History of the Players Guild Theatre
On April 24, 2007 The Players Guild celebrated 75 years as one of the oldest continuously operating community theatres in America! Founded in 1932 by Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Truxton, The Players Guild's earliest productions were staged at the Canton Jewish Center. On April 24, 1932 they inaugurated their opening season with the play, "MOLIERE".
Three seasons later facilities were changed to accommodate the larger audiences being attracted to their productions. Until 1940 the plays were presented at Lincoln High School. Rehearsals were held and set construction was done in other locations on Market Street South and then moved to the High School for performances.
By 1940 the Guild's officials felt it was time to build a home of their own. As fate would have it, at that time, the Coach House at the Case Mansion, which had become the art museum, was deeded to the Guild for one dollar a year.
The 1950s saw a decade of expansion and change with the Coach House stage being enlarged, a balcony added and air conditioning installed. On December 13, 1970, the Players Guild reached still another milestone, moving into a new modern theatre in the Cultural Center for The Arts, its current home. The new theatre opened with a production of the musical, "MAME" on January 5, 1971.
Today the Guild is operated by a Board of Trustees and employs a professional theatre staff to present outstanding and challenging plays for this community and the surrounding area. The original concept of volunteerism still plays an important role in the workings of the theatre.
It is doubtful that in 1932 Mr. and Mrs. Truxton and the other 21 founders of The Canton Players Guild would have dreamed of the impact on the arts in this community and of the success and longevity of their creation.
As the Guild moves into a new century and a new millennium, it looks to the future and welcomes new ideas as well as the continual building of its traditional volunteer base for larger and more ambitious productions now presented on two stages.
When many theatres across America are closing their doors, it is imperative that this community support and maintain this local treasure for the enjoyment and enlightenment of future generations.