Park Players is a community theatre organization dedicated to providing
high quality theatre at affordable prices to Grand Haven and the
Tri-Cities area since 1959.
Even at over 50 years old, Central Park Players is the new kid on the block when it comes to local community theatre. We’re built on a foundation laid in 1862. That’s when local thespians began entertaining Civil War soldiers at the Ottawa County Courthouse.
In 1870, local and traveling troupes began performing in the Music Hall. Next came the Grand Haven Dramatic Club, which performed at the Music Hall from 1878 to 1936.
Community theatre was dormant until 1949 when Summer Stock Org began performing at The Women’s Club. Participants included Central Michigan College (CMC) staff and students as well as local performers. Not long after, CMC began offering credit to students working with The Lake Michigan Playhouse (LMP).
LMP’s reorganization into Grand Haven Civic Theatre (GHCT) in 1959 marks the birth of what would become Central Park Players. For the next seven years, GHCT performed at a variety of locations, but with completion of the Grand Haven Community Center in 1966, GHCT had a new home and a new name. The Center’s location across from Central Park prompted the name change to Central Park Players, and in 1986, CPP became a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
In 1995, CPP introduced Family Theatre to provide greater opportunities for younger actors to work with experienced actors. The introduction of Family Theatre Too in 2006 expanded those opportunities to very young actors.
With the temporary closing of the
Community Center for renovation, CPP moved to the Grand Haven Area Arts
Council building in 2006.
2008 also brought other significant changes. CPP returned to the Community Center in 2008 and leased its own facilities at 1433 Fulton, Grand Haven.
In spring of 2011, CPP partnered with Grand Haven Public Schools and moved to Lakeshore Middle School. Central Park Players has a new home stage at Lakeshore Middle School, as well as offices and a scene shop all under the same roof.
In 2016, 10 years later, CPP is once again returning home to the Grand Haven Community Center.
Vibrant, compelling, engaging theatre and community outreach are all part of CPP’s plans for the future. Central Park Players is proud to be an important Tri-Cities asset and continues to build on that solid foundation laid nearly 150 years ago.
Central Park Players Board of Directors
Trudi Kerkstra – Current Term, 2019-2022
Darcie Beekman, Current Term, 2019-2022
Heidi Strasser – Current Term, 2021-2024
Amber Ponce – Current Term 2021-2024
Peter Drost – Current Term, 2019-2022
Andrew Kitchka – Current Term, 2020-2023
Richard Holmberg – Current Term, 2020-2023
Michelle Stockman – Current Term, 2021-2023
Diane Reeths – Current Term, 2021-2024
in serving on the Board of Central Park Players? Send an email at least
24 hours before the date of the annual membership meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name put on the ballot, or to ask questions. You may also send a private message to our Facebook Page.
Board members serve for a term of 3 years.
You would be a great addition to our Board if you would like to take an active role in ensuring the success and positive growth of CPP including, but not limited to, taking part in these activities:
- Helping to make decisions regarding the artistic and financial future of the company.
- Attending all productions during a season (4 main stage shows and one summer show.)
- Taking an active role on the artistic staff for a minimum of 2 productions per season (Direct, AD/SM, produce, costumes, lights, sound, etc.)
- Attending board meetings held on the second Sunday of each month at 1:00 pm, missing no more than 2 per year.
- Chairing one committee and reporting on its activities and growth on a monthly basis.
CPP Board Committees are:
- Artistic Development – Peter Drost, Chair
- Audience Development – Michelle Stockman, Chair
- Audition/Volunteer Development, Darcie Beekman, Chair
- Business Development – Trudi Kitchka, Chair
- Educational Development – Andrew Kitchka, Chair
- Social Media and Website Development, Amber Ponce, Chair
- Technical Development – Heidi Strasser, Chair
Our Location – Grand Haven Community Center
Central Park Players performs in the Grand Haven Community Center theater, 421 Columbus Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417