PLAY SELECTION for 2024-2025 will be May 20th!  More details.  Proposals.

Shows Planned for the 2023-2024 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:
WOZ logo

The Wizard of Oz — L. Frank Baum's beloved story of a Kansas farm girl who travels over the rainbow to the wonderful land of Oz and discovers the magical power of home.  Performances May 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m.  Jointly produced by the Nelsonville-York Drama Club and ABC Players.  Cast List.

“The Wizard of Oz”
By L. Frank Baum
With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Background Music by Herbert Stothart
Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard / Orchestration by Larry Wilco Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the Classic Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainmentt Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Brose.

“The Wizard of Oz”.
is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.

Sponsored by


Disney's The Little Mermaid JR. Disney's The Little Mermaid JR. — Journey “Under the Sea” with Ariel and her maritime friends in this enchanting tale of big dreams and true love.  In a quest to explore the world above, Ariel, the youngest mermaid daughter of King Triton, makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, and jeopardizes not only her dreams, but the entire Mer-world.  This 60-minute adaptation of the ever-popular Disney film features the charming Academy Award-winning music and will delight audiences of all ages.  Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 9 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Cast List

ABC Players
Production of
LMJR logo
Music by

Lyrics by

Book by

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film
Music Adapted and Arranged by
David Weinstein

Disney's The Little Mermaid JR.
Is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Sponsored by
OVST logoOhio Valley Summer Theatre

TBT logo

Tiny Beautiful Things — Based on the New York Times bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild) and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Tiny Beautiful Things explores Strayed's time as the anonymous, unpaid advice columnist Dear Sugar.  While strangers on the internet tell their most personal secrets, Strayed uses empathy and her personal experiences to create a column rich with humor, insight and compassion.  Tiny Beautiful Things is “A Theatrical Hug In Turbulent Times” (Variety).  Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.  Click here to hear WOUB's interview of the cast and director.

NOTE: Saturday's matinee performance begins at 1 p.m. (not 2 p.m.)!

“Tiny Beautiful Things”
Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed
Adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos
Co-Conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail, and Nia Vardalos
Original New York Production by The Public Theater
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director
Patrick Willingham, Executive Director

“Tiny Beautiful Things”.
is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Sponsored by the Ethan Cooper Fund—with gratitude to the arts community of Southern Ohio and in support of our local artists.

Madagascar logo

Madagascar JR. — Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR. follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin' friends as they escape from their home in New York's Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien's Madagascar.  Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.  Cast List.

ABC Players
Production of

Madagascar logo

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture

Book By
Kevin Del Aguila

Original Music and Lyrics by
George Niriega &
Joel Someleillan

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

Sponsored by


Gypsy logo Gypsy — Loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, the show focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.”  It follows the dreams and efforts of Momma Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.  Featuring legendary songs by Stephen Sondheim, including “Let Me Entertain You” and “Everything's Coming up Roses.”  Numerous critics and writers consider Gypsy the greatest American musical.  Mar. 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Mar. 17 and 24 at 2 p.m.  Cast List.  Due to a recent increase in the facility fee, the at-the-door cash price for tickets is now $10.50 for students and $14.50 for everyone else.  You can buy them online at  Some patrons have had difficulty figuring out how to buy their tickets with the new software recently installed at the Opera House.  This step-by-step guide to buying tickets on Tixr can help you through the process.

A Musical Fable, Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Suggested by memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee
Original Production by David Merrick and Leland Hayward
Entire production originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins

GYPSY is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Tams-Witmark LLC.

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 upcoming shows will be listed here when scheduled.


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."



Play Selection:  Play selection for the 2024-2025 season will happen on Monday, May 20, 2024 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in #30 Public Square, Stuart's Opera House, Nelsonville.  This meeting is also open to the public; however, to vote on the season schedule, you must be a dues paid member of ABC Players.  Dues are cheap and easy to pay; click here to learn about dues.  Another requirement for voting is that you be present to hear the oral presentation of each proposer:  you have to come to the meeting on time.  Absentee voting is not allowed.

If you'd like to propose a play, please review the Production Policy, fill out a play proposal form (.DOCX or .PDF), and email it to not later than May 13th.  Your proposal will then be made available online for the membership to review in preparation for the meeting.  Help with estimating the costs of your proposed play may be found here.  Usually proposers are proposing to direct, so if you want to have a play considered but don't wish to direct it, please find someone who will direct the show.



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.  Click here to join or pay dues.


OFFICERS:The 2023-2024 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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