust is cast as Bob, who is learning to date again, and McKillip as his wingman, Walter, in Waiting for Tina Meyer. Elam portrays the romantically gun-shy bartender, Robin; Moede the world-wise piano man, Carl; and Fuhrmann is cast as a philosophical regular. Elam and McKillip are cast as the lovers, Ruth and Malcolm, in I Shall Love You Forever.
I Shall Love You Forever and Waiting for Tina Meyer are the final play readings of “The Play’s the Thing,” a winter series of play readings produced by Peninsula Players Theatre. They will begin at 7pm on Monday, April 6. Admission is free and general seating is available. For more information, call 920.868.3287 or visit PeninsulaPlayers.com.