At Spring Green, It’s Shakespeare—and More—in a Pastoral Setting

Posted July 26, 2022

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By Anne Siegel, Third Coast Review

American Players Theatre, located in rural Spring Green, Wis., has attracted Illinois theatergoers ever since its opening 43 summers ago. Now, with its first full season of plays since the pandemic, American Players (APT) offers a bountiful mix of shows in rotating repertory. This means that one can experience several plays over a long weekend. We give Spring Green four stars for the overall quality of the experience and its productions, including staging and performances.

As regulars know, plays by Shakespeare, as well as shows with larger casts, are reserved for the Hill Theatre. Theatergoers take a long hike up a semi-steep hill to find 1,100 cushioned seats in a natural, outdoor amphitheater. This is APT’s original home, and on a sparkling summer evening, it can’t be beat. (Elderly and disabled patrons are encouraged to use one of the complimentary shuttle buses to travel up and down the hill.)

Wisely, the theater company eventually installed a much smaller indoor theater, the Touchstone, for contemporary plays and more recent classics. With only 200 seats, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Most casts consist of a mere handful of actors, who perform mere feet away from the audience.

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