Paul Stancato Named Artistic Director for Timber Lake Playhouse's 2018-19 Season

Paul Stancato Named Artistic Director for Timber Lake Playhouse's 2018-19 SeasonTimber Lake Playhouse, located in Mt. Carroll, Ill., the professional, non-profit summer theatre company established in 1961 with a mission of "providing the best expression of theater arts to the regional community by presenting creative works that entertain and inspire while helping aspiring artists transition to the profession," has announced today the appointment of award-winning director and choreographer Paul Stancato as Artistic Director for the 2018-19 season.

In a statement, Timber Lake Playhouse Executive Director Dan Danielowski said "I am happy to welcome Paul to the TLP team. He brings a wealth of experience that we all will benefit from."

Mr. Stancato is currently directing the Off-Broadway production of FRIENDS! The Musical Parody, currently in previews and officially opening on November 2nd. He recently directed and choreographed Grease at the John W Engeman Theater in Northport, NY as well as Collected Stories for Palm Beach Dramaworks in Palm Beach, Fl. He directed and choreographed the 2015-'16 National Tour of Flashdance the Musical, and the 2014-'15 National Tour of Jekyll and Hyde.

"I am honored to join the Timber Lake Playhouse," stated Mr. Stancato. "Being a native of Chicago, I am honored to join this wonderful organization that has a long and rich history. I am excited to work with Dan Danielowski in ushering in a new chapter of the theater's life. One that will allow the theater to grow to the next level."

In addition to the summer season of productions scheduled (listed below), Mr. Stancato has plans to unveil two new exciting series of programs: The Broadway Concert Series will feature Broadway stars singing from the Great American Songbook while highlighting stories from each of their individual careers. The New Work Series will invite established and upcoming Broadway writing teams to spend time at TLP to develop their new shows, present portions to the TLP community and receive important feedback. These two series will be welcome additions to the expanding TLP programming offered.

Timber Lake Playhouse 2018-19 Season:


Created by Richard Maltby Jr., Conceived by William Meade

Directed by Chris Blisset

(May 11-13 & 18-20, 2018)


Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice

Book by Linda Woolverton

Directed and Choreographed by Paul Stancato

(June 7-17, 2018)


By Garson Kanin

Directed by TBA

(June 21-30, 2018)


Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek

Book by Terrence McNally

Directed and Choreographed by Paul Stancato

(July 5-15, 2018)


By Ken Ludwig

(July 19-28, 2018)


Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Book by Joseph Stein

Director TBA

(August 2-12, 2018)


By Stuart Ross

Director TBA

(August 16- 26, 2018)


Created by Larry Gallagher

Directed by Dana Iannuzzi, Choreographed by Felicia Finley

(September 7-9 & 4-16, 2018)

For more information, visit

Paul Stancato is a creative show director and choreographer who works in theatre, film and television. Paul is currently directing Friends! The Musical Parody that will open Off-Broadway in November. He recently directed and choreographed Grease at the John W Engeman Theater in Northport, NY as well as Collected Stories for Palm Beach Dramaworks in Palm Beach, Fl. He directed and choreographed the 2015-'16 National Tour of Flashdance the Musical, & the 2014-'15 National Tour of Jekyll and Hyde. From 2012-2014, he was the Artistic Director for Franco Dragone's, The House of Dancing Water in Macau, China.He was the Resident Director for the National Tour of Disney's The Lion King, 2006 -2010 (2008 Helen Hayes nomination for Best Touring Musical). He directed the First National Tour of The Wedding Singer and was also Assistant Choreographer for the Broadway production (Tony nomination for Best Musical and Best Choreography). Select directing/choreographing credits include: Long Days Journey Into Night (Palm Beach Drama Works, FL), Powerhouse (Ohio Theatre, NYC), Plaid Tidings (Flatrock Playhouse), Jekyll & Hyde, Hairspray and Sound of Music (John W. Engeman Theater, NY), Trav'lin the Musical (Seven Angels, CT.- IRNE Award-Best Ensemble nomination) The Cobalteans (NYMF-which earned 7 Nominations for the 2015 New York Musical Theater Festival including Best Direction. ICON (NYMF starring Donna McKechnie & Tony Sheldon), Einstein's Dreams (Best Direction Award New York Fringe Festival), Greenwood (NYMF starrign Andrea McArdle) He conceived and co-wrote ROCKSHOW, an interactive performance piece, which ran Off-Broadway at Club El Flamingo. He has developed new works with The Public (Joe's Pub), Drama League, Ars Nova, 5th Avenue, The Zipper Theater and Universal Studios. Performance credits include, Blue Man Group (Blue Man) and De La Guarda (original New York cast member/Captain). Awards/ Fellowships: Mike Okrent Fellow (nominee), Society of Directors Observer Fellow (award), University of Florida Outstanding Alumnus Award, Drama League member and a Lincoln Center Director's Lab member. Upcoming projects include On Golden Pond at Palm Beach Dramaworks and In the Heights at the John W Engeman Theater in NY.

Since its first opening night on June 28, 1962, Timber Lake Playhouse has presented more than 350 plays and musicals and nearly 4,000 performances. TLP presents a challenging combination of material each year: a mix of large-scale musicals, new plays, and contemporary classics. The theatre hosts annual educational workshops for children and teens in conjunction with the Magic Owl Children's Theatre's productions of plays and musicals for young people and their families.

The Resident Company consists of 35 - 40 performers, technicians and musicians selected by interviews and auditions in cities across the country. Numerous guest performers, directors and choreographers supplement the resident company each season.

Timber Lake is proud of its national reputation for excellence as a professional summer stock theatre. The theatre has served as launch pad for theatre artists of all kinds who have gone on to excellence in film, television, on Broadway and stages all over the world.

The current theatre building (erected after a fire destroyed the original wooden-frame structure in 1974) houses a 45? wide semi-thrust revolving stage and 371 fixed seats (view a seating chart). The property is also home to 14 other buildings used for costumes, scenic and paint shops, food service and housing for the company. The unique layout of facilities allows the Playhouse to present work on a much larger scale than many summer theatre companies. In 2017, TLP purchased an additional 5 acres of wooded land surrounding the property including the barn structure to the south of the theatre. This gives TLP just under 10 acres that make up the TLP Campus.

Photo Credit: Matt Stocke

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