The Star Players Inc. will be celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Ralph Young was elected its first president in 1977. Even though the leadership has changed in the last three decades, the Star Players have continued to entertain the community with many productions. After 10 years, The Star Players again will be staging the popular Broadway hit “Titanic, The Musical” on July 27-29 and Aug. 3-5 with some of its original cast members.
Theatre-goers will be able to reserve tickets beginning July 13 by calling 419-294-1411. Tickets for members are $8 and $10 for non-members.
Two popular children’s programs continue to grow since the Star Players were formed. Ruth Bacon started Star Kids in 1982. Recently, under the direction of Lori Lavery, Star Kids staged the music review “The Gingerbread Girl” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
In 2010, Betsy Gerhart started the Alley Cats, a teen workshop. This summer, the Alley Cats, under the direction of Lauren Miller and Reid Barth, presented “How To Succeed in High School Without Really Trying.”
The theatre itself has seen many changes during the years. Darl Gerber oversaw the remodeling of the basement costume rooms and the replacement of the old seats. Later, the Star Players were able to purchase the theatre from Jeff and Joy Roth with the help of a donation from Katherine Artz.
More recent improvements were the addition of an improved thrust stage, the replacement of the roof and the addition of stairs to the light booth. In 2008, the board was able to purchase the original theater entrance off Wyandot Avenue with hopes of restoring it to its original look.
During the first 10 years, Jim Schoenberger did most of the tech work for the theatre. He actually built the first dimmer board and many of the lights himself. In 1992, the Star Players purchased a new 18-channel light board. Gary McCreary, present Star Board president, now is in charged of the lights for most of the shows. Other board members include Aaron Korte, Jan Below, Ron Boose, Jim Ruhlen, Kip Barth, Mark Murphy, Wayne Rowe and Andy Voorheis.