TP Logo1 Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc.
P.O. Box 765, Pittsfield, MA 01202-0765
Bringing the Best of Broadway to the Berkshires

Since 1921
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Town Players History

Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc. was founded in 1921.
The first Town Players venture was
"Three One Act Plays" at the Boys Club
on January 13, 1922.

TP Notice

    Although Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc. was founded in 1921, it has roots back much further. Plays in Pittsfield have been put on since 1880 by Berkshire County residence and these productions continued until 1910 when The Town Players were formed as a local Berkshire community theater group to put on plays on a regular schedule.

    In 1916 the organization reformed as a professional organization under the name Pittsfield Theatrical Company. This group performed throughout New England until 1920 when they reformed as the Colonial Players. These productions were primarily in Pittsfield at the Colonial Theatre.

    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 was Reverend Charles R. Joy of the Unity Church who later became the first president of the group. This was the begining of the Town Players. Various committees were appointed to write the Constitution, nominate the officers, read plays and come up woth a suitable name. Town Players remained the name of the group until 1959 when it became The Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc.

    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. These groups later formed the Little Theatre Tournament which laster for a brief time. In 1953, the Berkshire One-Act Play Festival was established with many of the same In 1921, the group incorporated back under the original name of Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc.

    Productions have been put on since then, except for the war years (1943 to 1945) when most of the 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.

    In 1958, Townplayers bought a building at 148 Lebanon Avenue to use as a production rehearsal hall. This building, now called "The Workshop" was built in 1881. It was used as "The St. John's Temperance Hall" in 1910.

    The Workshop1 @ 148 Lebanon Ave.

    The Workshop2 @ 148 Lebanon Ave.

    The Workshop3 @ 148 Lebanon Ave.

    The Workshop4 @ 148 Lebanon Ave.

    The Workshop4 @ 148 Lebanon Ave.

    The workshop has an open floor plan on the first floor, only slightly smaller than the BCC stage. The second floor is used as a meeting and storage space for the many props and costumes used by Townplayers and many other Berkshire County theater groups.
    The Workshop5 @ 148 Lebanon Ave.
    The Workshop5 @ 148 Lebanon Ave.

    Town Players presently produces at least three productions a season that are performed at Berkshire Community College Koussevitzky Arts Center.

    The Workshop5 @ 148 Lebanon Ave.

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    Backstage in the BCC Shop area is a Theatre Control Board built by Trumbull Electric Manufacturing Co. of Plainville, CT. This Trumbull auto-transformer dimmer board was installed on the stage of the new Berkshire Museum auditorium in 1936.
    It controlled the stage lighting that consisted of footlights, three border lights (all in white, red and blue color circuits), "Pocket or Spot" dimmers and stage floor pockets, "Baby Spot" outlets above the first border light, and outlets for spots in the projection booth.
    The individual dimmers in each group can be mechanically interlocked to Master Levers and these, in turn, can be locked to a Group Master Lever to facilitate blackouts. The Townplayers used this board to light their shows at the Museum from 1937 until 1973 when we moved to our present location at BCC.
    During the late 1980s, the BCC stage was not available. Townplayers moved their productions back to the Museum for this short period. During this time, the lighting board was used as the primary light board for the TP productions of "The Odd Couple", "I'm Not Rappaport", "Sing for your Supper". etc.

    The board was moved to BCC in October 1994 having been retired after 58 years of service. It is still operational.

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    This is a GE Refrigerator that was given to Townplayers in 1958 to be used as part of a set. It had not been used for over 20 years and had been stored in a TP Members garage. The refrigerator appears to be from 1915 and had a replacement turret top added in the late 1920s.
    It was left in the Townplayers Workshop until it was needed for another show (At BCC). After that production, someone plugged it in and found that it was still working. Since then it has been used to store food props and refreshments.
    In 1994, the door gaskets were replaced to prevent frost build-up.
    It is still working and can still be found in the BCC Green Room.
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    Season Ticket Membership, ticket information or ticket reservations : Town Players Mailing Address

    Mailing Address
    Town Players of Pittsfield, Inc.
    P.O. BOX 765
    Pittsfield, MA 01202-0765
    townplayers@email.com
    http://www.townplayers.org/

    Phone Number : (413) 443-9279


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    by David A. O'Connor , Cheshire Productions, Pittsfield, MA.

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