Shows for the 2014-2015 Season: We perform in the historic Stuart's Opera House in Nelsonville, OH. Click here to see all of the shows we have produced since December 1992 (with pictures). Click here to see a scrapbook of stories about us in the press. For TICKETSto our shows, please contact Stuart's Opera House.
Love Letters by A.R. Gurney, a staged reading featuring Ruth Borovicka and Jim Parsons. Directed by Karen M. Chan. Part of An Afternoon of Romantic Delights, beginning at 1 p.m. on Feb 14, 2015. This is a benefit performance for the Opera House.
A benefit performance for
Shrek the Musical, in which a loveable ogre wins the heart of Princess Fiona. Based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture and book by William Steig. Directed by Sylvia Abbott with musical direction by Lynn Sullivan. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. on Mar 13-14 & 20-21, 2015 and 2:00 p.m. on Mar 22, 2015. Cast list.
|Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring. Directed by James Euto. May 14-17, 2015. Meet the charming and innocent ladies who populate their cellar with the remains of socially and religiously "acceptable" roomers. Curtain time is 8 p.m. on May 14, 15, &16, and 2 p.m. on May 17, 2015.||
|Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage by Jane Martin. Directed by Gary Molina. Oct 30 - Nov 2, 2014. This show is a smart black comedy and “B” western horror flick for the stage. Curtain time is 8 p.m. on Oct 30 & 31 and Nov 1, and 2 p.m. on Nov 2, 2014. Cast list.||Sponsored by|
|The Velveteen Rabbit, a musical based on the story by Margery Williams. Directed by Jodi MacNeal. Dec 4 - 6, 2014. This is a family show about being loved and becoming REAL. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. on Dec 4 & 5, and 2 p.m. on Dec 6, 2014. Cast list.||Sponsored by|
Note: You don't have to be a member of ABC Players to audition, get a part, and perform in one of our productions. But, if you get a part in a second play, we'd like you to support the organization by becoming a member.
AUDITIONS for Arsenic and Old Lace will be announced here when details are available.
ABOUT US: History of Athenian Berean Community Players
In the beginning there were the Berean Community Players (BCP), incorporated in 1973. For years, BCP's productions under the direction of Spencer Steenrod and Tony Coleman were the cultural center of gravity in southeast Ohio. Musical directors Katy McCoy and Mary Jane McKinley, were recognized throughout Ohio for the quality of their work.
For several years, Joe Balding and Steve Haskins entertained the idea of forming a community theater group in the Athens area. In the summer of 1992, while working on an Ohio Valley Summer Theatre production of On Golden Pond, Joe outlined his dream to Spence Watson, who was also in the play. Spence and Beth Watson had previously formed an amateur theater company in another community. They shared their experiences at a meeting at the Athens Unitarian Fellowship Hall on August 3, 1992. The groundwork for Athenian Players Theatre (APT) was laid at that meeting.
APT's first production was The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, opening in the Athens Unitarian Fellowship Hall on December 10, 1992. Indeed, for our first five years, APT was a sort of nomad theatre, doing shows at such locations as the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, the Athens Middle School, the Senior Citizens Center, and the Friends’ Meeting House in Chauncey. But in March 1997, the historic Stuart’s Opera House reopened in Nelsonville. On October 3, 1997, APT presented I’ll Be Back Before Midnight in the newly restored Opera House and—except for a few special productions in other locations—APT jointly produced shows with BCP in Stuart’s Opera House.
On March 18, 2009, the membership of both organizations voted to merge into a single organization called the Athenian Berean Community Players.
Our normal season is three plays, performed either Thursday through Sunday in a single week or Friday through Sunday of two successive weeks. Sunday performances are matinees; all others are evening shows.
In most seasons, one of the three productions is a musical. These have included The Sound of Music (Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II), Into The Woods (Stephen Sondheim), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Stephen Sondheim), and Funny Girl (Isobel Lennart, Jules Styne, Bob Merrill). Comedy and dramatic offerings have included such plays as Rumors (Neil Simon), Night of January 16th (Ayn Rand), Steel Magnolias (Richard Harling), Present Laughter (Noel Coward), and Flowers for Algernon (David Rogers).
For a complete list of our productions, illustrations of the show posters, and some stage photos, please click here.
We are is active in the Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA). Our members have served in various leadership roles in OCTA. When we have presented excerpts of our plays at OCTA regional and state-wide festivals, we have earned formal recognition of the excellence of our productions. We have earned awards for acting, direction, sets, costumes, and for our newsletter: The Minotaur.
So, we have a core of talented, experienced members with demonstrated commitment and exceptional abilities. But all of us face competition for our time, and—as with all volunteer organizations—maintaining a strong, exciting program over the years is a challenge. We are taking steps to attract and empower new members, and we are particularly seeking young people who are interested in live theatre. Although we currently have more than 30 paid members, not all are able to be actively involved in productions. Also, since "time keeps on going into the future," we need to continue to attract new members to keep the organization fresh and flourishing. Becoming a member is easy.
We owe our continuing success to numerous supporters. A few have helped us over and over, and they are mentioned here:
Click here for our bylaws and production policy. The articles of incorporation are also available on-line, along with the name change filing.
We're also on .
MEETINGS:The next ABC Players meeting will be on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in the lobby of Stuart's Opera House.
Our meetings are open to all; everyone welcome. No obligation. Come and learn about your community theater.
MEMBERSHIP: To become a member of ABC Players, all you have to do is express an interest, be at least 14 years old, and pay $10 a year. Families may join for $20. The membership year runs from September 1 to August 31. Dues are not prorated. To ensure your membership is correctly recorded, please fill out a Membership Enrollment Form and submit it with your dues.
There are two categories of membership. If you aren't able to participate actively in play production, but you still want to support community theatre, you can join as a Supporting Member. Supporting Members receive all mailings regarding auditions, meetings, and upcoming shows. Members who participate actively (as actors, musicians, ushers, directors, designers, etc.) are known as Guild Members and have the additional privileges of voting on elections of board members and helping to choose the plays that we will produce.
OFFICERS:The 2014-2015 officers are
Officers are elected annually and serve from September 1st through August 31st.
FUTURE PRODUCTIONS: Do you have a good play that you would like to see Athenian Berean Community Players produce? Are you just waiting to return to the stage after your experiences in high school but you have put it off for 20 years? Would you like to direct or just smell the grease paint? Write and let us know!!!
We have been active members of the Ohio
Community Theatre Association (OCTA) since 1999. Our members have
served on OCTA boards and committees, and we have received OCTA awards for excellence in acting,
directing, costume and set design, and newsletter.
We are also currently members of the American Association of Community Theatres.
CONTACT US: Write to us at:
Athenian Berean Community Players
P.O. Box 283
Athens, Ohio 45701
Join our mailing list of people interested in community theater in southeast Ohio.