Community Spotlight: Timber Lake Playhouse

Community Spotlight

Stars like Jennifer Gardner and Michael Gross have called Timber Lake Playhouse’s stage their home.

Now the summer stock theatre is preparing for their next act.

Tucked away in a woodland resort with a lakefront view, the Saturday pre-show is warming up the audience.

Timber Lake Executive Director Dan Danielowski said, “Theatre in the woods is an incredible place to be.”

The maestro of this residential summer stock theatre is Dan Danielowski.

Danielowski said, “There are a few [theatres] like this but nothing quite this remote.”

This is his fifth year at Timber Lake Playhouse.

Danielowski said, “It’s fun that we can create a place here where professional, equity actors want to come.”

It’s a time seeing more than just the growth of talent but expanding their season outside the months of June through August.

Danielowski said, “Now we have a full-fledged education program. We’ve expanded the campus from four acres to 15 acres.”

This company is starting off its 58th season.
On this weekend, it’s the closing curtain for their first performance of the season, Little Mermaid.

Resident Actor James Tweedale said, “Timber Lake Playhouse is an incredible artistic community.”

This place is about giving many young artists a start, whether on stage or behind the scenes.

Costume shop manager and head designer Zandra Sipa said, “It’s like putting your heart and soul onto a stage. It’s brilliant and beautiful and to see the actor fall in love with it is heartwarming.”

Every summer, it’s an opportunity drawing on talent from across the country.

Timber Lake Artistic Director Stancato said, “I look at about 5000 candidates to come and be a part of our resident company. I select about 16 actors and 15 technicians.”

“Timber Lake Playhouse is always about progress and growth and this year our resident company is incredible,” said Tweedale.

It’s more than just their art the company leaders said they want to impart.

“My hope is when they leave, they take with them an experience that will change their lives in a way that is positive, makes them better artist and hopefully better humans as they leave here and to take with them the magic Timber Lake has been able to provide to them through the summer,” said Stancato.

And now, TLP is preparing for their next stage to turn this place into a year-round theatre.
Just this month, announcing a major grant to help with their $200,000 renovation.

Danielowski said, “We happened to find this grant for capital improvement and kind of wrote it on a lark and I’ll be darned if we didn’t get the grant.”

We are going to be able to renovate our theatre, enclose our theatre.” Stancato said, “We’re going to be able to provide a lobby for our patrons. We can heat it, we can cool it. We’re getting a new heat/ AC system inside so this is going to allow our patrons to remain comfortable and at Timber Lake Playhouse, we are looking to grow into the fall and winter and the spring. We’re hoping our patrons will come along with us for that ride.”

As that works begins, it’s to continue a mission of finding where the arts meet nature.

Tweedale said, “Come for a show, stay for an experience.”

Noises Off is on the state through June 30. That is followed by Into the Woods.

To learn what is taking the shows on stage and other activities at Timber Lake, visit their website. To contribute to Timber Lake and it’s capital improvement plan, follow the link to their website.

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