Houston's highly respected theater scene is built, in large part, on A.D. Players. Founded by Jeannette Clift George in 1967, the nonprofit company has made a name for itself over the past 50-ish years by producing compelling works for a diverse audience — everything from West Side Story to Godspell, To Kill a Mockingbird to Harvey.
Now comfortably ensconced in the beautiful George Theater, a brand-new performance space that opened in 2017, A.D. Players is looking ahead to seasons filled with new works, old favorites, and, most of all, intriguing stories.
A little history
Though a native Houstonian, George began her acting career Off-Broadway and at major regional theaters such as Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and the Playhouse in the Park in Philadelphia. For many years she was a member of the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre's acting company, and made her Golden Globe-nominated film debut as Corrie ten Boom in World Wide Pictures' The Hiding Place. A prolific writer, George also penned several scripts that have been produced at A.D. Players and around the country.
The theater is born
George founded A.D. Players in the hopes it would "uphold human value, nurture creativity, and promote artistic excellence and education." Under her leadership, a touring company was formed that performed nationally and internationally, and continues to perform regionally. In 1992, A.D. Players started Houston's first year-round children's theater. The company even went on to make its Off-Broadway debut in 1997 with George's John, His Story.
George passed away in December 2017, but not before she saw the incredible new theater named in her honor. Until her passing, George had been the company's only artistic director. Kevin Dean was announced as the new leader in early 2019, after serving as interim artistic director and before that as a company member, having first come to A.D. Players as an intern in 1999.
The 2019-20 "Season of Hope" began with the world premiere of A.S. Peterson's adaptation of The Hiding Place, bringing the theater full circle with George's memory. The holiday season kicks off with Miracle on 34th Street (November 29-December 22), followed by Todd Kreidler's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (January 31-February 16). The musical The Spitfire Grill, by James Valcq and Fred Alley, runs April 24-May 10, with Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music closing out the season June 19-July 12.
Chicago sensation Evan Tyrone Martin drops in for An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas, December 9-10, while A.D. Players' touring production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe stops at the George Theater for six performances during December 6-21.
Season ticket packages, ranging from three to five shows, are available along with individual tickets. All can be purchased online or over the phone by calling 713-526-2721.