Children's Theatre, Classes, Community Theatre
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The history of A.D. Players runs parallel to the life and leadership of former Artistic Director Jeannette Clift George who founded the Players in 1967. Originally from Houston, she came to A.D. Players with an extensive background in professional theater including acting Off-Broadway, at the Playhouse in the Park in Philadelphia, the Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and touring with the New York Shakespeare Company. She was for many years a member of Houston’s Alley Theatre acting company and performed in many of its productions, including Dear Liar, Ring Around the Bathtub, Romeo and Juliet and The Rivals, and the title roles in Colette and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Mrs. George made her film debut as Corrie Ten Boom in World Wide Pictures’ The Hiding Place. For her role, Mrs. George was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a Golden Apple Award, and named “Most Promising Newcomer” by the British Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In founding A.D. Players, Mrs. George married her years of performance and expertise in the theater arts with her passion for offering a theater experience that would uphold human value, nurture creativity and promote artistic excellence and education. At A.D. Players, Mrs. George herself played the lead role in numerous productions, including Driving Miss Daisy, The Glass Menagerie, The Trip to Bountiful and The Importance of Being Earnest. She also directed numerous productions for the Company, including many of her own plays, which have been performed on A.D. Players’ stage as well as in other venues across the country. Under her leadership, A.D. Players created a Touring Company that has performed nationally and internationally, and continues to perform regionally.
In 1977, the Players purchased the building that became Grace Theater, home to the Company’s mainstage performances for nearly 40 years. The Theater Arts Academy (now the Performing Arts Academy) was later established to offer a variety of drama classes to children, teenagers and adults. A.D. Players continued to grow its programmatic efforts through the early 1990’s, starting Houston’s first year-round children’s theater in 1992, and making their Off-Broadway debut performing Mrs. George’s John, His Story at Lamb’s Theater in New York City in 1997.
For the last 50 years, A.D. Players has been a mainstay in the world of Houston theater. Generations of actors have come through the Players, either as interns, members of the resident company or in other professional capacities, learning and training within its creative community. In 2003, A.D. Players purchased prime real estate in Houston’s Galleria area and opened the Jeannette and L.M. George Theater with its first production, To Kill A Mockingbird, in February 2017, offering A.D. Players’ hospitable performance style to both old and new audiences.
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