FISH CREEK, WI -
Door County's award-winning Northern Sky Theater, in cooperation with Show How, LLC, will be shining the spotlight on Winneconne, Wisconsin, in an upcoming reading of a new musical comedy. We Like It Where? by Corrie Beula Kovacs and Stephen Kovacs will be presented as a public staged read/sing-through on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4:30 p.m. at the Winneconne Community Arts Center (WCAC).
We Like It Where?
celebrates ordinary people doing extraordinary things and is based on the true story of Winneconne's brief secession from Wisconsin.
When they are inadvertently left off the state highway map in 1967, the residents of Winneconne, Wisconsin, decide to petition the governor for help. However, he's not interested in solving their problem, so they take matters into their own hands. What begins as a contest in the local paper to "Put Winneconne Back on the Map" becomes a national story. With the help of two Winneconnians working in Washington, D.C., they concoct a publicity stunt to secede from the state of Wisconsin.
"Our most abundant source materials came from the Winneconne Public Library. One book in particular, We Like It Where? The Sovereign State of Winneconne, proved to be a comprehensive record of the secession," notes writers Corrie Beula Kovacs & Stephen Kovacs. "We also found vast research materials in the private papers of James P. Coughlin (Village President 1959 - 1995), which were donated to the library."
The husband and wife writing team has been hard at work creating energetic musical numbers to accompany Winneconne's hilarious publicity stunt in the name of sovereignty, and audiences will soon be able to watch performers emulate some of the Sovereign State's beloved original leadership, including James Coughlin and Vera Kitchen, as they tell Winneconne's tale like it's never been told before - live on stage.
"Perhaps our most rewarding research, though, has been done with the two living characters from our show, Jan and Russ Meerdink of Neenah," adds Beula Kovacs. "They've provided us with a first-person look at the events that took place more than 50 years ago."
With the collaboration of Molly Rhode, Northern Sky Theater's Associate Artistic Director, and Richard Carsey, a Broadway music supervisor, We Like It Where? has been guided through development with great care and enthusiasm, having had two workshops at Northern Sky in the summers of 2017 and 2018.
Northern Sky Theater hopes to produce the world premiere of We Like It Where? in their summer 2019 season at the Peninsula State Park Amphitheater in Fish Creek, WI.
Adding to the excitement of the community's opportunity to see this one-time only sneak peek of the musical, the WCAC will be decked out with historical artifacts and other displays showcasing Winneconne's quest for recognition, then sovereignty, which is still celebrated 51 years later. A silent auction will also be part of the day, with all proceeds benefiting Friends of Winneconne Music and Performing Arts (FOWMPA). FOWMPA is non-profit 501(c)3 and its purpose is to support music and performing arts programs in the Winneconne Community School District at all grade levels, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Tickets for this reading are available for purchase online now at http://winneconne-community-arts-center.ticketleap.com or in person at the WCAC Box Office, 100 Wolf Run, Winneconne, open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday, 3:30 - 5:30PM.