In 1961, Timber Lake Playhouse was established as a professional, non-profit summer theatre company. The mission of Timber Lake Playhouse is to provide the best expression of theater arts to the regional community by presenting creative works that entertain and inspire. In 2018, TLP entered into an agreement with Actors Equity Association, designating TLP a Tier 8 Small Professional Theatre.
The current theatre building (erected after a fire destroyed the original wooden-frame structure in 1974) houses a forty-five foot wide semi-thrust revolving stage and 371 fixed seats (view a seating chart). The property is also home to fourteen other buildings used for costumes, scenic and paint shops, food service and housing for the company. The unique layout of facilities allows the Playhouse to present work on a much larger scale than many summer theatre companies. In 2017, TLP purchased an additional five acres of wooded land surrounding the property including the barn structure to the south of the theatre. This gives TLP just under ten acres that make up the TLP Campus. In 2018, TLP purchased the guest house on the corner of Timber Lake Road and Black Oak Road, which gives the Playhouse a total of fifteen acres.
Since it’s first opening night on June 28, 1962, the Playhouse has presented nearly 400 plays and musicals and over 4,500 performances. TLP presents a challenging combination of material each year: a mix of large-scale musicals, new plays, and contemporary classics. The theatre hosts annual educational workshops for children and teens in conjunction with the Magic Owl Children’s Theatre’s productions of plays and musicals for young people and their families. TLP’s concert series brings bands from around the Midwest to entertain area music lovers.
The Resident Company
The Resident Company consists of thirty-five to forty performers, technicians and musicians selected by interviews and auditions in cities across the country. Numerous guest performers, directors and choreographers supplement the resident company each season.
Reputation for Excellence
Timber Lake is proud of its national reputation for excellence as a professional summer stock theatre. The theatre has served as launchpad for theatre artists of all kinds who have gone on to excellence in film and television, as well as on Broadway and stages all over the world.