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Review for Montford Park Players, Asheville, NC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My first contact with Montford Park Players was as an audience member at their summer outdoor performances of two Shakespearean plays. This amateur theater group has been dedicated to presenting the canon of Shakespearean plays to the general public on a donation basis for 30 years, and continues to operate on the same principles, except that our popularity and success in recent years has allowed us to present a half-dozen shows per summer season, including a few classic non-Shakespearean plays. Our directors and tech people all work for an honorarium and the joy of participation outside of their "day jobs." The Players have historically cast all ages from the community, school children to senior citizens. Besides entertaining the local community, we also draw tourists who visit Asheville, allowing us to add to the value of the city for the tourist industry. Some of our young folks who have participated either on stage or behind the scenes have gone on to college and chosen theater-related majors. A few have made it to the professional stage. But the main value of this theaterical group for me, beyond its value as a training ground for young folks and as a tourist draw for the city, remains the goal of presenting Shakespeare's plays to the public---ALL of them, not just the popular ones---in performance, rather than allowing them to be merely literary works studied in school and forgotten once out of school. I was encouraged to think that I could handle a small role in "Henry V," and from there I progressed to other roles, including choreographing ball dances in "Romeo & Juliet" and "Henry VIII" and performing as a musician in "Cymbeline" and pre-show performance of "Henry V," as well as other acting roles for both male and female characters. I have felt included and respected, and enjoyed the camaraderie of the group. The participants in any one season choose the major plays for the following season and also Board members to direct the business of the troupe. The Executive Director is a paid year-round position. The Board chooses directors for the plays, and open auditions allow for free casting. If you believe in Art for Art's sake, MPP is the standard for a non-profit performing group.

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

having audience members tell me, as a cast member, how much they enjoyed the show and compared it favorably to professional performances they had seen.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Volunteer & Performer Musician, Actor, Choreographer.