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The Wimberley Players presented their first show in 1979. Lighting was hidden in coffee cans, the scenery was make-shift, and the costumes were homemade, but the applause at the end was wildly enthusiastic—the volunteer Players were on their way.
In the Fall of 1980, The Players were granted use of an unused building in Woodcreek that had been used as a greenhouse, which they converted into the 77-seat Greenhouse Theatre. With little more than 700 square feet of stage that was maybe 1-foot high and very close to the front row of seats, the Greenhouse was dubbed, “Theatre in the Lap.” They opened the Greenhouse in September of that year with a production of Thorton Wilder's, OUR TOWN . . . Which was a perfect start for our town's first permanent home for live theatre.
Since that small band of theatre enthusiasts founded the group in 1979, the Players have survived many an obstacle - from rising floodwaters to mysterious critters romping in the musty walls of that tiny, leased facility - through it all, they stayed focused to bring the magic of live theatre to the community.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, population growth brought new talent and new audiences to the Wimberley area. The Players’ season of dramatic productions and musicals was expanded to five shows, with most performances sold out. Volunteer actors, directors, and stage hands emerged in greater numbers than ever, and continuous quality improvement became the mantra.
With the growth in audiences and the physical decline of the Greenhouse Theatre, the need to build our own permanent home became increasingly urgent. Early in 2004, the Players purchased property at 450 Old Kyle Road with a building suitable for renovation. A fundraising campaign aptly titled, Play A Part, brought generous response from individuals, community organizations, and several Texas-based foundations.
Inaugurated in September 2006 with the blockbuster musical, “1776,” the new Wimberley Playhouse is a visible statement for the arts in central Wimberley. Conveniently located near the Village Square, the 5,500 sq. ft. Playhouse seats 117, including ample handicap space for wheel chairs. Modern lighting and sound, adequate restrooms, lighted parking and ADA compliance are major improvements.
Anyone interested in theatre may become a member of the Players by paying modest annual dues. Audition are open to all and notices before each show entice novices and professionals alike to take part in the fun and the challenge of a volunteer community theatre.
In mid-2005, a large committee was formed to develop a strategic plan for the organization, which was adopted by the Board of Directors early in 2006. The plan includes goals and objectives to guide the Players development as they enter a new era in their permanent home—with provision for continuous updating of the plan. A Vision statement was written to accompany the existing Mission statement. Both reflect the focus of the Wimberley Players on improvement of the quality of theatrical productions and the importance of the arts as part of community life.
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