MONTFORD PARK PLAYERS

Rating: 4.95 stars   20 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: PO Box 2663 92 Gay Street Asheville NC 28802 USA

Mission: We seek to provide a professional-quality theatrical experience free to the public in an informal, outdoor setting. We encourage participation by people of all ages and backgrounds, and we celebrate our diversity. What we all hold in common is a love of Shakespeare and a delight in presenting his plays to our friends and neighbors in Western North Carolina.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The plays are great, the atmosphere is wonderful and low key. We take wine and food, and eat supper there in the beautiful park. A hat is passed at intermission, but the plays are officially free. I look forward to it every summer.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change nothing

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with MPP for two years now, and I've loved every minute spent in the company of this talented and dedicated group of people! They strive to provide affordable, top-quality theatre for the community at large and tourists alike, and, far and away they succeed every time! Recommended for people of all ages and backgrounds to come and see why people are raving about the Montford Park Players!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Montford Park Players (with assistance from the Bard himself, of course) is responsible for nurturing a generation of kids in the Asheville area who understand, respect, and love the works of William Shakespeare. By providing free, quality Shakespeare every weekend in the warm months in a lovely outdoor setting, they bring Shakespeare's works to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it. I would never have bought tickets for my six year-old to go to a Shakespeare play, but I was willing to try letting him accompany me to free outdoor Shakespeare. The well-acted comedy captured his attention even though I'm sure he couldn't understand many of the words. It has been our tradition now for over six years to meet our friends and our sons' friends throughout the summer to see new plays. Now these kids have grown up with Shakespeare, and they are comfortable enough with the language to consider it fun. When the middle schoolers in our homeschool cooperative were asked what classes they wanted last semester, Shakespeare was a popular request. A favorite actor from MPP came as a volunteer to do a workshop with them. They staged and performed three scenes from Shakespeare plays and did a remarkable job. Now, they are beginning to form a Shakespeare club where they will do table reads and "pop-up" Shakespeare performances around town. Their interest in Shakespeare has led to learning in history, poetry, and other areas, as well. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities MPP provides us with every summer to experience Shakespeare and to use it as a way to share a love of language with our children.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand their community outreach efforts, especially with youth. It would be great to see the actors work more with middle-schoolers and high-schoolers who are interested in Shakespeare or to give performances or workshops in schools.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

They really bring Shakespeare to life. The actors go off stage and involve the audience. I've been to several of their productions, a few like Love's Labour's Lost I've seen multiple times. I truly love what they're doing out there and hope they receive all the help they need.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the season longer!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

My wife and I met Hazel Robinson not long after we moved here in 1996 and were immensely impressed by her imagination, her selflessness, and her dedication to the devlopment of the Montford Park Players which she had founded some twenty years before. Over the past dozen years and more, I have taught several summer courses (UNC Asheville's College for Seniors, Center for Creative Retirement) tied to MPP productions and included attendance at a performance and discussions with director and actors as part of the course. The people involved in the MPP are absolutely remarkable, not only for their commitment to Shakespeare -- evident even on the few occasions when my wife and I thought the production was unsuccessful -- but also for their commitment to Asheville. Hazel Robinson as the founder of MPP has done an enormous, enduring service to this community. I look forward to many more summer courses in connection with the MPP.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Many many ways, as I indicated above in my review.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

After moving to the area and having worked in the theatre industry in the past, I was so happy to find a theatre providing professional, no cost Shakespeare Performances to people in the community. I was able to get involved with the theatre, meet the volunteers, board members and managing director, what wonderful people to go along with such a wonderful organization. This nonprofit truly stands behind its mission, giving the community great live theatre that works towards education, togetherness, and affordable entertainment.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching audience members enjoy live productions produced by this theatre.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Getting to know the dedication of the volunteers.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and hard-working.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide theatre to a more wide range group of people.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Shows by MMP at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater are one of my great Summer joys. Truly, we are blessed to have such talented individuals working on their shows and the incredible, accessible, pass-the-hat price? Unheard of in this day & age! How special to have great theatre at a price that literally everyone can afford. What a gift.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the wonderful performances they put on each Summer.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The level of talent is incredible and the atmosphere created is amazing.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very kind, very helpful, very talented. I remember one occasion in which one of their star actors helped a woman who had slipped and hurt her ankle after the show. Still in full costume he stayed with her comforted her until medical help arrived.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

I can only imagine...Perhaps renovate the theater grounds for ease of use, update/add equipment, compensate it's talent, branch out & offer more opportunities to see their work in the community, maybe start an acting camp for at-risk youth, who knows!

Ways to make it better...

Sometimes it is hard to hear all the lines delivered. It's possible that more/better (any?) sound equipment would help this...but to an extent the lack of mic.s enhances the experience and adds to the real, outdoor theater feel.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The lack of funding for the Arts in this country. An erosion in appreciation for/ understanding of the works of great playwrights (Shakespeare, Marlowe), though in my opinion they are doing much to combat the problem in Asheville.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I had the pleasure of seeing the Montford Park Players in October 2008 during my first visit to Asheville. I saw the "Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged" with my best friend, Coral, and we LOVED it. We were staying at a local hotel and they had a package deal that weekend where we got tickets to see the Montford Park Players. We almost didn't get to see the show, but they added another performance for a Sunday night and we got tickets. If I lived in or around Asheville, I would love to see more shows.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

one of their performances and they were great. I would recommend everyone see at least one show!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

most helpful. I was impressed by how friendly everyone was.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

come to Mississippi to share their performances with us. I guess I could share them with the rest of the world, if I have to.

Ways to make it better...

I would have been able to see more than one performance. I live out of state and don't have the opportunity to travel to Asheville as much as I would like.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-10-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

On a trip to Asheville in the fall of 2008, our hotel was running a weekend special that included tickets to see the Montford Park Players. Their performance of "The Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare, Unabridged" was absolutely hilarious. I keep trying to get back to Asheville - just so I can go see the Montford Park Players again! If only I lived closer......

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

2008 and it was the best thing about my trip to Asheville!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their prompt response to me wanting to buy promotional t-shirts!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Super, super nice. Asked where I was from, if they would recommend anything else to do in Asheville, etc.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

travel and let others see how awesome they are!

Ways to make it better...

I had bought more hot chocolate! It was cold!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

"Hamlet" in July 2009 was also our first experience. We recently moved here from Miami and can say that Miami has NOTHING on Asheville in terms of culture. This was one of the most wonderful ways to enjoy Shakespeare, laying on a blanket under a blanket of stars, sipping wine and watching a phenomenal performace of a Shakespearean classic. Out 13-year-old daughter came to truly love and appreciate Shakespeare that night. We also saw the Dickens performance this past December. Minimalist staging highlighted the talent of the thespians -- no props needed if the acting is brilliant. We love the Montford Park Players and will catch every play we can.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The personal connection the players bring to their material.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dedicated and passionate about what they do. They obviously don't do it for the money. This community is lucky they share their passion with us.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

insure that millions of school-age children would come to appreciate classical theatre.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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