|Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc.
P.O. Box 765, Pittsfield, MA 01202-0765
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Town Players History
Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc. was founded in 1921.
Although Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc. was founded in 1921, it has roots back much further. Plays in Pittsfield have been put on since 1880 by Berkshire County residence and these productions continued until 1910 when The Town Players were formed as a local Berkshire community theater group to put on plays on a regular schedule.
In 1916 the organization reformed as a professional organization under the name Pittsfield Theatrical Company. This group performed throughout New England until 1920 when they reformed as the Colonial Players. These productions were primarily in Pittsfield at the Colonial Theatre.
On November 18, 1921, a group of people interested in theater met at the Boys Club for the sole purpose of organizing a dramatic group. The chairman of the meeting was Reverend Charles R. Joy of the Unity Church who later became the first president of the group. This was the begining of the Town Players. Various committees were appointed to write the Constitution, nominate the officers, read plays and come up woth a suitable name. Town Players remained the name of the group until 1959 when it became The Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc.
Town Players presented their first venture "Three One Act Plays" at the Boys Club on January 13, 1922. The Berkshire Evening Eagle reported "Enthusiasm for the work ran high". They continued to present one act plays at the Boys CLub and the Unity Parish house for the public. The membership meetings were sparked by the presentation of one and sometimes two one act plays either by the members or by visiting groups from Great Barrington, Dalton, Hinsdale or Springfield. These groups later formed the Little Theatre Tournament which laster for a brief time. In 1953, the Berkshire One-Act Play Festival was established with many of the same In 1921, the group incorporated back under the original name of Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc.
Productions have been put on since then, except for the war years (1943 to 1945) when most of the members were active in the war effort, either in the military or locally as part of the General Electric Ordnance Systems facility.
During the war years, the group had regular meetings and put on a number of play readings at the membership meetings as well as a number of special War Fund Raisers.
In 1958, Townplayers bought a building at 148 Lebanon Avenue to use as a production rehearsal hall. This building, now called "The Workshop" was built in 1881. It was used as "The St. John's Temperance Hall" in 1910.
Town Players presently produces at least three productions a season that are performed at Berkshire Community College Koussevitzky Arts Center.
Phone Number : (413) 443-9279
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