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History of the Hartford Players

The Hartford Players were founded in 1988 by local lawyers – Jim Mohr and Jerry Becker. They were both very active in Community Theater and wanted to create a group that would offer opportunities for theater people to participate in the Hartford area. They developed a set of bylaws, put up the initial money for a show, gathered a group of interested people and the group was formed. The first production was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in the summer of 1988. Proceeds from this show were used to begin a scholarship program for students pursuing an education in the arts, while the remainder was used to fund future shows.

In the Hartford Union High School’s 300 seat, Drama/Lecture Hall the Hartford Players mounted productions twice per year…a straight play in February/March and a musical in June/July…for the next 12 years.

Once the Schauer Arts and Activities Center was completed in 2001, the group moved its productions to the Ruth Knoll Theater and became a resident tenant at the Schauer Center. The group has continued to put on two productions each year and has added a benefit production for the Schauer Center during the Christmas holidays every other year.

A sample of shows presented by the Players over the past years includes: Nunsense, Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma, Music Man, Anything Goes, Brigadoon, Hello Dolly, Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Ten Little Indians, The Nerd, Godspell, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The King & I, South Pacific, Arsenic & Old Lace, and Cinderella.

Benefit shows have included: Holidayzed, Gift of the Magi, Best Christmas Pageant Ever and now A Wonderful Life, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!, Wake Me When I’m Dead, Pump Boys & Dinettes, The Leader of the Pack.