About Naperville Theatre Company Board of Directors

Our Company



The Summer Place, Inc. (or Summer Place Theatre as it has come to be known) got its start back in 1966 as a way to keep students active and their acting skills sharp over the summer months. 

It was founded by Donald "Doc" Shanower, then Dean of Theatre at North Central College in 1966. 2016 was our 50th season, and we dedicated our shows to Doc. Sadly, we lost Doc in 2015, just shy of our big 50th anniversary. We miss you, and most of all we thank you for creating this long-lasting Naperville institution.

Our Mission Statement

The Summer Place, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit, volunteer-supported community theatre, based in the Naperville area, strives to provide professional quality year-round theatre arts entertainment. We are committed to providing:

  • A supportive and collaborative environment for artists;
  • High quality, culturally enriching entertainment to the community;
  • Educational opportunities for all ages through mentoring and performance based participation.

The Summer Place, Inc. gets funding through ticket sales, advertising sales, concessions proceeds, grants, and the generous donations of our patrons.

The bulk of our expenses go towards royalty fees, set building costs, and, depending on the production, costuming. To a far lesser extent we spend money on honorariums for our directors and musicians. Our actors do not get paid. For that matter, our actors don't pay us for the opportunity to act in our shows, although of late they have paid a script and costume fee to help defray those costs. Our producers, who are pulled from our Board of Directors, are not paid to produce the shows, nor are any of our Board Members or Officers paid for their service.

Summer Place is a Community Theater. It provides a great deal to Naperville: the opportunity to gather and create a work of art and to share that work with its citizens at a very low cost.

One of our largest supporters is Naperville itself. The Naperville Park District provides rooms for us to meet and rehearse and is a partner with us for Ghost Stories in the fall, and Naperville School District 203 provides our theatre venue during the summer: Naperville Central High School Auditorium.

Our Officers


President Matt Whalen

Matt WhalenMatt Whalen is a native of Naperville and grew up seeing Summer Place shows, and you could say was "bitten by the bug" as an audience member seeing musicals both in the Pavillion and at NCHS. His stage debut was in Summer Place's production of Heidi in 1994. After graduating from Neuqua Valley High School, he appeared in Summer Place's productions of Into the Woods and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He received his BA in Musical Theatre from North Central College, and has performed with many professional and community theatres in the area including Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Signal Ensemble Theatre, Metropolis Performing Arts Center, FIrst Folio, Music Theatre Works, Jedlicka,  Highland Park Players, Harper Theatre Ensemble, Wheaton Drama. His directing credits include Doubt....a Parable at Greenman Theatre. Other Summer Place credits include Jekyll and Hyde, Kiss Me Kate (Fred/Pertruchio), Mamma Mia (Bill Austin), The Sound of Music (Captain von Trapp). With Summer Place, he as co-produced West Side Story, Newsies, and The Secret Garden , and directed productions of Grease and You're a Good Man, Charlie BrownHis experience in non-profit leadership includes serving on the board, as Secretary, and as Internal and External Vice President of Naperville Jaycees. He's very excited about collaborating with the board on another great season of theatre in Naperville. He lives in Naperville with his wife, Lauren, and their Lab/Aussie mix, Finn.

Vice President Christina Peck

Christina joined Summer Place Theatre in 2019 when she was cast in South Pacific. She also performed in the Spring 2020 fundraising revue and recently played Liesl von Trapp The Sound of Music as well as Babe Williams in The Pajama Game

Christina and her husband, fellow Summer Place actor/ board member Jason, have been residents of Naperville since 2018. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary and Special Education and a Master's in Principal Preparation. She currently works as a high school special education teacher.

Secretary Taylor Weisz

Taylor WeiszTaylor has been with Summer Place since 2022 when she took on the role of Stage Manager for The Sound of Music. Taylor moved to Naperville just at the start of the pandemic from her hometown of Peoria. She was last seen in Tarzan the Musical (Terk) and Addams Family (Wednesday). As much as she can't wait to get back on the stage, she is enjoying being behind the scenes again.

Treasurer Nicole Grueneberg


Nicole Grueneberg is delighted to join Summer Place Theatre as the Treasurer of the Board. She is the owner of Grueneberg Business Solutions, based in the Chicago suburbs, but actively serving clients across the United States. Her company provides a variety of business solutions designed to help businesses build a firm foundation that is scalable and helps serious business owners accelerate their profits, quickly and inexpensively. Nicole is looking forward to using her bookkeeping and business coaching experience to support and guide SPT. When not running a business, Nicole's favorite thing to do in her free time is to participate in a variety of ways with musical theater. Not only has she performed a few times with SPT, but she has served as a director, choreographer and also teaches classes in Chicago area theater programs. When not in those roles, you can find her working on the tech team for her daughters' performances.

Our Board of Directors


Ross Berkley

Ross Berkley is a former musical theatre actor and classical vocalist, and retired as an artist in 2019.  Beginning his professional performance career in 2002 with Light Opera Works, he subsequently focussed his artistic career as an oratorio tenor and in directorial positions, often collaborating with his partner, award winning choreographer, Joni Wiltz. A proud alumni of the North Central College Music and Education Departments, he has held leadership positions with The Young Naperville Singers, The Naperville Chorus, The School of Performing Arts, The North Central College Summer Musical Theatre, and as an adjudicator for vocal contests, including Grammy Award winning artist Michael Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Competition.  Mr. Berkley holds a M. Ed in Leadership and is a Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional. He serves as the full-time President of the Naperville Unit Education Association.  Previously, he served for nearly 20 years as a  Director of Choral Activities and a Department Chair of Applied Arts and Sciences, Performance Music, and World Languages in the public school system. 

Sam Dempsey

Sam has been involved in the entertainment industry for the past 25 years. He received his BA in theater from North Central College, and his MFA in technical direction from SIU. After receiving his masters, he was the technical director for Pfeiffer Hall and the North Central College Theater department. He was promoted to Production Manager for the Fine Arts department as the Wentz Concert Hall was being constructed. After leaving the college Sam has involved himself in various community events such as the Naperville Jaycees Last Fling. Sam has worked on more shows and concerts that he can list. 

Ted Waltmire (Honorary Board Member)

Ted Waltmire has been a part of The Summer Place since 1977 when he was cast in Damn Yankees. Since then he has served as a musical director and on the Board of Directors producing plays and musicals as well as a term as President.  Ted has also studied at the Second City Training Center, Chicago Dramatists, and Porchlight Theater.  Following a stroke in 2009 Ted wrote the book and lyrics, collaborated with Stephanie McCullough on the music, and starred in The Mighty Ted which has been produced twice in Chicago. He was recently seen as the Bellboy in Sugar - The Some Like It Hot Musical

Sabrina Zeidler

Sabrina Zeidler-Michaelson was introduced to theatre when she saw her father in our production of Man of LaManchaShe is grateful for being brought to the theatre by her mother and being handed a drill by her father, all at the age of five. She is a graduate of Elmhurst University with a degree in Theatre – Stage Management, Design & Technology, and Theatre Arts Administration, with minors in Communication Studies and Business Administration. Sabrina has been honored by the Kennedy Center for her work in Stage Management on several occasions, and is the former Stage Manager for the New Philharmonic Orchestra (Glen Ellyn) and the former Technical Director of The Buffalo Theatre Ensemble. Currently, she is the Technical Director of College Theatre at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of Dupage.  She has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2013.

Steven Zeidler

Steve is a past president of Summer Place Theatre and has been a major supporter of this theatre group for years. He's also an accomplished actor and singer, appearing in many of our plays and musicals, most recently as Osgood Fielding in Sugar - The Some Like It Hot Musical, as well as Arthur in Spamalot, and appearances in Oklahoma, Harvey, The Man Who Came to Dinner, a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (pictured).


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