At the May 1st meeting, the membership
voted to approve the following 2023-2024 season:

  • Disney's The Little Mermaid JR. - Sept. 8-10, 2023
  • Tiny Beautiful Things - Sept. 29-30, 2023
  • Madagascar JR. - Dec. 1-3, 2023
  • Gypsy - Mar. 15-17 & 22-24, 2024
  • Collaboration with the Nelsonville-York Drama Club - May 11-12, 2024

Shows Planned for the 2022-2023 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).  

For TICKETSto our shows, please contact Stuart's Opera House.

Our Next Production:
The Lion in Winter logo The Lion in Winter, a staged reading presenting the dramatic and comic story of the Plantagenets who are locked in a family feud to inherit a kingdom.  Directed by Karen M. Chan.  The cast will comprise Senior Citizens (55 and up).  June 25, 2023.  Cast List.

James Goldman

"The Lion in Winter" is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Sponsored by

Realty logo

Break a Leg logo Break a Leg! a fast-paced comedy of theatrical disaster.  Directed by Jodi MacNeal.  October 7 & 8, 2022 at 7:30; and October 9, 2022 at 2 p.m.   Stage Pictures.

John O'Brien

Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois

Sponsored by
Cooper Ventures LTD.

James and the Giant Peach JR., in which orphaned James discovers magic in a large peach and undertakes a journey across the ocean to New York City during which he faces hunger, sharks, and other adversity, helped out by singing insects who journey with him on this larger-than-life musical adventure.   Directed by Jodi MacNeal & Jenn Fritchley.   Dec. 2-3, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.  Matinee Dec. 3-4 at 2 p.m.  Stage Pictures.

Words and Music by
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Book by
Timothy Allen McDonald

Based on the book James and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach JR. is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized materials are supplied by Music Theatre International, New York, NY (212) 541-4684

Sponsored by


9to5_logo 9 to 5 the Musical, in which three unlikely friends take control of their office and learn there is nothing they can't do, even in a man's world.  Directed by Chris Parsons.  March 17-19 & 24-26, 2023.  Cast list.
9 to 5

Music and lyrics by Dolly Parton

Book by Patricia Resnick

Based on the 20th Century Fox Picture
Originally produced on Broadway by Robert Greenblatt, April 2009


Arrangements and
Additional Orchestrations

Is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Sponsored by



April 8, 2023:  a performance fostering a more welcoming and comfortable arts experience for people with sensory-processing disorders, developmental differences, autism, and others who struggle with the traditional audience set-up!  Songs, dances, and a short play presented without bright, flashing lights or loud, sudden sounds, in a space that accommodates flexible seating arrangements.    Cast list.

Click for a social story describing what to expect.


School of Rock — the Musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber's tale of a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school where he turns a class of straight-A pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.  Directed by Dayton Willison, the show is a collaboration between the Nelsonville-York High School Drama Club and ABC Players.  May 11, 12, & 13, 2023.  Cast List.

Based on the Paramount movie by Mike White
Book by Julian Fellowes
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
New Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber 

School of Rock is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Really Useful Group. 

Sponsored by
a grant from the Ohio Arts Council



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. 

When auditions are scheduled, they are listed here.


ABOUT US: History of Athenian Berean Community Players

In the beginning was 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 to five 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, at least one of the 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.

For many years, we were active in the Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA).  Our members served in various leadership roles in OCTA.  When we presented excerpts of our plays at OCTA regional and state-wide festivals, we earned formal recognition of the excellence of our productions.  We earned awards for acting, direction, sets, costumes, and for our newsletter:  The Minotaur.  Facing rising printing and postage costs and the general availability of the Internet, we stopped publishing The Minotaur in 2014.  In 2018, the membership voted to end our membership in OCTA, while retaining membership in the national American Association of Community Theatre which publishes the bimonthly Spotlight magazine.


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:

In 2017, ABC Players inaugurated the Lynn Sullivan Spirit Award in memory of beloved music director Lynn Sullivan. The award is presented to a current member of ABC Players who best exemplifies the spirit of community theater. The winner of the 2017 award is Sydney Lewis. The 2018 award will be sponsored by Tina Wilson.

Click here for our bylaws and production policy.  Our filings with the Ohio Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation are available on-line by searching for "Athenian Berean Community Players".  Our Certificate of Good Standing as an Ohio nonprofit corporation is here.  We can also be found on the Ohio Attorney General's database of charitable organizations.  The IRS’s Exempt Organizations Selection Checklist can also be used to verify our eligibility to receive tax-deductible contributions.

We're also on facebook, twitter, and instagram.

Support ABC Players as You Shop

Sign up for Kroger Community Rewards, and support ABC Players every time you shop.  We are listed as organization #BQ524, "Athenian Berean Community Players."



When meetings are scheduled, they are listed here.


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 (PDF or (DOCX) 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 2022-2023 officers are

Officers are elected annually and serve from September 1st through August 31st.


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.



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