FORT HILL PLAYERS
A BIT o' HISTORY n' LOOKING AHEAD
In the late 1930's, avid theatre
lovers, Catherine and Ed Macon along with Kay and Roland Brown met in their
homes to read plays aloud. Before long, their neighbors began attending these
readings, either to participate or to listen. Soon after, a twenty-five cent
dues fee was charged and upon collecting seven dollars, they bought enough
fabric to create a curtain.
They named themselves after the Greenville street address most of them shared and raised that curtain for the first time in 1939 for a production of the one-act play "House of Juke," written by Valentine Davies, of "Miracle on 34th St." fame, and directed by Cleaveland Van Wert.
Thus, Fort Hill Players was born.
Today, the proverbial curtain still goes up three times a year. Two main stage productions in the fall and spring, and an Experimental Theatre Lab, featuring the works of new playwrights, dance, mime and more abstract theatrical genres, are mounted at the Rochambeau school, the groupís home since 1967.
Incorporated in 1954, The Fort Hill Players played in a variety of venues until moving to White Plains where Recreation & Parks Commissioner, Joseph Curtis, wanted to establish a permanent theatre company in the city. A match was made, a contract signed, and in 1970, then Mayor Richard S. Hendy proclaimed Fort Hill Players as "The Official Theatre Company of White Plains."
On October 11, 2013, Fort Hill Players held its 75th Anniversary Party. Mayor Thomas C. Roach proclaimed the date, Fort Hill Players Day. Assemblywoman Amy Paulin issued a Citizen Worthy of our Esteem citation. State Senators, George Latimer and Andrea Stewart Cousins respectively issued a Certificate of Merit and a proclamation of the date as Fort Hill Players 75th Anniversary day.
Our company has come a long way since the fireside readings in the Macon's and Brown's homes. Over seven and a half decades and more than 175 productions later, after the Great Depression, World War II, thirteen presidential administrations and countless changing styles and social mores, Fort Hill Players lives on.
We're proud of our history, and continued success We remember our predecessors, who played to an empty house during an opening night blizzard in 1961, and to 14 people during the windstorm of 2010. There was the triumph of 40 cast members taking an original light opera, The Scarecrow, to the 1975 International Light Opera Festival, in Waterford Ireland. The Company returned home to ovations, carrying with it FOUR first prizes. Despite air-raid drills, FHP performed non-stop during World War II and yes, even performed with live goats onstage.
Now that's dedication.
Sometimes dramatic, sometimes comedic, occasionally provocative and always entertaining,
Fort Hill Players serves its community with a quality, affordable theatrical experience.
Whether as a Member, Contributor, Performer, Audience Member, or all of the above, we look forward to you joining us!