Each year The Player's Studio proudly produces a number of shows in a variety of genres. Each play is carefully selected or originally crafted to promote the overall vision of The Player's Studio and to highlight an aspect of the theatrical learning process. Every student who is registered for one of our classes is guaranteed a role in the play their class is producing.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is perhaps the most iconic of all William Shakespeare's many comedic plays. Set in Ancient Greece, Midsummer follows four young lovers as they journey through an enchanted forest. Once inside, the group find themselves caught up in the mischief of fairies. Along with a group of players practicing a drama for the Duke of Athens, the humans all must deal with love spells, transformations, and mistaken identities. Audiences will laugh with glee as they wait for the antics of the sprite Puck to all be set to rights. A Midsummer Night's Dream was the first full length production for the newly formed Player's Studio.
Our Town is considered by many to be the great American drama. Written by Thornton Wilder in 1938, Our Town tells the story of Grover's Corner. This metatheatrical play in three-acts follows Emily Webb as she lives out her ordinary life in a very ordinary town. Guided by the Stage Manager, the audience watches as Emily grows, falls inlove, gets married ... and beyond. This play takes a profound look at what it means to be human and to live and love in everyday life. Our Town earned Wilder a Pulitzer Prize and remains one of the most popular dramas to be produced to this day. The play was the second production for The Player's Studio and the first to run over two nights.
Wonderland is an original script by Founder and Director Karen Culbertson. Based on the works by Lewis Carroll, this play follows Alice as she plunges into a fantastical world to be found just down the rabbit hole. Alice meets all our favorite characters, including the Cheshire Cat, the Tweedles, and the Mad Hatter. Of course, no journey through the looking glass would be complete without the threat of the Queen of Hearts. Originally slated to play in 2020, this production was sidelined by the global outbreak of Covid-19. After some recasting and a new rehearsals the show was able to premier finally in the Spring of 2021 for a two night run.
Kid Frankenstein by Kathryn Schultz Miller is a zany adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein perfect for young casts and audiences of all ages. Young scientist Frankie and pal Irma (aka Igor) have no idea what to do for the school science fair. That's when Dr. Frankenstein's lab book mysteriously arrives. Together with new friend Helga, the kids create their monster. But what happens when it gets loose on the town? Packed with laughs from start to finish this play was the very first production of The Young Player's, a division of the Studio that focuses on younger actors. This play was originally scheduled for the spring of 2020, but Covid-19 delayed the show for a full year. Despite the setback the production opened to a packed out house!
Princess and the Pauper
The Princess and the Pauper is a retelling of the classic tale by Mark Twain. When Princess Elizabeth and young peasant girl Taby meet by accident one day they discover something amazing; they look exactly alike! They decide to switch dresses for a moment but get caught and switched for real. Now Taby has to navigate the strange world of the royal court while Elizabeth attempts to convince Taby's family to help her get back to the palace. This play is filled with fun little gags, amusing characters and may seem totally silly on the surface, yet it offers interesting commentary on how well we are really seeing the people all around us. The Princess and the Pauper was performed in the summer of 2021 as part of the Studio's first summer camp program and was produced in connection with Drama Notebook.
As You Like It
As You Like It by William Shakespeare is a tragicomedy that offers audiences all the best of a Shakespeare play. Rosalind has been cruelly cast out of her uncle's kingdom. Disguised as a man, she and her cousin and the court jester make their way to the wood where her long banished father is said to be hiding. There in the forest, Rosalind discovers the man she loves is also in hiding, but rather than reveal herself she decides to keep up her disguise and test out just how true his love for her is. This tail of of twisted identity is equal parts hilarious and poignant. It also features one of the strongest female leads in all of Shakespeare. This play was produced as part of the Studio's first summer camp program in 2021.
The Spelling Bee Buzz
In little Grayson County, the Spelling Bee is the highlight of the academic year. But someone has nefarious plans for the competition and the Grand Prize is stolen right our from under everyone's noses. It's up to supersleuth Nancy Dixon, her twin brother Andrew and their friends Christie and Art to save the day. Everyone in town assumes the local bully is behind the crime, but Nancy is not so sure. This is a mystery that will keep you guessing to the very end and the culprit is going to surprise everyone involved. The Spelling Bee Buzz is the second original script by Director Karen Culbertson. It also marks the first production of the special middle school division of The Player's Studio known as The Junior Player's Studio.
The Mystery of the Missing Medallion
In a strange kingdom some time ago, the king and his daughter have gone missing. Meanwhile a mysterious young girl named Emma has had her precious medallion stolen from her and to make matters worse, her best friend Logan is accused of the crime. Emma only has a matter of hours to find her medallion and prove to everyone that Logan is innocent. She will enlist the help of the great detective Cornelius Bumble to solve the case. However, the wicked queen and her henchmen are determined that no one will ever see that medallion and that poor Logan will rot in jail forever. This hilarious play was produced in the Spring of 2022 in association with Drama Notebook, a drama curriculum website filled with lessons and scripts for every program. The Player's Studio highly recommends you check them out at https://www.dramanotebook.com/drama-curriculum/.
The Player's Studio was proud to bring Agatha Christie's long running stage play, The Mousetrap, to the RGV in the Spring of 2022 with not one but two talented castings. Christie fills this play with a host of quirky characters who find themselves trapped by a snowstorm.Giles and Mollie Ralston are a young married couple with a bright future. They have just opened Monkswell Manor, a guesthouse in the English countryside. One by one their first guests begin to arrive, but it soon becomes apparent they are bringing more baggage than just literal suitcases. Suddenly Sergeant Trotter arrives with the news that snow is the least of their worries. Seems a murderer is on the loose and police suspect Monkswell Manor to be the setting of their next crime. This production was not only The Player's first double cast but also our longest running production to date.