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The Players Theatre

  • Address838 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236
  • Phone #941.365.2494
  • Fax #941.954.0282
  • Websitewww.theplayers.org

Although The Players Theatre is a non-professional community theatre, being located on the “Cultural Coast” gives us an incredible talent pool to work with. From our Artistic Director to our stage hands, literally half of the volunteers working on a production have at one time been professionally paid performers. Many professional performers retire and are drawn to the area thanks to all of Sarasota’s arts offerings.  These professionals bring their experience, training, their families and often extensive resumes with them to our stage.

When we scatter professionals in amongst the nonprofessional actors and students, everyone wins! The productions are stronger, the newer actors receive excellent training, and everyone learns from the examples set by these talented and trained volunteers. The Players also hires many professionally trained Directors, Choreographers and Musical Directors as well.

In the case of our Artistic Director, Jeffery Kin is a classically trained actor, with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Performance from Otterbein College. He later became a member of Actors Equity, the actors professional union. After several years of regional and New York theatre, Jeffery moved to Sarasota where he found great joy in non-professional theatre, expanded into writing, directing and teaching, and is currently enjoying his new role as Artistic Director of The Players Theatre.

A LITTLE HISTORY

When the idea of Community Theatre began, Sarasota was a small town with a population of 8,000 which grew by 5,000 visitors in the winter months. Fanneal Harrison and Catherine Gavin, owners of the Out-Of-Door School, were looking for activities which would interest its faculty. Finding that theatre was at the top of the list, they gathered a group of friends to discuss the possibility of starting one.

In 1936 the new theatre became a reality and The Players moved into a real theatre of its own at the corner of north Tamiami Trail and 9th Street.  Built of pecky cypress, it had 246 seats, a lobby with a welcoming fireplace, a large, deep stage and complete lighting system. They began with 256 members who contribute just $2 each for subscriptions.

In the early 70’s the current building went up in its place, with a seating capacity of almost 500. In 2000 the building got new stage and auditorium lighting, updated air-conditioning, sound and acoustical upgrades, new curtains,  flooring, new roof, exterior doors, refurbished rail system, exterior and interior painting and new landscaping.

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