Town & Gown Players, Inc. has been producing continuously since 1953. The company has made its home in the Athens Community Theater since 1968. At the party we gave to celebrate our 30 years in the playhouse, Mayor Gwen O’Looney presented the Town & Gown Players with a Key to the City . An illustrated commemorative booklet was made for the occasion. The book naturally wasn't big enough to hold all the stories; click here to read the stories in the booklet as well as others.
About the PlayersEdit
On September 14, 1953, a group of Athenians interested in the establishment of a little theater met to discuss the possibilities of such an organization. The result of this gathering at the home of the Eugene Weldens was the organization of Athens' Town and Gown Players as a community theater group.
The first production was the Philadelphia Story, given in March 1954, in the Old Ritz Theater, the first home of the Town and Gown Players, which was located on Broad Street near the corner of Jackson.
In March 1955, Town and Gown produced "Ten Little Indians," followed by a new venture . . . two One Acts, "Rosalind," and "The Twelve Pound Look." These two one-act plays marked the last activity in the Old Ritz.
The Players, then homeless, spent the next three years on the road. They played at such varied places as the Washington, Georgia, High School Audotirum; the Athens County Club; the Athens Elks Club; and the Moina Michael Auditorium. During this time the one-act play, "The People in Between," by Town and Gown member Oliver Land was presented.
On September 18, 1958, Town and Gown Players became chartered as a non-profit corporation. The Players then directed their efforts toward the location of a permanent home. After much searching, the City of Athens was approached about the use of the present theater location, an unused building that formerly housed a cannery. This building has been the home of the Players since that time. Among the many well remembered plays presented on the Town and Gown stage are "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Blithe Spirit," "All My Sons," "The Man Who Came to Dinner," "Harvey," "The Glass Menagerie," and "Dial M for Murder."
1965 brought Mr. Chan Sieg to the Players as director for a full season of productions. Special performances have also been scheduled for various civic and community organizations.
Membership in the players is open to all who take part, on or off stage.