Saturday, January 22, 2005

Players' Playhouse

The Historic Players' Club

Nestled on Jefferson Avenue between a monstrous new commercial property and the old Berke Clinic lies a little slice of Detroit history and culture: The Players.

Be forewarned, though: if you're driving down Jefferson in a hurry, you might blink and miss its red brick facade and gallant doorway. No matter how fast you're going, though, I do have to admit that The Players is hard to miss - its early-20th century architecture and design definitely catch the eye on this section of the street that has, in recent years, become laden with strip malls.

Established as a 501(c)(3) company in 1911, The Players is a Detroit gentleman's club that was created to promote amateur theater. The Playhouse - shown above - was created as a permanent spot to showcase its members' talents. From the time between 1911 and the playhouses opening, Players constantly migrated from stage to stage in Detroit, because they had no official home. This nomad lifestyle ceased, though, when the Playhouse - created mainly of cinder blocks - was unveiled and opened in 1925.

Still following Shakespearean tradition to this day, all Player theater roles are played by gentlemen. In addition, Player members also contribute to the direction, production, set-making and makeup artistry for their shows.

According to its website, The Players put on shows on the first Saturday of every year during the months of October-April. Each show includes three one-act plays, called a Frolic. The Playhouse can also be rented out for special occasions.

For more information on The Players, becoming a Player, or attending a show as a guest, please visit the organizations website: