Regional Theater of the Week: American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI

By: Apr. 10, 2013
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Existing user? Just click login., the largest theatre site on the Internet, is excited to announce a new feature to its comprehensive regional coverage - the Featured Regional Theater of the Week! Each week, BWW will introduce its readers to a regional theater located in one of our (over 130!) coverage cities. By exploring these different venues, their history and showcasing the production seasons, BWW continues its commitment to expand our presence in communities and cities across the United States.

This Week's Featured Regional Theater: American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI

American Players Theatre is a professional, classic theater located just outside Spring Green, Wisconsin. Situated on 110 acres of hilly woods and meadows, APT boasts two theater spaces, an 1148-seat outdoor amphitheater and the 200-seat indoor Touchstone Theatre. From June through October, APT produces eight plays in rotating repertory - five Up the Hill and three in the Touchstone Theatre.

Central to APT's mission is a commitment to making these great works accessible to as wide and varied an audience as possible as well as educating younger generations in the joys of these classic plays.

With annual attendance of over 100,000 and an annual budget in excess of $4 million, APT ranks as the country's second largest outdoor theater devoted to the classics.

In 1978, a small group gathered on the Lockwood farm near Spring Green, Wisconsin. One person walked to the base of a steep hill and began to read; his voice reached those above with uncanny clarity. After looking at 43 sites, this was the one. The founders, Charles Bright, Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso, had found the spot that was to become American Players Theatre. The mission was to perform the classics, especially the works of Shakespeare, outside, under the sun, moon and stars. On July 18, 1980, American Players Theatre staged its first production: William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In 1990, the company began touring Wisconsin following its summer season. David Frank was named Artistic Director in 1991, and under his leadership, American Players Theatre announced the assemblage of a core company of actors who shared the theater's mission.

The amphitheater was fully renovated in 2000, including the installation of more than 1,100 roomy seats. In 2001, the 22,000 square foot Bravo Center was built for the creation and storage of costumes, scenery and properties.

Today, American Players Theatre has earned a national reputation for presenting theater of the highest quality. Now under the artistic leadership of David Frank and Associate Artistic Director Brenda DeVita, the productions attract an enthusiastic and growing audience of over 100,000 people from throughout the country.

The Up-the-Hill Theatre is their flagship venue. 1,147 seats are set outdoors beneath the sun, moon and stars, enrapturing 110,000 playgoers each season. The 2013 season includes The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Too Many Husbands, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and All My Sons.

The Touchstone Theatre is APT's intimate new venue that brings the outside in. Here, they can delve deeper into the thing that brought us all together in the first place: the plays. Though it has a roof and walls, the Touchstone is quintessential APT. The 2013 season includes Dickens in America, Molly Sweeney, and Antony and Cleopatra.

For tickets or to learn more about the American Players Theatre, visit:

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