FISH CREEK, WI – Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s oldest professional resident summer theater, announced the appointment of David Hawkanson, Jill Herlache, Douglas MacNeil and Sara Massey to its Board of Directors.
“With the addition of these four new board members, the Players are poised to continue their excellent tradition of overseeing the successful operations of Peninsula Players,” says Ted Laitner, President of the Board of Directors. “Each of these individuals brings unique skills, experience and perspective to the board, which will ensure that we remain as focused and forward thinking as possible.”
David Hawkanson is the Executive Director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Prior to Steppenwolf, David Hawkanson was the Managing Director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling. Before his arrival at the Guthrie, he served for eight years as the Managing Director of Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut. In the years prior to his tenure at Hartford Stage, Hawkanson was Managing Director for the Arizona Theater Company and a guest administrator at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre. He is a former senior staff member at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he subsequently served as chairman of its Theater Program. David has also had an active career as an arts consultant and board member for such organizations as the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the Ford Foundation’s Working Capital Fund, National Arts Stabilization Fund, Alliance for Arts Advocates, League of Resident Theatres, Theatre Trustees of America, Theatre Communications Group, New York Stage and Film, and the American Arts. In Chicago, he is a board member of the Illinois Arts Alliance and the League of Chicago Theatres.
Jill Herlache is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and has been a member of the Door County community for nearly 20 years. Jill and her husband Tom have four children, five grandchildren and enjoy traveling. Jill has served the Door County community through participation in various organizations and their boards such as the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay, the Door County YMCA, the Fairfield Art Center, the Weidner Center, Door Community Auditorium and P.E.O. (philanthropic educational organization). An avid art enthusiast, she is excited to become a part of the Players long history of giving Door County audiences a unique and exceptional theatrical experience as well as an educational experience to their interns every season.
Life-long resident of Wisconsin, Douglas MacNeil was born and raised in Milwaukee and went to the University of Wisconsin where he met his wife to be, Janey Minahan, who hailed from Green Bay. After two years in the military he returned to Milwaukee and began his career as a financial planner with the Northwestern Mutual. In the mid 1970s, the MacNeil family raised their four children spending summers in Door County, initially, operated the Door County Tennis Club and subsequently, moved to Ephraim where they currently reside. Through the years, Doug has been involved with numerous community professional, education and arts organizations. The MacNeil family has been very fortunate to benefit from the Door County experience.
Sara Glenn Massey is a native of Aurora, Illinois who developed a love for Door County while spending her childhood summers in Ephraim. After graduating from Georgetown University and working in Chicago for several years, Sara, along with her husband Brad, decided to make Door County her permanent home in 2002. She has worked as a Realtor since then and also helped her husband start Door County Living, a local magazine now in its 6th year. In 2008, Sara and four other well-known area Realtors joined to form True North Real Estate – an innovative new brokerage with a fresh take on marketing and selling property throughout Door County.
Board members whose terms have expired after decades of diligent service to the Players include Tom McKenzie and Amy McKenzie. Tom McKenzie served on the Players’ board since its inception in 1964 and is the brother of long-time Players’ Executive Producer James McKenzie who died in 2002. Tom McKenzie, a resident of Appleton and a law partner in the firm of Bachman, Cummings, McKenzie, McIntyre & Wilson, S.C., served several terms as the Players’ Vice-President. Amy McKenzie, daughter of James McKenzie, has been on the board since 1985. Both were instrumental in the long-range planning of the construction of the new theater facility now servicing the patrons and actors at the Players. Ms. McKenzie’s contributions were
from first-hand experience as an actress and director with the Players. Patrons may recall some of the many roles she portrayed on stage at the Players’ including her childhood performances as a schoolgirl in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brody” and “Joe Egg” to adult roles in “Romance in D,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Broadway Bound” and many, many more.
Peninsula Players is America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and is unique in the country for its diverse productions, continuing loyalty to a resident company, and its beautiful setting of 16 wooded acres along the cedar-lined shores of Green Bay. In the past 73 years, the theater has become a Door County landmark and its cornerstone arts institution, attracting audience members from throughout Wisconsin and across the country.