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Dec 18, 19

From the Executive Director

It has been a very busy year.  We have enclosed the lobby, heated the theatre, expanded the season, added new concert events, hosted a BrewFest, and produced TLP’s first ever Christmas show on the TLP Campus.  What a year.  In the past five years, we have grown the campus from 4.7 acres to 15 acres and grown the business from a $580,000 business to a $1.2 million business.  The following are some of the accomplishments of 2019:

  • Wrote and were awarded a Tourism Attraction Grant for a $255,350 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a construction project to winterize the theatre
  • Successfully wrote a second proposal to the Corporation for National and Community Service in partnership with Camp Benson to host an AmeriCorps NCCC residential team to eradicate invasive species and build trails throughout the woods
  • Were awarded the Illinois Arts Council General Support Grant of $20,200
  • Received a $6000 grant from the Illinois Arts Council and a $750 grant from the Mount Carroll Rotary for a High School Intern Program with internships awarded to five high school students
  • Collaborated with area public libraries on a Summer Reading Literacy Project working with over 200 children in reading programs throughout the summer funded by a $6,090 grant from the Freeport Community Foundation
  • Installed our Brick Garden with donations to the Pave the Way to the Future Campaign
  • Worked with the Commercial Film class of DePaul University to create a marketing video for the theatre
  • Completed facilities projects including the lobby enclosure, new heating units in the theatre, and began cabin remodeling with Cabins 14 & 15
  • Awarded EMC points to twenty-nine actors who are working toward becoming members of the Actor’s Equity Association
  • Hired 123 artists from Carroll County, the tri-state region and around the country to make up the 57th professional company of actors, designers, directors & musicians
  • Employed 44 administrative and support staff from the local region
  • Held a record 145 performances this year
  • Produced 15 individual theatrical productions including the TLP Christmas show held at Henry’s Double K in Mt. Carroll
  • Welcomed Bob Martin as our Alumni Coordinator who initiated contact with TLP Alumni and formed an Alumni Group
  • Created an ad hoc committee comprised of TLP board, admin staff, and community members to increase corporate giving to TLP
  • Offered two performances of the popular “Company Cabaret” with our Resident Company performers
  • Moved our Annual GALA Fundraiser to the campus of TLP for a wonderful night of food, fun and fundraising
  • Expanded marketing efforts including a paid social media strategy and TV presence in the Quad Cities including two appearances on Paula Sands Live
  • Added additional parking south of the theatre in front of the barn Created pathways and gardens to connect the new parking areas with the theatre
  • Offered “Limo” golf cart transportation from the remote parking areas to the theatre before and after the performances
  • Were invited to become a member of the prestigious National Alliance of Musical Theatre (NAMT) and attended their Fall Conference
  • Increased Volunteer involvement in all areas of the organization
  • Held the first Annual Fall Festival and BrewFest featuring fall activities and craft beer from area micro breweries
  • Opened the campus to more activities through rentals including weddings, a fundraiser for The Carroll County Mental Health Board, and The Crossroads Blues Society for their 25th Anniversary Concert
  • Redesigned the “Haunted Experience at Timber Lake” to expand the Haunted House into two houses and an outdoor trail
  • Began offering year-round educational offerings with $15,000 funding by the Freeport Community Foundation

Annual Report 2019


Dec 18, 19

Audition Schedule Posted

We’ve just posted our Audition Tour for January and February.  We’ll be in Chicago, New York, Memphis, St. Louis and Louisville as well as several of the nations best colleges known for their musical theatre programs.  We will be holding local auditions at Timber Lake Playhouse on Sunday, March 29 beginning at 11:00 am and continuing until 7:00 pm.

If you are auditioning as an actor for our Chicago or Local auditions- please prepare a comedic monologue and 32 bars of a song showing off your voice. There will also be a dance call. (For AEA non-singing auditions- please prepare a one minute comedic monologue)

Please email your headshot/ resume/ reel to for an appointment for the Local audition. There are a limited amount of audition slots.

Local actors should call the administrative office at (81) 244–2048 to schedule an audition time.

If you are interested in auditioning for one of the orphans in ANNIE or for Annie herself, you must be between the ages of 7 — 15.  Please prepare 32 bars of a song either from teh show or in the style of the show.  You must be available for ALL REHEARSALS AND SHOWS.  Auditions will be from 3 — 7 pm and there will be a dance audition.

If you have been participating in the Annie Audition Workshop, you will use the song, the lines and the dance you have learned in the workshop.  We will be casting Annie, the six speaking orphans, and several other dancing and singing orphans.  Call (815) 244–2048 after February 1 to schedule an audition time.

We are also hiring designers, technicians, stage managers and other staff.  Please send a cover letter, resume, references and a link to your digital portfolio (designers) to and specify in the subject line what position you are interested in.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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Oct 10, 19

We’ve Added Friday Nights in the Escape Room

Due to sold out Saturdays, we’ve added more chances for you to escape the Escape Room.  Follow Farmer Tim Timberlake and see what his secret ingredient is in his famous Meat Products.  Click Here for tickets.  Only $90 for a team of six (more or less).

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Sep 23, 19

From the Executive Director

We are very pleased to be producing two great concerts this November.  On November 16, we will have the Blooze Brothers Revue.  This fabulous group with their 10-piece band will WOW our TLP audiences.  Don’t miss this one!  On November 23, The Neverly Brothers will be on campus featuring rock ‘n roll from Elvis to The Beatles.  Click here to get your tickets.

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Aug 30, 19

From the Artistic Director…

This has been an incredible summer and it just keeps going! There’s still time to catch Steel Magnolias, now on stage through September 1st!! Audiences have been loving this production with just the right amount of humor and heart.

Next up, get ready because Newsies is coming your way! This Disney hit musical is a true to life story of how turn-of-the-century NYC’s newsies took on newspaper mogel, Joseph Pulitzer for better wages. With hit songs like ‘Carry the Banner’ and ‘Santa Fe’, this family friendly musical will have you cheering for the boys (and girls) and humming the songs on the the way home! Newsies opens September 12th and runs through the 22nd.

As much as I’ve LOVED the 2019 season, I am already getting anxious for the 2020 season. Here are the shows for the 2020 summer season:

Jesus Christ Superstar 

Lend Me A Tenor

What a Wonderful World (World Premier Musical)

Legally Blonde


Jersey Boys or Buddy Holly

Jekyll and Hyde

Season subscriptions are now available and be purchased here.

Also, for the time in TLP’s history, we are going to produce our VERY FIRST CHRISTMAS SHOW!! Thanks to the grant from the Illinois State Council, we now are able to heat the theatre in addition to our BRAND NEW ENCLOSED LOBBY, you will always stay warm when coming to see a TLP show! More information on that will be coming shortly!

I just cannot thank you enough for your continued support of TLP!! Thanks to YOU, we are growing into the next chapter of our playhouse and we ONLY want to do it WITH you every step of the way!!


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Aug 06, 19

From the Artistic Director…

Well, I am happy to report that we had sold-out houses for the last week of Mamma Mia!! People came from all over the region, as well as different states like Texas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and even California!! Audiences reported back that this show was one of their favorites at TLP and the crowd responses supported those statements.


Next up is Man of LaMancha!! This TONY award-winning musical stars Broadway veteran, William Michals, as Don Quixote and Chicago actors, Christina Pecce (Aldonza) and Aaron Choi (Sancho). This is a beautiful tale of one man’s journey to dream a better life for himself than the one he currently lives in and encourages us all to ‘dream the impossible dream!’ Man of LaMancha open Thursday August 8th at 7:30pm and runs through August 18th.

Speaking of Man of LaMancha– I want to encourage everyone to come out to the Playhouse on Saturday August 17th at 4pm to watch our star of Man of LaMancha, William Michals, perform his one man concert. William will be singing from the American Songbook and classic songs from such shows as Les Miz, Phantom of the Opera, Oklahoma, Carousel and much more!  For those who were at our Gala last Saturday heard him sing Impossible Dream and we ALL were blown away by his superb voice. Tickets are on sale now and you can grab him by going to our ‘Events’ tab and clicking on his concert.

I look forward to seeing you all at the playhouse!!

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Aug 06, 19

Man of LaMancha’s William Michals in Concert!!!

Broadway veteran and star of TLP’s production of Man of LaManchaWilliam Michals, will be in concert on the Timber Lake Main Stage for a concert event on Saturday August 17th at 4pm.

The concert will consist of Michals singing from the American Songbook, as well as classic songs from some of the most recognizable musicals of the last 50 years! He will be accompanied by TLP’s Music Director, Michael McBride and a three piece band.

Tickets for the concert are $15 for TLP Subscribers and $20 for the general public.  Tickets can be purchased at the TLP box office in person or by calling 815-244-2035 or by clicking here.

The concert runs approx 90 minutes.

When: Saturday August 17th at 4pm

Where: Timber Lake Playhouse Mainstage

‘Come for the Show, Stay for the Experience!!’

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Jul 19, 19

From the Artistic Director…


We opened Mamma Mia last night and it was such a treat to hear from our patrons how much fun they had! I really can’t brag enough on our Resident Company and their ability to bring a show to life in just 12 days!! These artists, both on stage and back stage, bring such a passion to their work and their craft. They work tirelessly to bring our patrons the finest in quality and showmanship. Their dedication shows when I see a show like I did last night. Kudos to our director/ choreographer, Shane Hall and all of the design team!! Our Guest Artists, some making their TLP debuts, put the icing on the proverbial cake as Donna and Dynamos and the ‘Dads’. Making their TLP debut are Guest Artists, Andrew Varella (Sam), Kaitlin Lawrence (Donna), Lara Hayhurst (Tanya) and Mia Gimenez (Rosie). Returning Guest Artist and TLP alum, Darren Mangler (Bill), showed, yet again, why is a a fan favorite with our audiences. I would like to invite you to come see this production. It’s so much fun and feel free to bring the kids as this show has something for everyone!!

And remember on weekends and Wednesday matinees we have our Deck Series! People have been telling me they sometimes com e just for this event after they’ve seen the show. Our Deck Series takes place on our outdoor stage and starts 1 hour before the show. There is a bar for sandwiches and drinks, so make it part of your visit to TLP!

Tonight and tonight only, Friday July 19th, we will be hosting our Page-to-Stage-Talk-Back immediately following the show! This is your opportunity to meet some of the cast, designers and crew members and ask questions about how Mamma Mia was brought to life at TLP! This event usually lasts about 20 minutes and I have been receiving positive feedback from the people who attend. If you can’t make it, stream it live on our Facebook or Instagram page.

See you at your Theatre in Woods!

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Jun 14, 19











As we enter into the final weekend of our first production of the 2019 season, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, I want to extend my gratitude to all the patrons who have come out to see the show. People have expressed how much they are enjoying the show, the performances and the spectacle of it all. Both kids and adults are having fun with our interactive section of the show too! It’s not too late to get tickets for the final three performances. They will be Friday the 14th at 7:30, Saturday the 15th at 7:30 and Sunday the 16th at 2pm. Come out and enjoy the Deck Series before the show on our outdoor stage (Deck Series starts 1 hour before the show) and relax with a cocktail and some food from our Deck Bar. We also are starting our Saturday Night Bonfire after the show on Saturday night. We will be keeping the beer garden bar open and the fire blazing immediately following the performance for a chance to meet the cast and crew. There will be entertainment and  a lot of fun!

I also want to tell you about our next production, Noises Off! This farce has been hailed as the ‘funniest show ever written for the stage!’ and I tend to agree. Full of slamming doors, falling downstairs and a whole mess of sardines, Noises Off is a genuinely fun and hilarious evening of entertainment. Noises Off! opens Thursday June 20th and plays through the 30th.

Lastly, I want to brag on our Educational Director, Robert McFletcher Jones! Robert is deep in rehearsals for our All Area Teen Musical, The Addams Family, and the kids are looking and sounding terrific. Robert is also spear-heading our summer workshops for kids of all ages. So if you or your child is looking for an opportunity to play games, sing, dance and have fun, go to our ‘Educational Program’ tab on our website and explore all the possibilities we are offering this summer! The Addams Family will run from July 8th-13th

and tickets are selling fast, so get yours online or by calling the box office 815-244-2035.

I’ll see you at your Theatre In the Woods!



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Jun 04, 19


2019 is in FULL EFFECT at TLP, as we just opened The Little Mermaid last Thursday! I am so thrilled to be back at TLP for my 2nd season and even more thrilled to be working alongside the 2019 Resident Company. I really wanted  to bring the Disney Magic to this show and this team worked tirelessly to achieve this goal. With vivid aerial effects, a moving stage and gorgeous costumes, this production certainly brings the spectacle to the forefront. The Little Mermaid runs through June 16th and I’m hearing great feedback from our patrons. It’s a family musical that has something for the kids, as well as adults, so come out and see the ‘most popular Disney princess’ on the TLP stage.

Rehearsals have begun for the ‘best farce written for the stage’, Noises Off! Bringing back Chicago director, Kevin Theis, to helm this comedy masterpiece was essential to make TLP’s production top notch. Kevin directed last season’s Baskerville, and we are excited for him to lead the cast for our 2nd show of the season. The show plays June 20th-June 30th. If you’re a fan of comedies, I highly recommend Noises Off! 

I am thrilled to report that our Educational Director from last season, Robert McFletcher- Jones, is back again this season!! He will be directing the All-Area Teen Musical, The Addams Family which plays July 8th-13th. The cast is already hard at work in rehearsals and they are looking and sounding fantastic!! Tickets are selling fast, so you may want to think about getting yours early as last season, we sold out!

Dan and I have been doing major planning during the off season to bring you more opportunities and experiences at your Theatre in the Woods! One of these events is our new, Saturday Night Bonfire! In addition to our nightly intermission bonfires, on Saturday nights after the show, you can grab a drink and relax by the fire as our Acting Company comes out to join in on the fun. It’s another way of creating opportunities for you to mingle and get to know our Residents this summer.

Lastly, if you’re not already a season ticket holder, it’s not too late. Get your season subscription for $119.  That’s six shows for the price of four.  That’s like getting The Little Mermaid for FREE! We would love to welcome you as a new subscriber and who doesn’t love FREE tickets!  You can add Newsies to your subscription for just $20.

I hope to see you all this summer at the playhouse!!!


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