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Mar 28, 19

From Your Executive Director


We announced the TLP concerts this week.  We’re glad to have Dueling Pianos back at TLP this spring.  They will be here on Friday, May 24 to kick off Memorial Weekend.  And for those of you who missed last fall’s Eagles Tribute – Heartache Tonight – they will be back on September 28.  You won’t want to miss them.  Also returning to TLP after a successful Reba and Friends is Brooke Byam and friends with this year’s Dolly and Friends.   Brooke will take the stage May 17 – 19 with another great TLP concert.   To kick off our Mamma Mia! summer, we will host the ABBA tribute band, Dancing Queen on May 11.  With painstaking attention to detail, Dancing Queen has recreated an ABBA experience you won’t soon forget.  On September 7, The Four C Notes will visit TLP with their Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute.  They are fronted by John Michael Coppola, best known for his appearance in Chicago’s long running production of the Broadway smash hit Jersey Boys.

We kick off May with our Worldly Delights Celebrity Chef event on May 3 held at the theatre.  Then on the 4th, the Crossroads Blues Society will take over the theatre with their 25th Anniversary Blues Festival featuring three blues bands throughout the day.  Although Crossroads is mainly based in Rockford, the society originated twenty-five years ago in Lanark.

Our Americorps NCCC Team is busily working to clean up our woods, especially the area between the theatre and the barn.  We’ll have a special on them later this month.

Only a few weeks!!!

Jan 27, 19

From your Executive Director

As we prepare all of our end of year reports and letters to our patrons, we look back fondly on a great 2018 season.  It was the first season for our new Artistic Director, Paul Stancato.  Paul treated us to his directorial style with Beauty and the Beast and The Full Monty and we were not disappointed.  We set several attendance records with Beauty and the Beast total run, Fiddler on the Roof single day sales and total tickets for all shows and events that topped 28,000.  Add that to a great first year for our Deck Series and activities in The Barn and 2018 was, in a word – FANTASTIC!!

We especially enjoyed being mentioned in the River Cities’ Reader’s “Faves in Fives 2018” Highlights from the Year in Area Theatre.  Fiddler on the Roof received mention in the Production category.  “…this unforgettable story was executed beautifully; from start to finish, the audience was delightfully entertained.”  Trevor Vanderzee was mentioned in the Lead Actor category for his role in The Full Monty.  “This rowdy production was enhanced by Vanderzee’s machismo vocals and reliable comedic timing, making Jerry a priceless low-rent Chippendale.”  Ben Senneff received mention in the Featured Actor category in Forever Plaid as a “multi-talented young actor who can do impersonations, play the piano, and belt a song like nobody’s business.”  In the Music and Sound category, Sound Designer Jacob Almanzar and Music Director Lena Gabrielle received honors for their work in The Full Monty.  “…their partnership really put the ‘full’ in the Monty.”  And finally, in the Memorable Moment category, The Hound in Baskerville received mention.  To read the full article, follow this link to The River Cities’ Reader:

Many of our guests took advantage of the opportunity to stroll around the grounds on our newly made trails and stop by The Deck Bar for a meal before the show. 

TLP has a lot of great ideas for patrons next season.  Watch our blogs for all the great activities next season.

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Sep 18, 18

Summer Season Wrap Up!

We had a wonderful Fall production with Beehive and I was abuzz with all the excitement I heard from our patrons on how much they loved not only that show, but the entire season! As I complete my first season here at TLP, I am reminded that it takes so many people to bring each production to life. Kindred spirits who love making theater and telling stories. I am grateful for all of our Residents and Guests who came out to play with us this summer! This summer will live long in my memory! Thank you to all our wonderful patrons, who continue to support our Theater in the Woods. We are already seeing a growth in season subscriptions, as we are now on sale for out 2019 season, as well as all the wonderful feedback we are receiving with our new programming like the Deck Series. I encourage everyone to come check our Haunted Trails, Escape Room and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Details on each are all here on the website.  I am humbled to call TLP my artistic home and I look forward to seeing everyone very soon! -Paul

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Jul 04, 18

From the Artistic Director

First, let me say that it is my honor to be here at Timber Lake Playhouse! One of the first things that drew me to TLP was the powerful sense of community. For 48 years, this community has been the driving force that has made TLP the oldest, continuously operating summer theater in Illinois, and it is that community that is the reason why we are still growing. Bringing quality theater to our audiences is my number one goal, and I want to honor the traditions of the past as we evolve as a theater. During my tenure here, I hope to continue to build on the strong foundation of my predecessors and expand our community of supporters as we move forward.

As an organization, we have so many talented and passionate people that are ready to see TLP become one of the most highly respected and recognized summer theaters in the country, from our board of directors to our staff that work the day-to-day operations. Just this year alone, TLP has raised the bar by becoming an Equity theater. This means we are now a member of the professional actor’s union and in doing so, we plan to focus on increasing the quality of each production we bring to the main stage.

We have also inaugurated two new programs I am very excited about. The first is our Deck Series; before each show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, patrons can come to our outdoor stage by the lake and listen to our Resident Acting Company sing a variety of musical styles. Each Deck Series aligns with the current main stage show. For example, during our production of Beauty and the Beast, our Deck Series was Disney-themed. The second of these new programs is our Broadway Concert with the Stars! This year, we had Andrea McArdle, Broadway’s original Annie, singing her iconic songs from her career and telling stories about each one. We hope to continue to bring different Broadway stars to our theater in the woods, and we hope you will join us for each one.

Your voice is an important one as we evolve, and I want to hear from you. Let us know how we are doing and what types of shows you want to see. I always say it takes a small army to mount a show, and the final piece of the circle is our audiences. You are the reason we have such a rich history, and it will be because of you that we will carry our mission into the future. Thank you, Timber Lake Playhouse, for bringing us to today, and here is to the journey we will take together!


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Jun 01, 14

Timber Lake Playhouse’s 53rd Season Begins

Timber Lake Playhouse, the professional summer theatre in Mount Carroll, opened its box office for ticket sales on Monday, May 19. The playhouse entertains over 20,000 ticket buyers each year with a full line-up of shows and events through August. The 53rd Resident Company includes performers and designers from around the country, chosen from auditions in six cities.


TLP’s 53rd Season opens with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (June 5-15). Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical for the whole family has become a massive international hit everywhere it plays. Executive Director James Beaudry put his personal choreographic stamp on this new production, featuring Melissa Weyn as The Narrator and Gabe Brown as Joseph, chosen from over 1000 hopefuls around the country.


TLP Hall of Fame Director Chuck Smith returns for a record 13th consecutive year as a guest director for J. B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, June 19-28. In 1912 England, an Inspector interrupts an engagement party, implicating each person in the apparent suicide of a young woman. But is this inspector really who he claims to be? And is this a whodunnit? or a who didn’t do it? John Chase of Mount Morris returns to TLP as the patriarch, Arthur Birling, and three time Jeff Award winning Chicago actress Danielle Brothers comes to TLP for the first time in the role of Sybil Birling.

Brad Lyons, longtime TLP Artistic Director and revered master of the ridiculous, returns to direct at TLP for the first time since 2009’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Lyons will translate Mel Brooks film masterpiece Young Frankenstein(July 3-13) to the stage in this musical adaptation starring some of TLP’s best-loved comedians. Cody Jolly and Matt Webb, who were adored as they faced off in The Music Man, Unnecessary Farce and Spamalot last year, team up as Dr. “Frokensteen” and “I-gor.” Analisha Santini, who stole the show in Boeing Boeing, returns as Frau Blucher.

American comedy writer Neil Simon takes on the New York society types of the late 1980s in Rumors (July 17-26). Derek Bertelsen returns to direct the comedic mayhem, featuring a slew of our favorites as well as brilliant newcomers Grant Brown and Allison Hunt. Part farce and part side-splitting sitcom, Rumors remains one Simon’s funniest scripts.

Les Miserables, the most popular musical of all time comes to TLP for the first time July 31-August 10, and it’s packed with guest stars. Matthew Teague Miller (The Spitfire Grill at TLP) spent several years as a performer in the first National Tour of Les Miserables. He returns to TLP to direct the show for our audiences. Special guest star Jason Kraack plays the role of Jean Valjean, one of the most challenging in musical theatre. He has done the role on the first National Tour, and was chosen after an extensive national search.  Jeff Award winning Chicago actor John Leen makes his TLP debut as Inspector Javert. Lexie Plath and Erica Stephan return to TLP as Fantine and Eponine, respectively. Newcomers Caroline Murrah and Nathan Goodrich play the young lovers, Cosette and Marius.

Associate Artistic Director Courtney Crouse directs SHOUT! The Mod Musical (August 14-24) with choreography by James Beaudry. This musical review features of the best songs of the 1960s, including the title song, as well as: Downtown Those Were the Days, These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,  To Sir With Love, Wishin’ & Hopin’, I Only Want To Be With You, and even Goldfinger! Five woman sing out the stories of the 60s to the soundtrack of a generation. Daryn Harrell (Children of Eden, Sweet Charity) returns to TLP as a guest star.

Tickets to TLP’s mainstage shows are $23 (Seniors $21 and Students $17). To see each show for only $18.33, you may still because a season subscriber until June 15. Subscriptions are $110.  Beaudry said of the ticket prices, “The generosity of individual donors, corporate sponsors, private foundations, the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, keep Timber Lake Playhouse an essential cultural and economic driver for the Northwest Illinois region. Without their support, every ticket to TLP would cost $35. We thank them for their continued belief in our work.”


To purchase tickets, call the box office at 815-244-2035 or visit them at 8215 Black Oak Rd. in Mount Carroll. Tickets may also be purchased online at 815-244-2035



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Sep 11, 13

2014 Subscriptions on sale NOW!

Season Subscriptions for the 2014 season are now on sale.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for more information!

JOSEPH and the AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT June 5-15 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable in a new production directed and choreographed by Executive Director James Beaudry. Joseph, his father’s favorite son, is a boy blessed with prophetic dreams. When he is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and taken to Egypt, Joseph endures a series of adventures in which his spirit and humanity are continually challenged. Set to an engaging cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to 60s  pop and rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless.

AN INSPECTOR CALLS   June 19-28 “That was the police. A girl has just died–on her way to the infirmary.”  J. B. Priestley’s legendary ghost story occurs in an English industrial city, where a respectable British family is subject to a routine inquiry in connection with a young girl’s death. Interrupting a party in 1912, when everyone still believed the Titanic was unsinkable, an inspector calls to interrogate the family. During the course of his questioning, all members of the group are implicated lightly or deeply in the girl’s undoing. The inspector’s startling revelations turn the play from a “who done it” into a “who did what?” and a “who didn’t stop it?” “Spectacular, dazzling and clever–a potent play for today,” AN INSPECTOR CALLS had been described as,  “compulsory for anybody who loves the theatre… It should also be high on the list for those who visit theatres occasionally and want to be sure of a safe, enjoyable night out with some real surprises.”

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN The New Mel Brooks Musical July 3-13 IT’S ALIVE! Based on Mel Brooks’ classic comedy masterpiece, the story follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein (that’s Fronkensteen) as he attempts to complete his grandfather’s masterwork and bring a corpse to life. Together with his oddly shaped and endearing helper Igor (that’s Eye-gor), his curvaceous lab assistant Inga, and in spite of his incredibly self-involved madcap fiancé Elizabeth, Frankenstein succeeds in creating a monster — but not without scary and quite often hilarious complications. With memorable tunes as “The Transylvania Mania,” “He Vas My Boyfriend” and Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ On The Ritz,”  The New MEL BROOKS Musical YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is scientifically-proven, monstrously good entertainment…and the only place you’ll witness a singing and dancing laboratory experiment in the largest tuxedo ever made.

Neil Simon’s RUMORS   July 17-26 From the writer of The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park and the Pulitzer Prize winning Lost In Yonkers comes this Tony Winning comedy set firmly in the late 1980s. At a large, tastefully appointed Sneden’s Landing townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of Farce. Gathering for their tenth wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken and wife Chris must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and mis-communications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity.

LES MISÉRABLES   July 31-August 10 This international smash-hit may be the most popular musical in the world. In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption. Epic, grand and uplifting,  LES MISÉRABLES packs an emotional wallop that has thrilled audiences all over the world. The show overflows with melodies that are already standards, but, it is its powerful affirmation of the human spirit that has made LES MISÉRABLES a popular masterpiece.

SHOUT! The Mod Musical  August 14-24 SHOUT! features terrific new arrangements of such classic tunes as “Those Were The Days,” “Wishin’ & Hopin’,” “To Sir With Love,” “Downtown,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Goldfinger” and the title song. SHOUT! travels in time from 1960 to 1970 chronicling five women. Just as Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, and Cilla Black, were independent women with major careers, English and American women were redefining themselves in the face of changing times.  SHOUT! reflects that through the unforgettable music of the time. With a shimmy and shake, the songs in this delightful musical resonate with a timeless quality that appeals to every generation.

Get one ticket to each mainstage show for only $110! Save money and get the best seats NOW! You will receive an email confirmation that provides you with a link to make your reservations. Tickets are available only for subscribers.  Buy one for you or give the gift of a subscription with a gift certificate by clicking HERE. Enjoy the show!


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Apr 16, 13

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT to Premiere at TLP

Executive Director James Beaudry and Timber Lake Playhouse, will present the first regional production of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT as part of TLP’s upcoming summer season. Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, their quest for the Holy Grail and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people. Did we mention the bevy of beautiful show girls? The show that “raises silliness to an art form” (The Sunday Times), will open August 1, 2013 and run throu

gh August 11th.


The show has been a huge hit in a long run on Broadway and on three national tours, but it had it’s pre-Broadway premiere in Chicago, where its entire run was sold out before it began in late 2004. Beaudry confirmed that TLP was offered the rights to produce the show a full year ago, but had to keep mum about it until now. “Sean Cercone, director of professional licensing for Theatrical Rights Worldwide, contacted us and several other theatre companies in April 2012. We had a four-day window to make a decision and secure the rights, or the show would be unavailable because another national tour was going back out,” Beaudry said.

“So we made it happen. But the only catch was that we couldn’t advertise the show until March 2013. When we announced the rest of season last July, we were as creative as possible about selling the show without saying anything specific about it.” According to Beaudry, “It was quickly brought to our attention by some eager, Google-savvy subscribers, however, that the licensing company had our production listed on their website. We weren’t allowed to advertise, but we were allowed to encourage people to go on their own quest to find the information we weren’t allowed to tell. It quickly became the worst kept secret in the history of our company!”

The show that the New York Times calls a “no-holds-barred smash hit,” will star John Chase of Mount Morris as King Arthur. He has previously been seen at TLP in Working, Sunset Boulevard and Oklahoma!. Sharriese Hamilton (Working, …Spelling Bee) takes on the Tony Award winning role of The Lady of the Lake, Brandon Jess Ford (All Shook Up, Sunset Boulevard, Boeing Boeing) returns to play Sir Lancelot, and James Beaudry returns to the TLP stage in the role of Brave Sir Robin. Rounding out the cast are newcomers Brandyn Day (Baldwin Wallace University) as Sir Galahad, Cody Jolly (Webster University) as The Historian, Elliot Marach (Millikin University) as Sir Bedevere and Matthew Webb (Savannah College of Art and Design) as Patsy. The new resident company of TLP fills out the ensemble.

The 52nd Season at Timber Lake Playhouse opens June 6, 2013 and includes A Chorus Line, Tuesdays With Morrie, The Music Man, Unnecessary Farce, Spamalot and ‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical. Subscriptions for all six shows are only $110. The Magic Owl Children’s theatre will also present The Hobbit and Seussical. More information is available at

Monty Python’s Spamalot performs August 1-11. Performances are at 7:30pm, Tuesday through Saturdays and there are 2pm matinees on Sunday and Wednesday. There is also a Saturday matinee performance on opening weekends at 3pm. Season subscribers and groups may reserve tickets immediately during regular business hours, 11am – 4pm Monday through Friday at 815-244-2035. Timber Lake Playhouse is located at 8215 Black Oak Road, Mount Carroll. Single tickets will go on sale May 20th.

Do Something Spectacular.




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