Town Players of Pittsfield
Address:31 South Street Pittsfield, MA 01201
Founded in 1921, Town Players of Pittsfield is the second-oldest community theater group in the country, dedicated to bring the best of Broadway to the Berkshires. Town Players produces major theatrical productions each season and occasionally offers Special TP Workshop Productions .
Although Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc., was founded in 1921, its roots date even further back. Plays in Pittsfield have been produced since 1880 by Berkshire County residents, continuing until 1910 when The Town Players were formed as a local Berkshire community theater group to produce plays on a regular basis.
In 1916, the theater group reformed as a professional organization under the name Pittsfield Theatrical Company. They were known as the Colonial Players through performances throughout New England until 1920, performing primarily in at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. 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, Reverend Charles R. Joy of the Unity Church, later became the first president of the group, marking the beginning of the Town Players. Various committees were appointed to write the Constitution, nominate officers, read plays and determine a suitable name.
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.
Town Players went through a two-year hiatus from production during between 1943 and 1945, when the United States was at war. Most group 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.
Since its lull nearly 70 years ago, Town Players have produced plays consistently. In addition to various special performances, the group performs three full-length productions each year, in the Fall, Winter and Spring, at Berkshire Community College’s Koussevitsky Arts Center.
31 South Street, Pittsfield MA, 01201