Timber Lake Playhouse

Guy Stephens

Two arts organizations are using state grants to help extend their seasons – in different directions.

On a visit in early June, Timber Lake Playhouse Executive Director Dan Danielowski points to work being done on the lobby – really an open walkway outside its theater – by a team of electricians. The schedule is tight. But so far, so good.

Jenna Dooley

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism, announced several grants designed to increase tourism across the state.  According to a news release, the grants haven’t been awarded since 2015. The office says they will help bolster the state’s tourism industry which generated over $3 billion in tax revenue for state and local communities last year.

Among the recipients:

The Farnsworth House: $10,360

Timber Lake Playhouse

 A professional theater company in northern Illinois’ Carroll County is seeking high schoolers interested in a career in the theater for a paid apprenticeship program this summer. 

Timber Lake Playhouse, near Mt. Carroll, received a grant through the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts that will fund four paid positions.

Dan Danielowski is the company’s executive director. He says the apprenticeships provide valuable experience.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

It’s summer theater time.  Places that are relatively quiet the rest of the year are churning out productions at a dizzying pace.  That raises a question:  is summer theater somehow different from theater the rest of the year?  

Dexter Brigham founded Festival 56 in Princeton, Illinois, more than a decade ago. He says summer theater is almost a separate genre, with roots that go back to the 19th century, when both actors and audiences were looking for something to do when the Broadway season ended.