HANOVER COMMUNITY PLAYERS, A HISTORY
AROSE FROM THE DESIRE of a small group of local adults to experience some of the joy of theatre that area children and teens had been receiving through school musicals and drama camps. Hanover has a long tradition of music and theatre and it seemed an appropriate time to once again give area residents an opportunity to participate in a cultural organization.
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES and advertisements were placed in local papers in the summer of 2006 asking for interested people to attend a meeting in September. Approximately 25 people attended and from there a constitution, by-laws and a board were formed. Membership fees were set and a number of the board members loaned money to the group in order to mount a first production.
MANDATE IS TO EDUCATE and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the arts by providing performances of an artistic nature for the community of Hanover and surrounding areas. We put on two productions a year with the December offering designed to give adults and children an opportunity to work together. It is usually a large cast show to provide many roles for a variety of age groups. The spring production in May is meant to appeal to the adults with a focus on humour, a genre that usually draws well in our area.
ACTORS AND VOLUNTEERS for our productions have come from Owen Sound, Paisley, Durham, Mildmay, Ayton, Elmwood, Neustadt, Walkerton, Mount Forest, Hanover and points in between. We love our volunteers as without them, HCP would not exist. We start to train youth from grade 7 and up. If you wish to volunteer, please contact us.
GOVERNED BY an elected board of directors, all volunteers, who run the organization on behalf of its members.
FIRST PRODUCTION in May 2007- Vaudeville: A Matter of Laughs; a selection of four different plays, Accused of Comedy, Riverview, Tape 23 and When God Comes for Breakfast, You Don’t Burn the Toast, with completely separate casts and directors, designed to involve as many people as possible, put together as a series of vaudeville acts.
- 2007 - The One and Only Santa Claus under the direction of Patrick C. Smith of Harriston, had a cast of 30, mostly children from seven years of age to teenagers and was very successful for our group.
- 2008 Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, which received many compliments for the work of the actors and volunteers and in December presented The Christmas Bus, (with our own bus set piece) which proved very popular.
- 2009 Dumped, a locally written and directed play, set in a garbage dump which was a fun set to create and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in December.
- 2010 presented Canadian playwright David French’s play Jitters and The Nutcracker, our first musical, in December.
- 2011 mounted our first full musical, Burger Town, and A Neverland Christmas Carol, in December.
- 2012 the production was the comedy, Is There Life After Fifty? which was one of our best spring shows and in December A Walk in the Woods.
- 2013 a comedy, A Bad Year for Tomatoes and a family show The Princess King in December 2013
- 2014 the production was the Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie and a family show, Everything’s Groovy, the musical, played in December.
- 2015 – a comedy, Nana’s Naughty Knickers, which had many 'hidden' set devices and in December, the family show, an updated version of Alice called Alice@Wonderland
- 2016 – a comedy, Larceny and Old Lace – our 10th Anniversary year production and the family show Monster in the Closet in December
- 2017 – Perils of Persephone, which author Dan Needles attended and the family show, in December, Robin Hood and the Heroes of Sherwood Forest, complete with sword fighting
- 2018 - our second Broadway musical, The Wizard of Oz, to sell out crowds and in December the family show, Bedtime Stories (as told by Dad) (who messed them up).
- 2019 - Sex Please, We're Sixty! a farce. In December, the family show Sleeping Beauty, the panto (our first!)
- 2020 - In December - our first virtual comedy play - HO, HO, HO! The North Pole Chronicles (the spring show, Hilda's Yard, was cancelled due to Covid)
- 2021 - In the spring, You're Virtually Driving Me Crazy! our second virtual show. In December, live, a family show, Little Red Riding Hood, the panto in St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church
- 2022 - the comedy Splitsville, a locally written play, directed by the author, in St. Mathew's; Oliver! our, third Broadway musical in the newly renovated Civic Theatre
HANOVER COMMUNITY PLAYERS:
A LEADER in the town, encouraging the many upgrades to the theatre over the years from 12 lights, one dimmer and a lighting board to what is now becoming an almost totally renovated theatre and community hall. HCP members also lobbied for a cultural group and, again with the support of the town, the Cultural Roundtable was born.
FORTUNATE TO USE the Town of Hanover Civic Theatre, where we are a leading renter, for as many rehearsals as possible and for our productions; it's a space we share with others using the facility. We form partnerships with churches in the area to help them raise funds through a Dinner Theatre program. Grace United and St. Matthew's are just waiting to be able to start again! We thank them for their support of our shows.
WORK WITH COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF HANOVER who are very pleased their theatre facility is utilized by a variety of local groups and encourages us to continue in our efforts to build an audience. Supportive council members are a key to our success.
SUPPORT TOWN COUNCIL BY donating equipment or funds to improve the theatre facility. In 2009 we sponsored ‘Soundly Seated’ a musical concert which raised $4,000 for the new seating project.. In 2010 we donated $2,000 towards the cost of a new lighting console for the theatre. Partnering with Kerry Moore School of Dance, in 2015 we purchased two LED lighting fixtures and cabling for $2,500. In 2017 we obtained a grant from the Community Foundation Grey Bruce for $3000 and with matching funds from us, we installed a Hearing Assist System in a section of the theatre. HCP has purchased blackout curtains for the theatre entrance for $600. In 2022, we applied for and received a $10,000 grant from Community Foundation Grey Bruce which was directed to the town to help with the purchase of new stage curtains in the theatre. We endeavour to donate equipment or furnishings to enhance the theatre on an ongoing basis, to be used by all.
DONATE $1.00 from every adult ticket sold for our productions which is then given back to an area group organization that helps youth.
CONTINUE TO SEEK ways in which our non-profit, charitable organization can fulfill our mandate to produce a broad range of theatrical presentations of the highest possible calibre and to provide an outlet for creative community involvement. Working with local schools, we continue to expose youth to live theatre, particularly as so many programs have been cut.
ALSO WISH TO PROVIDE inclusive, hands-on learning opportunities in all aspects of theatre production and management and to provide an enjoyable theatrical experience to area residents at a reasonable cost. We endeavour to do this by seeking volunteers, donations, sponsorships and memberships.
IS AN ESTABLISHED THEATRE GROUP IS SEEN AS AN IMPORTANT addition to what makes “Hanover, the Place to Be”.