South Street Players at Wesley Hall

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The History of The Players

The South Street Players was founded by R. J. Lamb in the spring of 1982. He and 18 other members brought the group to life the following fall with the first production, The Rainmaker, at the St. Rose gymnasium in Freehold. SSP continued to perform at St. Rose for our first three seasons. Shows there included Never Too Late, Plaza Suite, Harvey and Mass Appeal. In 1985 the company was approached by the Clarksburg Inn and asked to try dinner theatre at that location. The first dinner production, Barefoot in the Park, opened in June 1985. We continued producing both at St. Rose and Clarksburg for the next four years. Works mounted during this period included The Lion in Winter, Murder in the Cathedral, Deathtrap, On Golden Pond and Bus Stop.

We ended our run at St. Rose with the world premier of Firehouse, an original work by a local playwright. From 1989 until 1994 the company mounted plays solely at Clarksburg, with the exception of two shows at Battleground Country Club. Plays produced during this time included Our Town, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Fantasticks, Zoo Story, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Few Good Men. In 1994 the company left Clarksburg and produced one show, Love Letters, at the Freehold Borough High School. In 1995 we began one season at the Conover Road Firehouse in Colts Neck; plays produced included The Glass Menagerie.

In the fall of 1997 the Players returned to the Clarksburg Inn. Recent productions include Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and Twelve Angry Men. In 1998 the group produced two shows at the Amandla Theatre in Howell.

The company received a grant from Union County, New Jersey in 1999 to revive an original musical about the State of New Jersey. The work was written by Sid Frank, a playwright from Springfield. Subsequently, the play, JERZ, was performed in nine schools in Union County and has since been performed in temples, senior-citizen complexes, shopping malls, and at political events throughout the area. In the year 2000, the company added an original first act to JERZ and performed our only musical at Clarksburg, Jumping Into JERZ.

In 2003 the company moved to the elegant banquet facility at Mansion on the Plaza in Brick. After staying there for a year and a half, we continued to produce plays in Freehold at the Center Playhouse.

Then in 2006 we took up residence at the Priedaine, a facility owned by The New Jersey Latvian Society. Great shows and great fun including one outdoor production which broadend The Players repertoire with theater in the round.

Now we have the fortunate circumstance to bring our craft directly to the Jersey Shore to Wesley Hall. The successful first show of Harvey in spring of 2010 has energized The Players to reach even further to provide the wonderful community of Spring Lake the best in live theater. The South Street Players hope to remain here for many years to come.


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