Since 1980, the American Players Theatre has been performing the works of Shakespeare and other classic plays in the woods just outside Spring Green, Wis., trusting to the unique alchemy of the natural setting and a troupe of marvelously talented actors to work theatrical magic on those lucky enough to discover this amphitheater under the stars.
All of the productions I have seen at the APT have been excellent, and the theater has even received national recognition for the quality of its performances in recent years. But still, it seems to be little-known outside of Wisconsin.
Which is too bad--this "Theater in the Woods" is within driving distance of Chicago as well as Madison, Wis., and its wooded amphitheater setting offers greater natural beauty than Ravinia's well-manicured suburban lawns, spacious though they may be.
APT is currently offering a week of preview performances, leading up to the official opening night on Saturday, June 14, featuring David Mamet's American Buffalo in the Touchstone Theater in the afternoon and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest in the Up-the-Hill Theater at night.