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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               February 17, 2012 


          Contact: Holly Feldman, Manager of Marketing and Audience Development

          (920) 854-6117x104



American Folklore Theatre Announces 2012 Season


Photos: Download 2012 Season Graphics (.zip)  

Video: http://bit.ly/aft2011video

Facebook this: Critically acclaimed American Folklore Theatre in Door County announces 2012 season!


Facts:   Critically acclaimed American Folklore Theatre in Door County has announced its 2012 Summer and Fall Seasons, which will run from June 13 until August 25 at the Amphitheatre in Peninsula State Park and move indoors to Door Community Auditorium and the Gibraltar Town Hall in the fall.


More:    Summer Season to feature World Premiere Victory Farm, in rotating repertory with AFT favorites Belgians In Heaven and Cheeseheads, The Musical.

              Fall Season to debut Cheeseheads, The Musical for the first time at the Door Community Auditorium while And If Elected returns to the Gibraltar Town Hall.


This year's world premiere, Victory Farm, is a story of "family, forgiveness, and the fruits of our labor" set in World War II Door County. The music is being created by award-winning composer James Valcq, who is best known for the worldwide success of The Spitfire Grill written with AFT co-founder, Fred Alley. The book and lyrics for Victory Farm were conceived and written by the up and coming writing team of Emilie Coulson and Katie Dahl.


The show is in the final phase of AFT's New Works Process, led by Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst, before heading to the stage on June 13th. Jeff reports, "Emilie and Katie both have deep family roots in Door County and draw their material from actual events that transpired in Door County during World War II. The story is set at Muellers' Bay View Orchard, in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin in 1944. Written with humor and tenderness, Emilie and Katie have carefully crafted a timeless story that is sure to resonate with the wide demographic that is our AFT audience."


Victory Farm plays Mondays at 8 p.m., Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., Thursdays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays at 6 p.m. starting Wednesday, June 13th at 8:30 p.m.


In addition, AFT's longest-running musical comedy returns this summer for its 9th season.  Belgians in Heaven follows the hilarious antics of two Wisconsin farmers, an angel, and a talking chicken. Described by the Green Bay Press-Gazette as "a popular laugh-fest with a profound metaphysical heart", Belgians tells the story of two Wisconsin brothers who need a little heavenly assistance to learn how to get along.


Created by Doc Heide, Lee Becker and James Kaplan in 1994, and last seen on the AFT stage in 2007, Belgians in Heaven is set in Southern Door County's Belgian-American farming district and explores themes that transcend any specific culture:  family reconciliation, the comedy of human foibles, and the meaning of life itself.  Heide, Becker, and Kaplan also wrote the hit sci-fi football musical Packer Fans from Outer Space, onstage this summer at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee. 


Belgians plays Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Fridays at 8 p.m. beginning Friday, June 15th.


Also this season, Cheeseheads, The Musical will not only be reprised on the summer stage but will also make its debut on the Door Community Auditorium indoor stage this fall.


Cheeseheads, The Musical, billed as a "modern day dairy-tale with a lotto heart," revolves around the lives of fellow workers at Schnaybel's Famous Cheese, a family-owned factory set in Sheboygan, WI. Their beloved founder has passed away and there are rumors that the factory may be shut down. With typical Wisconsin good humor, the workers carry on while keeping their fingers crossed that something better will come their way.


"Dave Hudson and Paul Libman's wildly popular show literally had people leaping from their seats to state out loud and proud, 'I'm a Cheesehead!' We are pleased to bring this audience favorite back and offer it for the first time to our fall audiences," said Managing Director, Dave Maier. The veteran writing team of Hudson and Libman has also authored Bing! The Cherry Musical, A Cabin with a View, Muskie Love, and Main-Travelled Roads for AFT, and are two-time recipients of the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre.


Cheeseheads, The Musical plays on the summer stage at Peninsula State Park on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. The show will open at the Door Community Auditorium on August 30th and will run through October 14th.


Joining Cheeseheads this fall, American Folklore Theatre spices up election season with And If Elected, a musical look back at presidential campaign history. This show, which has been performed during every election year since 1992, features presidential elections' facts, jokes, and songs from 1776 to the present. The Green Bay Press Gazette described it as, "One of the most entertaining history lessons you'll find."


Compiled by David Peterson, Fred Alley, and Jeffrey Herbst, And If Elected takes a lighthearted, often satirical, and occasionally poignant look at the complete history of the presidential election, telling stories of mudslinging and muckraking that have surprised and delighted audiences for almost 20 years. The show also unearths the numerous campaign songs that have been used as political tools throughout American history.


And If Elected will return to its home at the Gibraltar Town Hall in Fish Creek October 4th through the 14th.


This year's acting company will feature AFT veterans Doug Mancheski, Lee Becker, Doc Heide, Jeffrey Herbst, Chase Stoeger, Molly Rhode, Chad Luberger, Pamela Niespodziani, Steve Koehler, Jake Endres, and Karen Mal. Joining them will be newcomers Allie Babich and Trevor Rees. AFT is also pleased to welcome back veteran performer Jon Hegge as he makes his directorial debut for AFT directing Victory Farm. Hegge now makes his home in Minnesota where he is a professional actor. AFT audiences will remember him as a regular face on the summer stage with his wife Laurie Flanigan.


General admission tickets for summer shows are $19 for adults, $9 for teens, and $5 for children. Reserved seats are $6 more per ticket. All summer performances take place under the stars in the stunning Amphitheatre at Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek.


Tickets for Cheeseheads, The Musical at the Door Community Auditorium are reserved and are $26 for adults and $13 for children 12 and under. Tickets for And If Elected are general admission and are $20 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under.


Tickets for both the summer and fall season will go on sale April 16th in the AFT box office at the Green Gables shops in north Ephraim, via phone at (920) 854-6117, and online at www.FolkloreTheatre.com. 


American Folklore Theatre is a non-profit professional theatre organization that produces original musical shows in repertory from June through August.  AFT continues its performances into the fall with shows at the Door Community Auditorium and town halls September through October and over the Christmas holiday.  American Folklore Theatre is a member of Theatre Wisconsin and the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), organizations that promote non-profit theatre groups.


Logos and photos available in other formats and sizes upon request:  hfeldman@folkloretheatre.com    
AFT Logo
Victory Farm LogoBelgians in Heaven LogoCheeseheads Logo
And If Elected Logo

Cheeseheads Thumb
Chase Stoeger, Pamela Niespodziani,
Doug Mancheski, Fred "Doc" Heide, Dan Klarer,
Molly Rhode and Lee Becker,
Cheeseheads, the Musical - 2009,
Photographer: Len Villano
2010 Roof Shot Cheeseheads
BIH Doug, Doc, Laurie
 Doug Mancheski, Fred "Doc" Heide and Laurie Flanigan, Belgians In Heaven - 2007 Photographer Unknown