March 18 – April 2, 2022
Directed by Peter Harrold
Produced by Chrish Kresge and Caroline Gelb
Kensington Town Hall
3710 Mitchell Street, Kensington, MD 20895
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, PLEASE LOCATE THE NEAREST EXIT
The use of recording, video, or photography equipment is not permitted. Please turn off cell phones and any electronic device that makes a noise. Smoking is not permitted. Audience members are not permitted backstage. Please exit the building immediately after the performance to comply with our safety restrictions.
For seventy years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her fourteen Prime Ministers in a private weekly audience, usually on a Tuesday afternoon. The discussions are utterly secret, even to the royal and prime ministerial spouses. No private secretaries or civil servants attend, and there are no minutes or recordings. David Cameron’ references in his memoirs to some of the content of his audiences recently caused a scandal in the UK.
Dramatist Peter Morgan imagines these meetings with her Prime Ministers over the decades of the Queen’s remarkable reign, from Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher to the 2015 incumbent, David Cameron. Morgan has become something of a specialist in things royal, having also written the movie The Queen, for which Helen Mirren won an Oscar, as well as the Netflix series “The Crown.” Eagle-eyed watchers of “The Crown” may have spotted the footnote in the credits that it is “based on the play The Audience by Peter Morgan.”
After the success of The Queen, Morgan wrote The Audience as a vehicle for Helen Mirren. It opened at the National Theatre in London, and later transferred for a hugely successful run on Broadway, for which Helen Mirren won a Tony Award for Lead Actress in 2015. I had the deep pleasure of seeing her on Broadway in this play. I was stunned by her performance, and it is fair to say that I have never enjoyed a night at the theater more.
The play can be experienced on two levels. First, it is an imagined dramatization of the interactions between the Queen and her Prime Ministers as they discuss matters light and heavy, and navigate some of the biggest crises for the UK, such as Suez, and domestic upheavals for the royal family, like the breakdown of the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales. The play gives us an insight into the life of the Queen, as well as the woman behind the crown, and how she may have interacted with her heads of government over her reign – the longest in British history.
On another level, the play examines the nature of the British Constitution and the relative roles of the monarchy and the government. Since the Restoration of 1660, the official role of the monarchy has slowly declined, with the two key remaining powers being those of appointing the Prime Minister and of disbanding Parliament for a general election. Although even these powers have devolved to the government, the monarch still performs them symbolically. The tradition of the weekly audiences has continued, and no Prime Minister would dream of taking a key action, such as a foreign incursion, without prior consultation with the Queen. Whether the Queen’s opinions, counsel, or expressed opposition have influenced a Prime Minister’s decision we can never know, but this play illustrates the extent and limits of this influence.
As many of you will be aware, we were one week away from opening this production in March of 2020, when the pandemic struck, and we decided to cancel the production. We are more than delighted to be able at long last to bring this wonderful play to you. Of course, not all cast members have been able to pick up their roles, so we would like to recognize and thank Angela Cannon, Sandy Irving, John Barclay Burns, Dan Owen, and Theta Lubliner for all their hard work in 2020.
As the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee year, we hope you enjoy these imagined insights into the lives of the Queen and her Prime Ministers as much as we have enjoyed portraying them for you.
|John Major||John Allnutt|
|Queen Elizabeth||Elizabeth Keith|
|Young Elizabeth||Maisy Morowitz|
|Winston Churchill||Jeffrey Westlake|
|Harold Wilson||Bill Hurlbut|
|Bobo McDonald||Carol Strachan|
|Gordon Brown||Tom Schiller|
|Anthony Eden||Roger Stone|
|David Cameron||Kenneth Derby|
|Margaret Thatcher||Patricia Kratzer|
|Second Equerry, Archbishop of Canterbury, Sergeant, Detective, Private Secretary, Tony Blair||Chuck McCarter|
|Ladies-in-Waiting||Ellen Kaplan, Jennifer Strand, Harlean Leahy [March 31 – April 2], Linda Wilson|
Synopsis of Scenes
The action takes place in the Private Audience Room at Buckingham Palace and at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Private Audience Room at Buckingham Palace, various times, 1952 – 2010
Scene 1: Private Drawing Room in Balmoral Castle in Scotland, August, 1968
Scene 2: Private Audience Room at Buckingham Palace, various times, 1952 – 2010
There will be a 15-minute intermission between Acts, during which refreshments will be available.
The Production Staff
|Co-Producers||Caroline Gelb, Chrish Kresge|
|Stage Manager||Lee Zahnow|
|Assistant Stage Managers||Dina Green, Nicola Willis-Jones|
|Set Design||Mike Lewis|
|Master Carpenters||William Kolodrubetz, Mac McCord|
|Scenic Design||Albert Coia|
|Lighting Design||Steve Deming|
|Lighting Board Operator||George Krumbhaar, Albert Coia|
|Sound Design||Matt Mills|
|Sound Board Operator||Christine V. Hurst|
|Props Assistant/Runner||Howard Goldblatt|
|Set Dressing||Caroline Gelb, Chrish Kresge|
|Properties||Caroline Gelb, Chrish Kresge|
|Costume Design||Patricia Kratzer|
|Costume Crew||(See Ladies-in-Waiting)|
|Make-up Design||Cathy Dunn|
|Wig Design||Harlene Leahy|
|Accent and Movement Coach||Chrish Kresge|
|Programme Coordinator||Sara Kane|
|Graphic Design||J. Andrew Simmons|
|Photography||Juan Torreblanca, Harvey Levine|
|Lobby Display||Nicola Hoag|
|Technical Directors||Matt Mills, Mike Lewis|
|Business Manager||Sara Cath|
|Box Office Manager||Sara Cath|
|Front of House Managers||Caroline Gelb, Chrish Kresge|
|Publicity and Public Relations||Dave Bradley, Lauren Pacuit|
|Transportation Coordinators||Alan and Caroline Gelb|
|Audition Desk||Alan and Caroline Gelb|
|Set Construction and Painting||Albert Coia, Steve Deming, Karen Engling, Narcy Klag, William Kolurobetz, |
Mike Lewis, Clare Palace, Guy Palace, Nick Radonic
|Front of House Staff||Dave Bradley, John Barclay Burns, Sigrid Blobel, Cathy Crouch, Karen Engling, Julia Frank, Alan Gelb, Pauline Griller-Mitchell, Chuck and Nicola Hoag, Sara Kane, Jan Leno, Frankie Lewis, Ann Lung, Maggie McFerren, Katie Meskill, Caitlin O’Leary, Lauren Pacuit, Susan Paisner, Clare Palace, Karen Pedone, Pippa Young|
Meet The Cast and Production Team
John Allnutt (John Major) was recently seen as Wilfred in the Players’ production of Quartet. He has performed in many other area productions, including the farces Noises Off, Run For Your Wife, Caught in the Net, and Shut Your Eyes and Think of England; and non-farces, including Our Town (Stage Manager), The Music Man (Harold Hill), Pygmalion (Henry Higgins), Arms and the Man (Captain Bluntschli), The Sound of Music (Captain Von Trapp), and Grease (Danny Zuko).
Albert Coia (Scenic Design) joined the BP in 1969. He has appeared locally in both professional and community theatre. He received a Helen Hayes nomination in 1997, and has been nominated three times for WATCH awards, winning one in 2008 for Erroneus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with TAP. Albert has been the BP’s, main set designer and painter for the past decade.
Steve Deming (Lighting Designer) has been working with DC area community theaters for over 18 years, most recently for the BP’s production of Alice in Wonderland. Other productions include RLT’s A Raisin in the Sun, The Underpants, and A Christmas Story, GAC’s Angel Street, and SSS’s In the Next Room, Wit, and The Crucible. What brings him back year after year is the creative process of bringing a show together with other creative people and executing the director’s vision through a blend of traditional techniques and innovative technologies.
Colin Davies (Equerry) was brought up in England, and first acted at Oxford University. He has performed many times with the Players and with many other DC community and professional theatres. Recent roles include Woodrow Wilson, Clemenceau, Galileo, Charles Dickens, Merlin, Kafka’s Father, King David, and Parsons in 1984. He has appeared in several short films, and on TV in VEEP and House of Cards. He hosts a weekly rock’n’roll radio show – www.theprofessorrocks.com.
Kenneth Derby (David Cameron) is excited to perform in his first BP production. Before moving to Maryland, he performed in opera, operetta, musicals, and cabaret overseas for over 20 years, including productions in Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Cairo, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Basel, and Zurich. Locally, he has worked for The Kennedy Center (If All the Sky Were Paper), Olney Theatre Center (The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins), InSeries (The Magic Flute, Kabarett & Cabaret), Red Branch Theatre (Sweeney Todd), and VLOC (The Grand Duke). Last year, he performed virtually as W. S. Gilbert in VLOC’s production of A Gilbert and Sullivan Drawing Room, and InSeries’ The Pearl Fishers, as well as singing live in concert for Olney Theatre Center and Mosaic Theatre Company.
Peter Harrold (Director) is delighted to be making his debut as a director with the Players with this wonderful play, and to be working with this talented and dedicated production team and great cast. He has appeared many times in Players productions, most recently as Reggie in Quartet in 2018. He has also performed locally with LTA, RLT, and KAT. He also has appeared on and directed for various stages around the world during his peripatetic career. Since retiring, Peter has been teaching at George Washington University and enjoying long summers in France.
Bill Hurlbut (Harold Wilson) has acted throughout the DC metro area and as far afield as Bangladesh. His recent credits include Helen on Wheels (Best Medicine Rep) and Hobson’s Choice (Quotidian Theatre Company). Favorite roles include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Big Daddy), The Crucible (Governor Danforth), Other Desert Cities (Lyman Wyeth), and Orson’s Shadow (Laurence Olivier). He has been nominated for multiple WATCH awards and won for Best Featured Actor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 2014.
Caroline Gelb (Co-Producer) joined the Players in 2001, was a member of the Board for nine years, and served as President for three. She has had wonderful experiences as Producer for several spring productions and is delighted to be working again with Chrish and Lee and watching in awe as Peter brings this charming show to life. Thanks to such a talented cast and crew. You are the best! Love and special thanks to Alan.
Ellen Kaplan (Lady-in Waiting) is happy to be in this production. She is a long-time member of the BP and has also performed in many Music Halls and five pantos. When not on the stage, Ellen enjoys spending time with her family, the true loves of her life. Her children and grandchildren make each day worthwhile, and their love and support mean EVERYTHING! She dedicates this performance and every future performance to her greatest love, Joe.
Elizabeth Keith (Queen Elizabeth) is thrilled to be part of the talented cast and crew of The Audience – her first performance with the Players! She has enjoyed this journey through British history, culture, and politics over the past few months. A wife, mother, and law professor in “real” life, Elizabeth has welcomed the opportunity to explore the life of the world’s longest-reigning monarch on stage. Special thanks to her family for their constant love and support.
Patricia Kratzer (Margaret Thatcher/Costume Designer), a native of Great Britain, has been a member of the BP for many years. She has been involved in most aspects of theatre in the US and the UK, although this is her first foray into costume design. She has appeared in many local productions including Maria in Calendar Girls (BP), Mrs. Graves in Enchanted April (SSS), Miss Marple in A Murder is Announced, Grace in The Winslow Boy (RLT), and Miss Daisy in Driving Miss Daisy (LTA), in which she was nominated for a WATCH Award for Outstanding Lead Actress.
Chrish Kresge (Co-Producer) has been involved with community theatre for most of her adult life, acting, directing, and producing plays in Cairo, Rabat, Kathmandu, Accra, and Washington, DC. She directed Calendar Girls, Don’t Dress for Dinner, and Bedside Manners for the BP, and serves on the BP Board. She makes her living as a Feldenkrais practitioner. Chrish is delighted to collaborate again with Caroline Gelb as co-producer. She believes in the power of community theatre to bring people together and empower and help them grow to their full potential.
Mike Lewis (Set Design and Construction) is President of the British Players, and has been the Technical Director and an RGA adjudicator for many years, having joined the British Embassy Players back in 1980. He has designed several sets for the Players, most recently for Noises Off, Quartet, and Something’s Afoot. A retired transportation and traction electrification systems engineer, he has worked on set construction and in all backstage capacities for several theatre groups in the Washington area.
Chuck McCarter (Second Equerry, Archbishop of Canterbury, Sergeant, Detective, Private Secretary, Tony Blair) is pleased to make his debut with the Players. He recently retired from Federal Service, having spent much of his career in Germany. During that time, he performed in numerous productions with various American community theaters. Among his favorite roles: The Baker in Into the Woods, Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. He also appeared in German-American Benefit concerts at Frankfurt’s Alte Opera.
Maisy Morowitz (Young Elizabeth) is delighted to use the British accent she honed over years of imitating Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. Maisy made her BP debut as the Dormouse in the panto, Alice in Wonderland, and played the lead, Judge Grammar, in Grammarland at Washington Waldorf School. She has studied acting, improvisation, and musical theatre at Imagination Stage. Maisy loves dancing, basketball, violin, surfing, skateboarding, and chilling with her two adorable cats!
Tom Schiller (Gordon Brown) is properly chuffed to be in his first production with the Players. Over the past year, he has played Winston Churchill in Churchill Among Savages, an experimental play written by Nishi Chawla; two butlers in The Importance of Being Earnest (SSS); and Teddy Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace (TAP). A big thank-you to his family for putting up with his absences and lack of home-cooked meals as the production grows nigh.
Roger B. Stone (Anthony Eden) is appearing in his third production with the Players, having previously been seen as Lloyd Dallas in Noises Off and Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion. He admits to having ridiculous fun both times, and is thrilled to be working again with Peter, Lee, Caroline, Chrish, and this terrific cast and crew! Other favorite roles include On the Razzle (Zangler), Art (Yvan), 12 Angry Men (Juror #10), It’s a Wonderful Life (Clarence), Rumors (Lenny), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (both Pseudolus and Hysterium), and The Real Inspector Hound (Moon). “Love you oodles…” to Rox and Taz!!!
Carol Strachan (Bobo McDonald) previously appeared with the Players in See How They Run, The Unexpected Guest, Off the Hook, Kind Lady, Calendar Girls, Fawlty Towers, The Day after the Fair, Sleeping Beauty, Cole and Noel, three Christmas with the Players shows, and thirteen Music Halls in her long association with the BP. Carol is the producer for LTA’s upcoming Prelude to a Kiss.
Jennifer Strand (Lady-in-Waiting) has been involved in many BP productions over the years, including Music Hall and panto. Jennifer is also active in Hexagon, TAP, and LTA.
Jeffery Westlake (Winston Churchill) celebrates the start of his fifth decade of stage work with our production of The Audience. His credits as an actor, director, and producer span summer stock, touring, and regional theater from here to his native New England. Area credits include Hector in The History Boys (LTA), Ben Franklin in 1776 (MCP), and WATCH-nominated performances as Whiteside in The Man Who Came To Dinner (TAP), and Yvan in ‘Art’ (SSS).
Linda A. Wilson (Lady-in-Waiting) is active in musical and community theater in the DC area, performing on stage and serving as crew for costumes, hair and makeup for BP Music Halls and pantos, as well as many shows with Hexagon and TAP. She most recently sang in the chorus of VLOC’s 2021 “Paris to Vienna” concert. An interior designer in “real” life, Linda is having a great time with the other Ladies-in-Waiting dressing The Queen!
Lee Zahnow (Stage Manager) has been an active member of the Players for several years, managing the stage for many of its productions as she has for Hexagon and other local theatres. She is most pleased to be part of the terrific production team for The Audience, working with Peter and the very talented cast. She sends her thanks to the great behind-the-scenes crew, and to George as always for supporting her theatrical affairs.
BP – The British Players
GAC – Greenbelt Arts Center
KAT – Kensington Arts Theatre
LTA – The Little Theatre of Alexandria
MCP – McLean Players
PCP – Port City Players
PPF – Providence Players of Fairfax
RLT – Little Theatre of Rockville
RGA – Ruby Griffith Awards
SSS – Silver Spring Stage
VLOC – Victorian Lyric Opera Company
WATCH – Washington Area Community Theatre Honors
The British Players would like to thank the following: Peter Wuttke for the construction of the red Sovereign’s Despatch box; Michael Stempler for the loan of the stag’s head; the Little Theater of Alexandria for the loan of wigs; Silver Spring Stage for the loan of furniture; Tracey Furman, Mayor of Kensington; Shirley Watson, Facility Manager; the Kensington Town Council and the staff of the Kensington Town Hall for their support and assistance in permitting The British Players to stage The Audience at the Kensington Town Hall.
THE BRITISH PLAYERS’ BOARD OF DIRECTORS
|Nicola Hoag||Vice President, Wardrobe Mistress, Social Events Manager|
|Sara Cath||Treasurer, Co-Box Office Administrator|
|Dave Bradley||Corresponding Secretary, Publicity and Social Media Manager|
|Matt Mills||Technical Director|
|Lauren Pacuit||Publicity and Social Media Manager, Social Events Manager|
|Emilia O’Connor||Membership Secretary, Outreach and Diversity Manager, Co-Box Office Administrator|
|Chrish Kresge||Play Selection Committee, One-Night Shows Manager, Artistic Liaison|
|Sarah Leembruggen||Recording Secretary, Props Mistress, Play Selection Committee|
|Clare Palace||Social Events Manager, Artistic Liaison|
|Missi Tessier||Play Selection Committee, Outreach and Diversity Manager, One-Night Shows Manager|
|Caroline Gelb||RGA Administrator|
|Kim Newball||Patron Surface Mailing List|
|Tyler Hanson||Newsletter Editor|
Board of Trustees
Chuck Hoag • Alan Gelb • John Barclay Burns
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
by Rupert Holmes:
June 10-25, 2022
Rapunzel – A Tangled Panto
A Brief Historical Note
about the Prime Ministers featured in The Audience
(listed chronologically, rather than as they appear in the play)
Winston Churchill (1940-45, 1951-55), probably the most widely recognized Prime Minister of the 20th century, served as head of an all-party coalition government that oversaw the defeat of the Axis powers and the end of World War II. He was then voted out in 1945 in the first post-war election. In The Audience, we find him at age 78, having just returned to power after the humiliation of his post-war defeat, with the guidance of the Queen in her new life as monarch his principal concern.
Anthony Eden (1955-57) served for 15 years as Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party before succeeding Winston Churchill. His relatively brief term was dominated by the fiasco of the Suez Canal crisis in 1956. Visibly aging during his two years in office, his ultimate resignation was driven as much by ill-health as by his difficulties after Suez, for which he never apologized or accepted culpability.
Harold Wilson (1964-70, 1974-76) became PM in 1964, heading the first Labour government since 1951. A brilliant man, he was awarded a partial scholarship to Oxford and, at age 21, became a lecturer in Economic History at Oxford—one of the youngest dons in history. After winning three elections, he resigned abruptly in 1975. Wilson presided over a difficult time for the UK economy, including the infamous devaluation of 1967 as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. He developed a very warm relationship with the Queen and was reportedly her favorite.
Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) is probably the most familiar PM to Americans because of her very close relationship with Ronald Reagan. Known colloquially as “the Iron Lady,” she rose from the middle class to the top through her brilliance and determination, and, as we see in the play, was not afraid to speak her mind to anyone at any time. It is said that her relationship with the Queen was far from easy. She was the UK’s first female PM, and the longest serving of the 20th century.
John Major (1990-97), who succeeded Margaret Thatcher in 1990, is generally regarded as the least likely PM in history, having never attended University, let alone Oxford or Cambridge, like most of his fellow PMs. A rather colorless character, he did succeed in getting re-elected before losing in 1997 to Tony Blair. His Premiership coincided with one of the most difficult periods in the life of the Royal Family. He remains very active politically, having recently been a leader of the anti-Brexit movement.
Tony Blair (1997-2007) ended almost 20 years of the Conservative Party’s grip on government, having steered the Labour Party firmly to the center. He is the second-longest serving PM of the 20th century and the longest serving Labour PM in history. His successful early term of office was overshadowed by his strong support of the Iraq war, and he has been accused of deceiving the British public about the case for the war.
Gordon Brown (2007-10) succeeded Tony Blair as PM in 2007, having been made to wait much longer than he had hoped and expected. He was a Scottish politician who excelled as Chancellor (Treasury Secretary) and guided the UK skillfully through the financial crisis of 2008-9, including reforms such as the creation of the independence of the Bank of England. He also had a deep commitment to international development and was very influential in international economic conferences. However, he quickly found himself out of his depth as PM and suffered a major defeat in the general election after only three years in office.
David Cameron (2010-16) was the youngest PM to be elected in 200 years, rising swiftly from relative obscurity, albeit from a background of wealth and privilege. Following Blair’s approach, he catered to the center, managing to preside over that rarity in UK government, a coalition with the Liberal Democrats as minority partner during his first term. He is now famous for his decision to hold the referendum that resulted in the Brexit vote, after which he immediately resigned as Prime Minister.
Other PMs during the Queen’s reign, not included in the play: Harold MacMillan (1957-63); Sir Alec Douglas-Home (1963-64); Edward Heath (1970-74); and James Callaghan (1976-79). Since the period covered by the play, the Queen has had two more PMs: Theresa May (2016-19); and Boris Johnson (2019-).
JOIN THE REALM!
The British Players gratefully acknowledge the following donors for their generous contributions:
Dukes/Duchesses: ($1,000 – $1,499)
Steve Deming, Alan & Caroline Gelb, Vittoria Winterton
Barons/Baronesses: ($500 – $999)
Lords/Ladies: ($250 – $499)
Kay Casstevens, Harlene Leahy, Robert & Sarah Leembruggen, Mike & Frankie Lewis, Marilyn & Stuart Morrison, Bernard Patlen, Eric F. Polhamus, Missi Tessier & Jim & Tess Kulikowski, Humphrey Winterton
Knights/Dames: ($100 – $249)
Timothy Ball, Anonymous, Norma Blum, Inga Blust, Christine Born, David Bradley, Betsy Brothers, Carol F Campbell, George & Wendy Cotter, Janice Derr, Donna Dolan, Jack Hanson, Valerie Huff, Martin Hurwitz, Robert Keith, Nancy McClain, Christy Mills, Matt Mills, Glenys Murrell, Peter Nerenstone, Lauren Pacuit, George Roher, Rachel Waldstein, Curtis Vonkann
Landed Gentry: ($50 – $99)
Lucy Alton, Daria Antonucci, Erin Cassidy, Richard Darilek, Patricia Davies, Art & Sue E., John Figueroa, Carla Gladstone, Richard Glassbrook, Sandra Hochstein, Ellen M Kaplan, Christiane Kresge, Lou & Mary Kuta, Margaret Lane, Rosann & Mike, Ross, Mary C Massey, Magdalene McElhone, Kate & Arnold, Pamela & John Prevar, Dilip Ramchandani, John, Hilda & Duncan Richards, David Rowe, Richard Rutherford, Betsy Sherman, David Stone, Jennifer Strand, Jean Teichroew, Judith & Bob Wilkins, Bill Wisniewski, Lee Zahnow
Pages: ($25 – $49)
Ruth Arnold, Susan Bahr, Deborah Best. Sigrid Blobel, Melinda Bloom, Mary Brauer, James Cannon, Mark Clark, Rachel Coghlan, Wayne Coleman, Susan Farnsworth, Robin Gold, Linda Hildreth, Dale M Hill, Elizabeth Jane Leanza, Gwenda Overstreet, Patricia Pickard, Charles Schaub, Donna Skibbe, Katherine Spivey, Helena Wright
You may make a donation by visiting our donations page, or by cheque made payable to The British Players and mailed to: Treasurer, The British Players, 8712 Ramsey Court, Springfield, VA 22151.
About the British Players
THE BRITISH PLAYERS, originally formed in 1964 as the British Embassy Players by the late John Palmer and a small group of keen Embassy staffers, was incorporated in the District of Columbia as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation in March 2006. Though no longer performing at the Embassy Rotunda, the Group’s mission remains as it was during its previous years at the British Embassy: bringing British plays and shows to Washington area theatre lovers and giving to British and American charities, thus enhancing Anglo-American relationships. To date, the Group has been instrumental in providing over $400,000 for both British and American charities. The Players now perform at the Kensington Town Hall in Kensington, Maryland.
With over 150 mainly British and American members drawn from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC, The British Players value the support, talents and skills that members bring to our various activities. These include many social activities, as well as our main theatre objectives. During its history, the Group has provided an invaluable connection among the Embassy, its staff members, and the American community.
The Players’ major productions include comedies and dramas by British playwrights, pantomimes, musical revues, and the now bi-annual Old Time Music Hall. The Players also stage special one-night shows and fundraisers for local organisations.
A further facet of BP involvement in the Washington community is our sponsorship of the Ruby Griffith Awards for excellence in amateur theatre productions. These awards are named after an early mentor of the Players and attract about 25 entries each year from local community theatre groups. The Players assign four adjudicators (who are BP members) to review each competing show and then prepare a combined written critique, which is forwarded to each participating theatre. The presentation ceremony is held annually at a social event to honour all participating groups.