Hartford Players Ltd
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.
A sample of shows presented by the Players over the past 18 years includes: 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, Shrek the Musical, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Ordinary Days, Boeing Boeing, Fiddler on the Roof, and Guys and Dolls.
Benefit shows: Gift of the Magi, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, A Wonderful Life, Wake Me When I’m Dead, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and the 2017 Footlights Award Winner for Best Performance – “Comicality”.
The Hartford Players group remains dedicated to furthering young people’s education, particularly in the arts. Their volunteer productions help fund a scholarship program that annually awards scholarships to at least two students pursuing some type of higher education in the arts. The Hartford Players have endowed a Hartford BEST scholarship for students going into the arts. The Players have awarded as many as four scholarships in a single year. Anyone wishing to add to learn more about the scholarship program should contact the Hartford Players.