Detroit Landmark

Built by Detroiters for Detroiters on a historical site.

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Our History

From its founding in 1911 to the construction of the Playhouse in 1925, the Players led a gypsy like existence. Each month they were obliged to find another Detroit stage on which to perform.

Fellow Player and architect William Kapp of the then Smith, Hinchman and Grylls firm (now The Smith Group) designed the playhouse in the Florentine Renaissance style. The Playhouse is constructed entirely of cinderblock, a revolutionary building material in the 1920s. The building includes a formal meeting room (Founders Room), small commercial kitchen, a professional 4-story stage complete with trap doors, state of the art digital lighting and sound booth, makeup rooms, prop rooms, and lobby bar.

The famed sculptor Corrado Parducci sculpted the gargoyles gracing the front façade, as well as the large urns flanking the main stage.

French painter and artist Paul Honore painted six art deco murals on tapestry depicting a troupe of wandering troubadours that hang in the Great Hall.

 
 

Since the Playhouse opened in 1925, The Players has shared its home with two other venerable amateur theater organizations: The Fine Arts Society of Detroit, founded in 1907, and The Theater Arts Club of Detroit, founded in 1910.

Before (and sometimes during) performances, Players gather in the lobby to refresh themselves with cold draft beer, a longstanding Players tradition.

In Shakespearean tradition, gentlemen play all roles on stage. All performances are done by members for members and are known as ‘frolics’. A frolic is an antiquated term but it fits the form and function of The Players. A frolic is typically a performance of three one-act plays. The season consists of 5 such frolics, and one full three-act play. At the season’s end, the best three one-act plays are selected to re-perform for an invited audience.

 

The bed of Parents Creek lies underneath the building. Near this site on July 31, 1763, the Battle of Bloody Run (so called because the creek ran red with blood) took place between Chief Pontiac and British forces.A State of Michigan historical marker commemorating this battle sits in front of the building.

 

Charitable Affiliations

The Players is a non-profit organization recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to the Players are welcome and tax deductible.

We provide Scholarship assistance to Theater & Performing Arts Majors.