Northern Sky Theater had its beginnings in 1970, when a small troupe of talented college students, the Heritage Ensemble, began performing folk revues for an audience of mostly campers in Peninsula State Park. Over the decades, a dedicated group of artists with Wisconsin roots transformed the company into a regionally acclaimed, professional theater, remarkable for its commitment to developing and performing its own material.
Today, our ongoing mission of creating original shows has given us a unique identity with a history of over 50 world premieres. Over 40,000 people attend the theater annually, giving us a remarkably loyal following.
We are now ready to take a bold new step, building a creative campus to ensure that our mission will be sustainable well into the future. We invite you to take that step with us.
For each new show we create, a lot needs to happen indoors, away from the park. Currently, that’s happening at multiple rented facilities all over the county: We have our administrative offices in Ephraim; we build sets and store costumes in a barn near Baileys Harbor; we store sets and props in Fish Creek; and we rehearse at Birch Creek in Egg Harbor. Birch Creek is the latest of ten different rented rehearsal spaces in the past 25 years.
We need to focus on creating new material, but we have no consistently available, appropriate place to meet with a large group to do the necessary work. When we’d like to do a reading or a workshop of a new show and invite you to be a part of it, we sometimes simply cannot find a place to do it. In fact, some of our most critical rental options are disappearing faster than we can replace them, making it difficult to map out long-term plans for developing the new works that are vital to our future.
We spend roughly $80,000 every year in various rental expenses alone.
The Northern Sky campus will centralize all of our support operations and include Northern Door County’s only professionally equipped, intimate performance space.
We have acquired 40 acres of land for our creative campus on the corner of highways A and F, with a well-developed site plan already in place. There will be two buildings as part of the campus providing everything we need, in one place, before we make the annual move to the park.
– O.C. Boldt,
Chairman, The Boldt Company
The centerpiece of the Northern Sky campus will be a professionally equipped, intimate 248-seat theater that will serve as an ideal home for our fall and winter shows. In addition, it will be used for rehearsals, readings, workshops and benefits, making your Northern Sky experience a more integrated one.
When you visit our creative campus, you’ll walk into an open lobby with a view of the surrounding woods, where you’ll be able to purchase your tickets, buy a gift item, say hello to the friendly folks in the office, catch a glimpse of rehearsals, and greet the artists as they prepare for upcoming performances.
A place of serenity and solace, a place in nature to nourish the creative spirit, a place where original musical theater comes to life, a place to call home.
This new creative campus will make everything we offer at the park come together more efficiently. All our scattered pre-production resources will be consolidated and completely focused on bringing you more great theater. Most importantly, the park and the new campus will support, sustain, and strengthen each other, our mission, and the future of the theater that you love.
We also plan to make improvements at the park, enhancing your entire visit when you see a show there. We know that your Northern Sky summer memories are special not only because of the shows that we perform, but also because of the beautiful place where we are privileged to perform them.
The two combined are the heart and soul of Northern Sky Theater. We’ve had a remarkable 47-year partnership with the Wisconsin State Park system and that’s going to continue. In 2016, Northern Sky and the Wisconsin DNR renewed this partnership for 15 years, effectively securing our home in the park for the next generation of theatergoers.
– Stephanie Klett,
Wisconsin State Secretary of Tourism
Since building our new stage and adding dressing room and path lighting in 2001, we’ve done everything we can to make further needed improvements. We’ve added small enhancements, like our exit road and fire ring. But many of our interim solutions to various problems have surpassed their life expectancy.
With a few strategic tweaks and renovations, we an make some dramatic improvements to the overall Northern Sky experience that will impact the quality of your visit without changing what you love most about our theater under the stars.
Northern Sky’s Constellation Campaign is key at this pivotal moment in our development. Our history is compelling, our ongoing mission brimming with vitality, and our future more promising than ever.
In making your gift to our campaign, we ask that you consider the contribution Northern Sky Theater has made to the Door County community, to the art form of creating original musicals, and to the magic that we’ve brought you and your family over the years. Let’s keep the stars shining at Northern Sky for generations to come.
We need your help to reach our goal of $6.7 million and be ready to break ground on our new campus in 2018.
Recognition In addition to our deepest gratitude, we are pleased to offer recognition of your gift with the following:
Additional naming opportunities are still available at the $50,000 level and above including new buildings at the amphitheater and spaces at our new campus. Please see the enclosed donor card, or visit NorthernSkyTheater.com to make a gift.
Thomas A. Moore
Frederick J. Heide
Michael J. McCoy
Thomas A. Moore