Players is a nonprofit community theater group located along the
winding banks of Stoney Creek in the quaint Historic District of
Rochester Hills, Michigan, only about two miles from the heart of
The group was founded in
1947 by enthusiasts who loved the thrill and energy of live
performances. Many of the original members had earlier been part of a
church theatre group who wanted to share their theatrical enjoyment
with the entire community.
Avon Players owns
its own playhouse, a unique multiple A-frame design, built in 1965. The
governing body for the group consists of a nine member Executive Board,
elected by active members at an annual meeting.
The roster of Avon Players' season ticket holders, financial
supporters, advertisers, members, and performers indicates that we
continue to draw theater lovers from not only the Greater Rochester
area, but also from all of Southeastern Michigan.
During a typical season, the troupe's multi-talented volunteers bring
to the stage five full-scale productions. And full scale means just
that... a computerized lighting system, sound effects equipment,
costumes, live orchestra, completely constructed sets, and scenic
backdrops painted by local talented artists. We will also engineer any
special effects a show requires.
have included award-winning dramas, British farces, Broadway musicals,
and spine-tingling mysteries. We have talented performers who can
sometimes be hard to distinguish from professionals, and some have in
fact gone on to appear in national touring companies!
With our ticket prices set at a fraction of those at professional
theatres… plus free parking and concessions on a donation basis… a
family of four can experience a sensational live theatrical event for
about the cost of one ticket at a "downtown" venue.
We continually look for ways to improve both our building and our
production capabilities. In the past decade, we dedicated space to a
new costume room, and we have recently refurbished our green room. We
also installed a new sound system, automatic gel-changing lights, and
new spotlights. But what hasn't changed is our closeness with our
public. In our beautiful lobby, built in 1996, the cast, crew, and
audience have a chance to mingle and celebrate after each performance.
That's a spirit that any type of professional entertainment just can't
A Part of the Community
Avon Players has had close ties to the Rochester community ever since
Rochester was a city located inside what was then called Avon
Township—the township where our theater was incorporated and the
inspiration for our name. When Avon Township became the City of
Rochester Hills in 1984, we continued to strive to be an integral part
of both the City of Rochester and our "new home" of Rochester Hills.
That means our role is not just to entertain or "provide some culture."
We're actively involved with many of the area's civic efforts, by
either entertaining or loaning the playhouse. We've done:
- Music reviews for Appreciation Nights for Rochester's Meals on Wheels volunteer delivery people.
- Singing during Christmas events such as "Langiappe Night" for the Downtown Development Authority
A concert for the Kiwanis Summer Concert in the Park Series at
Rochester Municipal Park – consisting of Broadway show-stopping hits,
with full costumes.
- A movie premiere party
for the Rochester-Avon Historical Society in our theatre and lobby. The
movie, narrated by Mort Crim, chronicled the history of the Rochester
area from our early pioneer days.
- Performing at the annual Art & Apples weekend.
- Singing at the annual Christmas Parade – and we're proud that one of our members did the co-hosting for several years.
- Rochester Hills Public Library events such as "Spread the Cheer—Volunteer."
contribution we're most proud of is our impact upon hundreds and
hundreds of youngsters in the community each year. We have students who
have appeared in local commercials, and some who have even moved to New
York City to pursue their dream of performing that was fostered at Avon.
In addition to our five regular season offerings, Avon Players puts on
a Youth Theatre production – either a musical or a large-cast play –
for students in the sixth through twelfth grades.
Under guidance from Avon adult members, these young people also have
the opportunity to learn the craft of the theatre. They'll actually get
to build and paint scenery, and help with costumes, lighting, and
sound, and students not acting in the production may find themselves as
student directors or stage managers. It's a tremendous
confidence-builder for them to know they're putting on the show
themselves. And it's a great way for these young actors and their
families to make friends with others throughout the community.
Finally, these budding actors get their big chance to show off all that
singing, dancing, and acting talent when all of a sudden… it's opening
night! Four performances are held on one weekend before packed
audiences that include many youngsters seeing their first "real, live
In addition to the Youth Theatre
program, Avon's mainstage productions often require child actors, and
the first place we look is to those who have learned their craft in the
Youth Theatre productions.
During the last
decade, we have watched the community around us develop and grow,
particularly the new homes and the new Stoney Creek High School that
have sprung up around our playhouse. We are proud to have developed and
grown along with them as a theater group, and to have been a "home" for
so many talented individuals and theatre-loving patrons in our
community. We happily intend to maintain both our presence and
reputation in this community for many years to come… we're here to