Midwest Traveler: High art and low kitsch in quirky Spring Green, Wis.

Posted October 29, 2018

Inside Scoop Summer 6

Spring Green, Wis., is bursting with theater, architecture and kitsch. 

By Sheila Regan Special to the Star Tribune | October 25, 2018

In 2017, a friend who lives in Madison, Wis., sent me a message to tell me about a wonderful production of Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters” he had just seen at the American Players Theatre, a repertory company based in Spring Green, Wis. He encouraged me to take a trip to see the show.

Paul is wild about APT and makes the one-hour drive from Madison to Spring Green several times a year. Having grown up with all the fantastic theater that Minneapolis has to offer, it’s been an adjustment for Paul to live in Madison. Having APT nearby, he said, helps make up for that lack.

He was right. I thoroughly enjoyed the production and the experience of visiting APT, which is located in a hilly wood, with a vast picnic area so visitors can make a day of it. The company has an indoor stage (the Touchstone Theatre) and an outdoor stage (the Hill Theatre), both of which are a bit of a walk from the parking lot. (If you go, wear sensible walking shoes.) The Hill Theatre has wonderful acoustics, and a neat silky canopy lofted over the stage and audience, to protect from the glare of the sun. The actors, meanwhile, are top-notch.

inarticle-Close-Btn.pngI decided to return this year. Paul said he’s never seen Shakespeare done better than at APT, and I wanted to see for myself.

I greatly enjoyed APT’s version of “As You Like It.” APT isn’t doing anything groundbreaking with the text, but there’s something to be said for doing classic plays excellently, allowing the great works to speak to the human condition. This production had a solid cast, and all had voices that could carry clearly outdoors without amplification, but the performance also felt intimate. I loved the musical interludes that rounded out the performance.

APT’s current season concludes with a production of “Engaging Shaw” through Nov. 17. 

Read the full article here.