The Inside Scoop, Late Summer 2019

Posted September 4, 2019

Inside Scoop Late Summer

 NEWS FROM AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATRE |  ISSUE #76 * LATE SUMMER 2019

Party Recap
A party five years in the making, the 40th anniversary celebration was held on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon (July 21). Highlights of the day included amazing live music performances from several favorite company members, including Phoebe González, Jamal James, Marcus Truschinski, Tracy Michelle Arnold, Brenda DeVita and many more. The dunk tank was popular, featuring David Daniel, Josh Krause and Nate Burger, among others. At the APT Lore Mobile (okay, it was an RV), you could tell your APT story for podcaster Sam Van Hallgren. Watch for these to be posted on the APT website later this year; we’re also contemplating an encore of this activity since there were more people wishing to tell their stories than there was time to tell them. To wrap up, core company members read a bit of a favorite play from APT’s last 40 years. Colleen Madden reprised The Syringa Tree, Gavin Lawrence chose a monologue from The African Company Presents Richard III, Sarah Day harkened back to The Matchmaker and Kelsey Brennan and Marcus Truchinski treated us to the engagement scene from The Importance of Being Earnest. Melisa Pereyra didn’t choose something from one play, but rather let us in on her Macbeth pre-performance ritual: reciting the inscriptions on the backs of the seats in the Hill Theatre. It was inspiring! If you’d like to read Melisa’s creation, see the blog on the APT website. It was a great day filled with memories, friends and the promise of APT’s future. 

Art in the Woods
We were very happy to debut the very first Art in the Woods exhibit, made possible in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Art in the Woods is a series of six installations placed around the property to enhance visitors’ APT experience. Work by artists Mindy Burger, Dennis Robert, Jenie Gao, Peter Krsko, Tom Montemurro, Alicia Rheal and Andrée Valley will be on display through September 1. 

The Show Must Go On
Understudies are essential to live theater, and that’s especially true at APT. Because of APT’s schedule, and the fact that actors perform in multiple plays at the same time, it’s a challenge to figure out how to make bodies available to be ready in case someone is unable to go on. Sometimes it leads to a domino effect. For instance, Ted Deasy plays Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. Happily for Ted, he landed a role in a Broadway show and will be leaving APT early. But, happily for us, his understudy is Marcus Truschinski, who will take on the role for the rest of the season. However, Ted is also the Porter in Macbeth and plays two roles in The Book of Will. So, in order not to launch a cascade of role switching for the rest of the season, APT favorite John Taylor Phillips, who was most recently in last year’s Born Yesterday and Heartbreak House, is able to return to take on Ted’s other roles, and a bunch of understudy assignments for the rest of the season. 

Turtle Love
Ornate Box Turtles are on Wisconsin’s Endangered Species list, but we have had the good fortune to spot two of them on the APT property this season. APT’s Land Manager, Reed Cockrell, who spotted them on separate occasions consulted with the DNR Conservation Biologist about it. Turns out one was a male and one was a female. We haven’t confirmed there’s any breeding going on between them, bu we're hopeful that APT can set the stage for some turtle romance!

Passing the Time…Oddly
There’s no telling what actors and crew do sometimes to pass the time backstage. During a rain hold at a recent performance of She Stoops to Conquer, a small group kept busy by calculating how many baking potatoes it would take to fill up acting apprentice Noah Yaconelli’s body. Or, as they put it – how many  baking potatoes would fit inside a Noah-sized skin suit. The answer after about an hour of measuring: 178.

Reuse, Recycle
Triney Sandoval (Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, Duncan in Macbeth and William Jaggard in The Book of Will) likes to make things. He said in a recent interview that when he is out of town on long contracts (like at APT), he brings woodworking tools and a sewing machine along so he can make clothes and furniture. So when he noticed the leftover scrap lumber used as props in Fences, he saw an opportunity. So far, he’s made three Adirondack chairs, which are outside the dressing room and available for pre-show lounging. Who knows what else he might create? 
Notes from the Wild (or notes that only come up at an outdoor theater)
The Inside Scoop wouldn’t be complete without a bit of news about how nature intermingles with APT.

8/17 The Book of Will – Three baby birds were seen on stage at the top of the show. They belly flopped around Jeb (far Stage Right) and then were gone by the end of the scene. Also, owl hoots at 9:03, just after we meet William Jaggard…unclear if they were hoots of approval or disdain. 
8/15 The Book of Will – Our bat friend was still hanging out in the Aisle 8 door at 8:00 when the show started so we propped it open. By 8:20 our friend had flown away and we were able to shut the door again. 
8/13 Twelfth Night – We had all the atmospheric effects tonight: beautiful full rainbow during the rain hold, nearly full moon, and excellent Macbeth-style fog at the end of the show. 
8/11 Macbeth – cicadas joining in our ambiance tonight.
8/11 Macbeth – Fog wanted to spend most of its time hanging out by the dressing room.
8/10 August Wilson’s Fences – coyotes howling for the few minutes during Part 2. It was right when Troy walks onstage with baby Raynell for the first time. Also, cicadas, whippoorwills, owls.
8/1 Macbeth – Fog was once again being shy tonight.

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