Door County’s beauty, charm and friendly communities make it a can’t-miss summer destination each year — including for the theater world’s rising stars. The Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) Foundation is helping make sure these talented artists have a home for decades to come.

The WPS Foundation recently made a $75,000 donation to Door County’s Peninsula Players Theatre to help build two new residence buildings on the theater’s grounds. The donation is part of the foundation’s commitment to support artistic and cultural experiences across northeast and north central Wisconsin.

“We’re proud to support Peninsula Players Theatre to ensure that it remains a destination venue for actors, students and guests around the Midwest,” said Beth Straka, president — WPS Foundation. “Vibrant arts organizations like Peninsula Players Theatre create a brighter future for our communities, bringing diverse experiences and entertainment to people of all ages.”

Updating a summer home away from home

The new residence buildings will provide actors, producers and staff from across the United States with modern living areas as they rehearse and perform throughout an 18-week season. The buildings will replace the theater company’s outdated housing units, which lack adequate mechanical systems and standard amenities.

“We are thrilled to receive this generous grant from the WPS Foundation,” said Brian Kelsey, managing director — Peninsula Players Theatre. “By supporting the housing campaign, the WPS Foundation is not only investing in the future of Peninsula Players Theatre, but also in the Door County community. We are grateful to have community partners such as the WPS Foundation that value both the importance of the arts and its contribution to our county as a whole.”

A large crowd watches a performance at Peninsula Players Theatre in Door County.
A legacy of entertainment excellence

Peninsula Players Theatre is the country’s oldest professional resident summer theatre, entertaining audiences for nearly 90 years. Its past and present members include up-and-coming actors, Broadway mainstays and Hollywood producers. The company also supports future artists through its popular internship program and by providing scholarships to students pursuing performing arts degrees.

The renowned arts organization also plays a vital role in the local economy. A 2017 study by the nonprofit group Americans for the Arts found that Door County’s arts organizations bring in more than $24 million each year to the area economy.

Peninsula Players Theatre plans to break ground on the new residence buildings in September 2022. Learn more about the project here.