Actor Doug Peruski is taking his Square Peg Players to New York.
Online PR News – 15-July-2014 – Duluth, GA – Doug Peruski says that as an actor, he has to give New York a try. And he is taking his popular theatre group, The Square Peg Players, with him – if in name only.
Doug Peruski co-founded the group, which he refers to as "The Squares," soon after graduating from the University of Georgia five years ago. Along with co-founder Thomas Forsythe, Doug Peruski and The Square Peg Players have become a fixture in the Duluth artistic scene, especially with its popular "Improv Night" series of performances.
But he and the Square Peg Players, Doug Peruski says, have become big fish in a small pond, and in order to grow artistically he needs the greater waters of New York. Doug Peruski recently announced that when the Squares' current production, Thomas Forsythe's No Rights Reserved, ends its Duluth run, he will try the Big Apple. And the Square Peg Players will be going with him.
There are only five actors associated with the Square Peg Players on a regular basis, Doug Peruski says. "And that includes me, Tom, and Tom's wife Angela." The other regulars are Allyson Fielder and Brian Sugarman.
Doug Peruski says that once they are in New York, the trio of Square Peg Players will stage Forsythe's new play Elastic Magnet at a venue he has already contracted with, and describes as "off-off-off-off and really way off Broadway." He and Forsythe will cast the play soon after arriving, and hope to find several who can replace Fielder and Sugarman.
Allyson Fielder is a Theatre Arts professor at Duluth Community College and says she is unable make the move. "I'm sorry to see Doug go," she said, when contacted for this article. "But I understand that it's something he needs to do."
At age sixty-eight, Brian Sugarman said he is too old to make the move. "I'm going to miss the Squares," the veteran actor said.
The Square Peg Players very nearly folded after its first Duluth production, Thomas Forsythe's Not Again!, was panned by Atlanta critics as a sophomoric comedy that wasn't very funny. But Doug Peruski's performance as Philip was singled out as the play's one bright spot. "Doug Peruski, a UGA grad with only limited professional experience, surprises with a star turn in the role of Philip," Timothy Slater wrote in an influential review in The Atlanta Constitution. "We look forward to seeing more of this surprising and talented young actor." Doug Peruski's performance was not enough to save the play, and it closed after just sixteen performances.
Things turned around for the Square Peg Players when Doug Peruski hit on the idea of having an Improv Night. By then the Square Peg Players had purchased an empty barn on the outskirts of Duluth and renovated it into a theatre. Improv Night was an immediate hit and transformed the ostensibly nonprofit Square Peg Players into a financially secure acting company.
"Improv can be scary," Doug Peruski says, "but it's the thing every actor needs to do in order to stretch and grow." Taking suggestions from the audience, the core group of five Square Peg actors, and whatever other actors showed up to participate, worked without a script and without any planning, making up scenes and dialog as they went along. "Sometimes it was a little stiff," Doug Peruski recalls, "but other times it was pure magic. You'd wonder, Where is this stuff coming from?"
Doug Peruski says if things don't work out in New York, he'll return to Duluth. Either way, he says he will continue with the theatre. "The important thing for me is to act," he says. "If I flop in New York, and have to come back here, then that's fine. At least I tried. I don't need to be a star. But I do need to act."
About: Duluth actor Doug Peruski is moving The Square Peg Players to New York.