Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll on Thursday announced that longtime TLP actor and alumnus Darren Mangler has been named artistic director for the 2023 season. 

“I am happy to welcome Darren to the TLP team,” playhouse executive director Dan Danielowski said in Thursday’s release. “He brings a wealth of experience and a love of the playhouse that we all will benefit from.”

Mangler spent the last two summers as a guest actor at Timber Lake and worked as production manager this past fall.

Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll, Ill.

Mangler grew up near Timber Lake Playhouse, in Savanna and was cast in 1776, Biloxi Blues, Phantom, Marvin’s Room and HMS Pinafore at TLP. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a double major in acting and directing.

After college, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue on-screen and stage opportunities. The Last Laugh: The Story of Fatty Arbuckle landed Mangler on the front page of the Entertainment section of the L.A. Times, nominating him as Best Actor in a Full Length Play. He was also nominated as Best Actor for the Valley Theater Awards for the play, The Underneath.

He produced the play White Trash Wedding and a Funeral at the Hollywood Fringe Festival which was the most critically reviewed show of the year, according to the TLP release. He was a member of the cast of Santasia for six years, the longest-running Christmas show in Los Angeles and also toured to New York.

Mangler is a Savanna native and graduate of Western Illinois University.

He has been seen in movies such as “The Longest Yard” remake with Adam Sandler and “Witness Infection” with Carlos Alazraqui. He has done over 30 national commercials, many Conan sketches, and stand-up comedy at the biggest venues in LA. He has also been an Associate Story Producer for reality shows such as “Deadliest Catch,” “Storage Wars,” and “Naked and Afraid, XL.”

Recently, Mangler was seen at TLP in The Full Monty, Mamma Mia, Pippen, Margaritaville, and We Will Rock You.

You can welcome him to TLP at two events scheduled for Jan. 25. First, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Higher Grounds Coffee House at 1709 South West Avenue in Freeport and later that day, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Copper Cow (formerly Henry’s Double K) in Mt. Carroll.

The schedule for Timber Lake’s 2023 season is:

  • “Grease” — June 1-11
  • “The 39 Steps” — June 15-25
  • “The Sound of Music” — June 29-July 9
  • “Nine to Five” — July 20-30
  • “Bright Star” — Aug. 3-13
  • “Jersey Boys” — Aug. 17-27

For more information or to order subscriptions to the 2023 season, call the Box Office at (815) 244-2035 or visit the TLP website HERE.