• Players by the Sea

State of the Theatre - July 2019

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

Executive Director Suzanne Hudson-Smith shares her thoughts about Players by the Sea in July 2019.


On June 25 Players by the Sea hosted our season members, patrons, actors, designers and artists for an evening of celebration and welcome! We gathered together to welcome all of the directors of productions in Season 54. It was a first for Players to have all of the directors for our upcoming season in one place – and possibly a first for any theatre in the area. It was powerful for everyone and it wasn’t lost on us how special that moment was as each director spoke about their passion for the show they will creatively lead!


The Directors of our 2019-2020 Season. L to R: Daniel Dungan (The Toxic Avenger), Jereme Raickett (The Wiz), Suzanne Hudson-Smith (A Christmas Carol), Bradley Akers (Spring Awakening), Joe Kemper (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Amy Canning Love (The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940), Michael Lipp (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Brian Niece (Two Trains Running)


Kris Jackson was officially welcomed as the President of the Board. With his passion, he has already been actively serving the theatre, but in his remarks, he gave us his vision in leading the Board – and it’s worth sharing again …


“This is truly an exciting moment. It was just 54 years ago three couples came together and decided to start a Community Theatre that would enrich this community through the Arts. As we enter this 54th Season I challenge everyone to leave the past behind and look ahead to a bright future for Players. As I think about the word COMMUNITY it speaks loudly to me. But one may ask what does Community mean or feel like. I took a minute to really think about that. I grabbed my phone and looked at the dictionary and typed Community. It is defined as  “A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interest, and goals.” We are gathered here today because we all are a part of this beautiful COMMUNITY whether you are a supporter of the arts, a volunteer, a performer, stage manager, director, board member – whatever your level of contribution or interest. As a community, it’s crucial to put our differences aside and UNITE together as one positive force. Yes, it is ok to have multiple theaters in this community, but we must respect each other and work together. The Players by the Sea Mission Statement says, "Players by the Sea enriches the community through excellence in theatre." We must follow the vision the visionary has cast. If you are a part of this community theatre you are a part of that vision. Vision cannot be taught. There isn’t a class for vision. Vision must be documented; it must be understandable and achievable. When you embrace the vision, you take it and run with it. When it is a part of you, you move with the vision. I am proud to be a Player and I am also proud to represent Northeast Florida's Premier Community Theatre, Players by the Sea.”

I am so excited about this coming year and working with the new Board of Directors! You'll have a chance to meet them during the run of our productions … and I look forward to seeing you at SHREK The Musical!




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