The Manchester Musical Players, Inc., has produced quality entertainment in the Hartford area for over fifty years. Previously known as The Manchester Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Inc., we decided to change our name to better reflect the the broadened range of musical theatre productions we now present. Our commitment to quality theatrical entertainment did not change, only our name.
The group's inception emanated from members of the Epworth League at South Methodist Church in Manchester. In late 1946, Bob Gordon and June (Mildner) Hutchinson approached Benny Campagna about producing a variety show. However, it was suggested that a more structured show with costumes, script, and singing might be a better idea; i.e., Gilbert & Sullivan. Benny ran with this idea and with the assistance of his wife, Ruth, conducted, staged, and choreographed the first production of the G & S one-act "Trial By Jury". Benny produced shows for the group from 1947 to 1957. The organization was officially called The Manchester Gilbert & Sullivan Workshop in 1962. Productions were presented in South Church's Cooper Hall until 1952 when the group moved to Bowers School and eventually to Manchester High School's Bailey Auditorium in 1957. East Hartford and East Catholic High Schools have also served as performance locations.
In 1957, Martha White took over the artistic and musical direction of The Workshop; and during her tenure, the group became incorporated in 1962. The Workshop also adopted the policy of performing a non-Gilbert & Sullivan production every few years to expand their repertoire for their growing audience. In the mid-sixties, the group decided to incorporate a full scale orchestra into each annual production and in 1977, officially changed the name to The Manchester Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Inc., to more accurately identify the group as a performing organization.
In the Fall of 1973, The Savoyards, a smaller selected ensemble of The Players, was formed. This touring group enjoyed performing a wide variety of repertoire, ranging from Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, to Broadway musicals, to evenings of musical excerpts. The Savoyards have mounted Gilbert & Sullivan's "Trail By Jury", Rodgers' "Once Upon a Mattress", and Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" and "Company". Money raised by The Savoyards was deposited into the Players' general fund to bolster the financial security for upcoming productions.
During the 1980's, the Players began producing more Broadway musicals and in 1990, the group changed its name to The Manchester Musical Players, Inc., to reflect its expanded repertoire. Since 1992, the Players have been performing at historic Cheney Hall. The Players participate in numerous community programs and perform at seasonal events, such as "A Dickens of a Downtown Christmas," "Christmas at the Mark Twain House Tours," the Wadsworth Atheneum's "Festival of Trees," and the Manchester "Arts In The Garden." The Players also perform at various retirement centers, hospitals, and churches in the area.
If you would like to support The Players to ensure future productions, please write to:
The Manchester Musical Players, Inc.
P. O. Box 626 Manchester, CT 06045
Or email us at: email@example.com.
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1947-Trial By Jury
1948-The Pirates of Penzance
1950-H.M.S. Pinafore & Trial By Jury
1957-The Pirates of Penzance
1958-H.M.S. Pinafore & Trial By Jury
1964-Yeoman of The Guard
1965-The Pirates of Penzance
1967-H.M.S. Pinafore & Trial By Jury
1975-The Pirates of Penzance
1980-Kiss Me, Kate
1981-Yeoman of the Guard
1985-The Pirates of Penzance
1990-West Side Story
1991-Kiss Me, Kate
1994-The Mystery of Edwin Drood
1996-Guys & Dolls
1997-The Pirates of Penzance
1998-The Most Happy Fella
2000-Me and My Girl
2001-The Pajama Game
2002-A Little Night Music
2004-Kiss Me Kate
2005-Once Upon A Mattress
2007- Thoroughly Modern Millie
2008 - Chicago
2009 - Seussical
2010 - The Secret Garden
2011 - Annie
2012 - Holiday sing @ Mary Cheney Library
2013 - Holiday sing @ Mary Cheney Library
2014 - Seasons of Love
2014 - Avenue Q