What began as an idea developed over coffee at Saywell’s Drugstore in 1945 has blossomed into The Hudson Players celebrating its 75th anniversary season of producing award-winning entertainment in northeast Ohio.
This year’s slate of shows has something for everyone, kicking off in November with a revival of audience favorite "Noises Off," the hilarious British farce about a play within a play. Next up is "Company," Stephen Sondheim’s revered musical about a single guy celebrating his 35th birthday with his married friends, with famous songs such as "Being Alive" and "Ladies Who Lunch," which will be presented in February. The Hudson Players’ season concludes in late April with the Ohio community theatre premiere of "Bright Star," a new, blue-grass-inspired musical from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell that tells the story of a driven magazine editor whose life is forever changed when a young man returning from WWII becomes a vivid reminder of her long-hidden past.
While a previous Hudson theatre guild was founded in the 1920s, its run ended in the late 1930s. The current Hudson Players organization owes its existence to Glad Lewis and eight other Hudsonites who were inspired to revive community theatre in Hudson 75 years ago.
The community embraced the idea and the first production, a one-act melodrama called "Fireman, Save My Child," attracted a sold-out crowd inside the historic Town Hall Building for its single performance. The only one not happy was the fire marshal who was concerned about the over-flowing crowd.
From that point on the Hudson Players staged three plays every year. Membership grew as the town of Hudson grew and the group established a reputation throughout northeast Ohio for quality theatre that continues to this day. From those humble beginnings the Hudson Players have gone on to present more than 200 productions. The shows bring visitors to Hudson from all over the state. Many of the shows also have been recognized by the Ohio Community Theatre Association for their excellence.
As part of the 75th anniversary celebration, The Hudson Players are planning a gala event, set for March 7, 2020. As part of the festivities, plans are underway to present "Fireman, Save My Child," the original one-act that jump-started the group in 1945.
"The motto of Hudson Players has always been ‘good shows, good friends and good times’ and we welcome the entire Hudson community to join in our 75th anniversary season celebration," says Michelle Dolciato, Hudson Players’ board president. "Whether you watch one of our fabulous productions, attend our gala or volunteer your talent and time by joining as a group member we look forward to celebrating with you this year."
Hudson Players season tickets offer the best opportunity for the best seats, the best savings and the best dates. A three-show season ticket subscription is $30 – a $12 savings compared to purchasing the tickets at the regular price. Another advantage is season ticket holders get to pick their performance nights and seats in advance. Plus, they can exchange tickets to accommodate schedule changes at no added cost.
For complete details about season tickets and show dates and information about the 75th anniversary gala, call the Hudson Players box office at 330-655-8522 or go online at www.hudsonplayers.com for more information. Showtime for Friday and Saturday performances is 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m.