Meet the Playwright Sean Grennan of World Premiere of THE TIN WOMAN
Peninsula Players Theatre, America's Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theater and Door County's theatrical icon, opens its 79th season June 17 with the world première comedy "The Tin Woman" by Sean Grennan. The Players premièred another of Grennan' s comedies "Making God Laugh" in 2011.
"The Tin Woman" is a heartwarming comedy centered on a young woman who receives an unexpected heart transplant and the still grieving family who made the donation. The play opens in the hospital after Joy's sudden surgery.
Grennan's other works include "Beer for Breakfast," "As Long As We Both Shall Live," "LUCK!" and musicals "Phantom of the Country Palace" and "Ms. Cinderella," which debuted at the Marriott Theatre in Chicago. Other musicals include "Married Alive!," "A Dog's Life" and "Another Night Before Christmas" (Playscripts Inc.) all of which premiered at The American Heartland Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri and have gone on to numerous productions in the U.S., Canada and England.
"'The Tin Woman' took its own course in the early going," Grennan said. "I started out thinking it might be a romantic comedy, but other issues that were more relevant to me kept insisting on being heard. With this, and most of my shows, I think I'm looking at what it means to be human, to be people in families, to be here for a short time, like that. Getting to my age I've had the opportunity to look back a bit, to see more and more of the arc of my life.
"While I really don't know the answer, I think if there is any meaning in life to be found at all, it's in connection, that we need to connect to each other, to help each other, or just be in touch. Those moments and exchanges seem the most important to me now. Check with me next week..."
The idea for the story came from Sean's sister, Erin Noel Grennan, who saw an article about a woman who got a heart transplant and eventually met the family of the donor. Once he started working on the play it took off into directions he hadn't anticipated. Erin is an actress and plays Joy in the Players production.
"I identify with every character in 'The Tin Woman' pretty much," Grennan said. "As with 'Making God Laugh,' most of these characters are people I know and love or know and love despite themselves. And there are pieces of my own life here but also things I've observed in those close to me. I think everyone in this play has a legitimate point of view, I really haven't written any bad guys. That they grind each other's gears is just life, not evil incarnate."
"The Tin Woman" alternates scenes and locations as Joy grapples with her new lease on life, and Jack's family struggles with his sudden loss. Joy's yearning to meet the family results in an ending that is surprising for all.
"I started out thinking it might be a romantic comedy, but other issues that were more relevant to me kept insisting on being heard," Grennan said. "With this, and most of my shows, I think I'm looking at what it means to be human, to be people in families, to be here for a short time, like that. Getting to my age I've had the opportunity to look back a bit, to see more and more of the arc of my life."
"The Tin Woman" is sponsored by Ministry Door County Medical Center.
Peninsula Players has been entertaining and exciting audiences since 1935, when the theater opened behind the Bonnie Brook Motel in Fish Creek on July 25, with Noel Coward's "Hay Fever." The company was founded by a brother and sister team, Caroline and Richard Fisher, who dreamed of an artistic utopia in the north woods where actors, designers and technicians could focus on their craft while being surrounded by nature in a contemplative setting. Peninsula Players moved to the theater's present location along the shore of Green Bay in 1937.
Prior to performances, patrons picnic and relax on the grounds while watching the setting sun over the waters of Green Bay from the cedar-lined shore and enjoy the ambience of the Beer Garden and other gardens.
The Peninsula Players perform Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; with a 4 p.m. matinee Sunday, July 6. The Peninsula Players season runs through October 19 and includes Agatha Christies' classic thriller "And Then There Were None," Charles Ludlam's frighteningly funny farce, "The Mystery of Irma Vep;" the Midwest premiere of Richard Strand's Civil War drama, "Butler;" and the musical "Always...Patsy Cline," created and originally directed by Ted Swindley, based on a true story.
Individual and group tickets are also available. Individual ticket prices range from $35 to $44. There are no performances on Mondays. For more information or to reserve tickets phone the Peninsula Players box office at 920-868-3287 or visit the website at www.peninsulaplayers.com.