Island Time

June 2019 View more

Summer Place cast

How do you celebrate a 53rd birthday? If you’re Naperville’s original community theater, Don Gingold says you move into a new place and schedule a trip to the islands.

“We don’t feel a day over 49!” exclaims Gingold, president of Summer Place Theatre (, which has been presenting live theatrical works in venues of all shapes and sizes around town since 1966.

“We have some ‘new blood’ on our board and a renewed sense of family and fun this year. As always, we’re accepting and welcoming of all actors—new or veteran, young or old—who want to help us put on big theater productions at little theater prices.”

However, even as Summer Place remains committed to that longtime mission, its actual physical home is set to change yet again in 2019, as a summer construction project in the auditorium at Naperville Central High School necessitates a move the Community Yellow Box Theatre at Rickert and Ogden. Gingold says moving around is just part of the tradition of Summer Place.

“We’ve had numerous homes over the years—we started in a tent, we were in a car dealership in downtown Naperville for a few years—so we’re a bit nomadic,” he explains. “Luckily, just a few blocks west [of NCHS], there’s a wonderful 220-seat black box style theater that took us in, and we think our audience is going to love what we do with the place.”

Physical move aside, Summer Place is hoping to theatrically transport patrons to the islands this season, with a lineup of three productions designed to put them in a tropical frame of mind: the legendary 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific (June 7–8 and 14–15), the classic comedy My Three Angels, upon which the Humphrey Bogart movie We’re No Angels was based (June 28–29), and the ABBA sing-along favorite Mamma Mia (July 19–20, July 26–27 and August 2–3).

“Each of our productions takes place on an island,” Gingold notes, “and don’t we all need a little escape these days?”

Photo courtesy Summer Place Theatre