Peninsula Players' BUTLER to Host Speaker Joe Knaapen for Pre-Show Seminar, 8/27

Peninsula Players Theatre, in conjunction with its production of Richard Strand's Civil War drama "Butler," will host speaker Joe Knaapen Wednesday, August 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the theater. Knaapen, a Civil War re-enactor, will discuss how the Civil War shaped the career of Door County's Edward S. Minor. Tickets to the performance are available; admission to the pre-show seminar is free.

Minor was the only Door County man elected to Congress and served as the mayor of Sturgeon Bay where he opened a hardware store. He was elected to the 8th Congressional District in 1894 and served until 1907. Minor was Superintendent of the Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan Ship Canal 1884-1891.

Knaapen is a Sturgeon Bay native and has worked for newspapers in Wisconsin, Iowa and California. His interest in the Civil War stems from his relative's enthusiasm for re-enactment participation and knowing his wife's family fought in the Civil War.

"Butler," the winner of the Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Program, is an engrossing drama laced with humor.

Major General Benjamin Butler reports to duty at Fort Monroe, a Union hold-out fort in Virginia. On his first day, 153 years ago, three runaway slaves row across the James River to the fort and ask for sanctuary. Butler's decision and actions have repercussions that ripple through the rest of the Civil War. While these events were real Strand takes audiences into the fort and provides a fictional look at what could have been discussed.

Patrons are welcome to come early and join Knaapen in a 45-minute discussion at 6:30 p.m. prior to the show, in the theater.

A post-show discussion with the cast and creative team of "Butler" is slated for Saturday, August 23. Audience members are invited to stay after the performance to participate.

Peninsula Players performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. with a 4 p.m. matinee Sunday, Aug. 31 for "Butler." Individual and group tickets are also available. Individual ticket prices range from $35 to $44. There are no performances on Mondays. For more information on future seminars or to reserve tickets phone the Peninsula Players box office at 920-868-3287 or visit the website at

Pictured: Joe Knaapen in his Civil War uniform.

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