‘Rowntree Players’ is the oldest amateur theatre company in York and one of the oldest in the country. Established in 1912 as the ‘Cocoa Works Dramatic Society’ and later changing ‘Rowntree Players’, we have been entertaining the people of Yorkshire for over 100 years.
Formed by workers at the world famous Rowntrees Chocolate Factory; the group initially performed in the Lecture Hall at the factory, but then later took residence in the Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Our linke with the theatre are strong to this day and the majority of Rowntree Player’s productions take place on the same stage as our founders all those years ago.
Rowntree Players is a strong community theatre company and involves volunteers from all over Yorkshire of all ages and abilities both on and off the stage.
We have a strong tradition of performing theatrical productions from every genre, but our regular performances of plays sets us apart from many societies who favour musicals.
That isn’t to say that we keep our tap shoes locked up – oh no! Rowntree Players have performed many musicals and plays with music along with revues over the decades.
Then, of course, the annual pantomime (now a major tradition for the society and a rival to the professional pantos in York) isn’t just an explosion of seasonal colour, but is packed with song and dance alongside the usual weak jokes and gunge filled slapstick.
Selection of plays is made on an annual basis and anyone who is interested in directing a piece can put forward a proposal to the committee – and we are always happy to consider any suggestions.