YOUTH WORKSHOP: Saturday, March 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stuart's Opera House, led by veteran actor and director Joe Balding. This workshop is intended for children ages 8 to 14. The workshops are $10 for nonmembers of ABC Players, free to members. The $10 buys a membership, so all future workshops are free until the next season. For this particular workshop, there's kind of an odd "catch 22," since a person must be at least 14 to become a Member. 8-) Nobody will have to pay more than once to attend the workshops in a season (September to August). There will be a lunch break around noon. Participants may bring their own lunches, or we'll have order forms for $7 lunches from Fullbrooks Cafe (drinks are extra, for example, a Diet Pepsi costs $1).
KROGER COMMUNITY REWARDS: Amazing, but true! Through Kroger's Community Rewards program, you can (and should) donate $ to Stuart's Opera House, our home theater, without it costing you anything. Click here for details. Do it today.
Shows for the 2013-2014 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.
|Our Current Production:|
|The Princess and the Goblins, a fantasy that will captivate everyone. Directed by Celeste Parsons. Mar 13-16, 2014 — When a peaceful kingdom is menaced by an army of monstrous goblins, a brave and beautiful princess joins forces with a resourceful peasant boy to rescue the noble king and all his people. The lucky pair must battle the evil power of the wicked goblin prince armed only with the gift of rhyme, the miracle of love, and a magical shimmering thread. Curtain time is 8 p.m. on Mar 13, 14 & 15, and 2 p.m. on Mar 16. Cast list.||
|The Importance of Being Earnest, the quintessential British comedy, written by Oscar Wilde. Directed by Norman Cohn. May 8-11, 2014. Two friends, Jack and Algernon, use the same pseudonym (“Ernest”) for their on-the-sly activities. Jack loves Gwendolyn, Algernon's cousin; Algernon loves Cecily, Jack's ward. Both ladies think they are engaged to a man named “Ernest.” The play offers many laughs before all of the complications are finally sorted out. Curtain time is 8 p.m. on May 8, 9 & 10, and 2 p.m. on May 11. Audition information.||
|Death by Chocolate, a Nick Noir, private eye, comic mystery by Craig Sodaro. Directed by Cecilia Rinaldi. Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2013. Coco Purvis offers a tantalizing case to Nick Noir, private eye. Coco, and her sister, Bonbon, run Precious Perks Coffee Shoppe, known for its signature drink, Death by Chocolate. Unfortunately, Vinnie the Leech died while drinking it last month, and this has impacted business. After a second death under similar circumstances, Nick's former secretary, Selma, plays a psychic who, with the help of her ever-present Blackberry, helps Nick solve the crime and earn enough to afford an office — and rehire Selma. Curtain time is 8 p.m. on Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2, and 2 p.m. on Nov 3.||
|The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a wonderful gift for the whole family by Barbara Robinson. Directed by Jodi MacNeal. Dec 5-7, 2013. When the bullying, cigar-smoking Herdman kids find out that church is followed by free cookies, punch, and other refreshments, they show up in force, just in time to learn about auditions for the upcoming Christmas Pageant. The Herdmans take key parts in the Pageant and collide with the Christmas story head on; the result will either be the most disastrous Christmas Pageant ever . . . or the best! Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. on Dec 5 & 6 and 2 p.m. on Dec 7.||
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 the 2013-2014 season are over.
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 held Tuesday, March 18 at 6 p.m. at 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 2013-2014 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