The non-profit Kentwood Players, founded more than 70 years ago, is one of the longest-lasting community theatre companies in Los Angeles as well as the nation. Through the decades, Kentwood Players has staged more than 400 productions, touching the lives of tens of thousands of people throughout the region and beyond. It has been a haven for artists, a home for creativity and expression, and a reliable resource for high-quality community theatre in the southland.
During the past year’s pandemic shutdown, Kentwood Players has been working on very necessary upgrades to their home, the Westchester Playhouse, so that when the time is right to reopen it will be totally up-to-date and compliant with all necessary safety protocols to ensure the enjoyment of live indoor theatre again! Improvements are still being completed which include a new roof, heating and air conditioning with proper ventilation throughout the entire venue, a major remodel of the upstairs Green Room rehearsal hall, dressing rooms and backstage area, as well as to the front lobby and box office.
To assist in raising funds for the ongoing and much-needed major renovations, the public is invited to attend A NIGHT WITH GILBERT & SULLIVAN, a very special online benefit event of music and entertainment written by the Kings of Patter, presented on the Kentwood Players You Tube channel (youtube.com/kentwoodplayers) on Friday, May 28 at 7 p.m.
The fun-filled event is hosted by KP Live’s Samantha Barrios, directed by Catherine Rahm, and features talented members of the community theatre group including Alison Boole, Patricia Butler, Marty Feldman, Alfonso Freeman, Ben Lupejkis, Rocky Miller, Victoria Miller, Colleen Okida, Fiona Okida, Roy Okida, Jeremy Palmer, Lyndsay Palmer, Kim Peterson, Shawn “Lefty” Plunkett, Elliott Plunkett, Catherine Rahm, Kyle Ray, Jon Sparks, Elizabeth Bouton Summerer, and Shawn Summerer, plus several surprise special guests!
While this event and all productions on the Kentwood Players You Tube channel are presented free of charge, donations to the group in any and all amounts are always appreciated, either online at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/kentwood-players-raise-the-roof, or by making out a check to Kentwood Players and mailing it to the Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Avenue, Los Angeles. During the ‘A Night with Gilbert & Sullivan’ benefit event on May 28 only, donations can also be made by calling 310-645-5156 and speaking with our box office attendant.
Kentwood Players is calling upon lovers of the arts, and supporters of community and regional theatre from far and wide, to assist them to keep doing what they do best – producing quality theatre in a safe setting that enriches the surrounding communities and gives artists and technicians a place to invest, display, and develop their talents. As a 501C3 organization, donations to Kentwood Players are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Kentwood Players looks forward to completing the necessary upgrades so the Westchester Playhouse can safely reopen to the public for live theatre performances as soon as guidelines allow. The first in-person production scheduled to be presented is Christopher Durang’s comedy ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, directed by Susan Stangl, which was set to open in March 2020 until the pandemic forced the venue’s closure the night prior to the show’s opening. Stay tuned for more details soon at www.kentwoodplayers.org or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and You Tube.
And remember to tune in to youtube.com/kentwoodplayers for the latest play in the Kentwood Players Virtual Theater Series, ‘The Test’, a 10-minute comedy by Rom Watson, directed by Shari Barrett (yes, that’s ME) about two college students who meet on Zoom to discuss class notes and wind up putting a very important life decision to the test! The cast features Sam Gianfala as Steven, a theatre major, and John Webb as Charlie, a journalism major.
Performances are now streaming at no charge for viewers through Sunday, June 20. And be sure to tune in on Sunday, May 30 at 7 p.m. for KP Live interviews with ‘The Test’ director Shari Barrett and actors Sam Gianfala and John Webb!