APT's 40th season was the best ever

Posted October 16, 2019

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By William Wineke, Channel3000.com

SPRING GREEN, Wis. - American Players Theatre has just completed its 40th anniversary season and, I think, it was the best ever.

I admit I have no particular qualifications as a drama critic. But I have held season tickets to APT performances for 30 years, meaning the only current member of the APT cast who was acting when I began attending plays is Sarah Day, who has been part of the company since 1986. So I at least count as a fan.

As a fan, it seems to me that this year's performances were just a bit crisper, the overall ambiance just a bit friendlier, the acting just a bit more on point than in previous years.

While no one else in the cast has quite the tenure of Day, a good number of the actors have been there 20 years or more, so what makes this year different?

My guess is that we have to give credit to Brenda DeVita, who was appointed artistic director in 2014.

It's not that she does it all. She doesn't create the sets, sew the costumes or acts the parts. And she didn't create the theater's international reputation.

The thing is that a good leader doesn't take a mediocre organization and make it great. A great leader takes an already good organization and helps its members reach just a bit beyond themselves.

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