A jewel of the Arts & Crafts Movement in Detroit—and visited by IAC’s 25th Annual Arts & Crafts Conference—The Players is a gentlemen’s amateur theatrical club founded in 1911. The 1925 playhouse was designed by Player and architect William Kapp of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls (now SmithGroup) in the Florentine Renaissance style. Kapp used cinder block, a revolutionary building material at the time, in its construction. Corrado Parducci sculpted the gargoyles gracing the front façade and the large urns flanking the main stage while Paul Honoré painted the six canvases hanging in the Great Hall and meant to evoke tapestries, each depicting a troupe of wandering troubadours.
In the Shakespearean tradition, gentlemen play all roles on stage. All performances are by members for members and are known as “frolics,” with a frolic typically being a performance of three one-act plays. The season consists of five frolics and one full three-act play, with the best three one-act plays being selected for performance at the season’s end to an invited audience.
The building includes the Founders Room (a formal meeting room), a professional 4-story stage complete with trap doors, state-of-the-art digital lighting and sound booth, makeup rooms, prop rooms, a lobby bar, and a small commercial kitchen.
The Players has established the Second Century Fund in order to pay for much-needed preservation and upkeep of this exceptional place. We invite you to join us in contributing to this worthy endeavor. With a diverse membership, the Players welcome as members all gentlemen devoted to amateur theater who wish to share the group’s camaraderie.