The Bergen County Players is a community theatre located on 298 Kinderkamack Road, Oradell, New Jersey. Its appearance may fool you but make no mistake; this theatre has helped to nurture the talents of some household names on American film and television.
These are the likes of Robert Sean Leonard, who played the role, Dr. James Wilson, in the much-acclaimed TV series, House. Beth Fowler, who featured on Sweeney Todd, a film that went on to win numerous awards, also started at the Bergen County Players. She played the role of Ms. Lovett, who was a notorious accomplice of Sweeney Todd in his heinous crimes.
Other notable figures that went through Bergen County Players include Mary Huggins Clark, who is a famous suspense novelist, and Robert Jess Roth who directed the Beauty and the Beast in 1994.
A brief history of the Bergen County Theatre
The Bergen County Players Inc was established in a rather troublesome era. This was in 1932, a period that’s known for the Great Depression. It was a time when the economy of the world had catastrophically crumbled.
Life was pretty tough, but a group of determined entertainers had their eyes set on something else. And that’s when the idea of Bergen County Players, Oradell, NJ came to life. Amidst the chaos, they found a small space at the back of Hackensack YMCA and signed a charter that laid the foundation of this great theatre.
Helen Cecilia Burke Travolta, the mother of the renowned movie star, John Travolta, was among the founding members of the Bergen County Players.
In 1949, the great town of Oradell put up a new building for its firefighters. This left the town’s old firefighter’s house down along the Kinderkamack Road unoccupied. Bergen County Players members saw the old building as a perfect opportunity to expand their operations. They approached the town’s leadership and negotiated to occupy the abandoned firefighter’s house.
The negotiations were concluded successfully and the Bergen County Players moved fast to renovate the building. They put a stage at the back of the house, then cleaned-up space, and put seats in the space that was previously occupied by the fire tracks.
Soon after, the Bergen County Players started discovering talents that would later gain international acclaim. These included Broadway sensational as well as mainstream TV and movie stars. These were talents grown from the grassroots, then ushered into the world of superstardom right from the little old firehouse, where they rehearsed and entertained the community.
One of the most important years of the Bergen County Players Inc was 1987. The Bergen County Players members partnered with an artist program dubbed “Conversation with an Artist.” This would allow the members to interact with the celebrities such as Philipp Bosco of Lend Me a Tenor and Jonathan Silverman of ”the Weekend at Bernie’s,” which was a rib-cracking American comedy.
The Bergen County Players Inc gained tremendous popularity as a result of its high-quality productions. In 2001, Rupert Holmes collaborated with Bergen County Players to premier a new comic mystery titled “Thumbs’’ at the little firehouse theatre. This Tony award-winning playwright-composer has always had a special relationship with the Bergen County Players theatre. He has staged several shows at the BCP.
As a non-profit organization, Bergen County Players Oradell NJ has been credited with 100 scintillating theatrical productions. All these shows have been brought to the public at an affordable price.
Current Operations of the Bergen County Players Inc
The Bergen County Players treats its audience to a string of entertaining shows throughout the year. There are 7 main stage shows held at the firehouse theatre and an extra two second-stage theatrical shows. The children’s show is one of the most anticipated performances that are held in December. Nonetheless, the children’s show is thoroughly enjoyed by people of all ages.
The Bergen County Players currently have over 300 volunteers who are involved in its day to day running. It continues to unite families and friends.
Over the years, many couples who are now married met in this theatre. Its main objective is to continue producing great shows and entertaining its audience.
Those interested in becoming members of the Bergen County Players, Inc can apply through their website. By becoming a member, you can work in numerous roles such as production, lighting, acting, and sound systems. The organization is always welcoming to volunteers as it solely relies on their input.
As a member, you may also take up the role of selling tickets on behalf of the theater or ushering guests. It all depends on what interests you, and how you would like to contribute.
However, there are numerous requirements that you have to meet for the membership spot. You are required to start as an associate for the first year. The main duties of an associate include ushering guests during 2-3 events.
You need to be a participant in 3 working sessions where you’ll help out in activities such as cleaning up and strikes.
Another requirement is that you get involved in at least one stage assignment. This could include working on costumes, lighting, writing bios, and so on.
If you do well and successfully meet the requirements, you get the opportunity to be voted in by the membership as a full member. In case you fail or for some reason you are not voted in as a full member, you can re-associate for a full year or choose to drop your bid to be a member.
The privileges that come with being a member of the Bergen County Players, Oradell, NJ:
- Special invitations to attend various events that include the annual dinner dance and family summer picnic
- Subscription to its monthly newsletter that’s known as the spotlight
- Priority, if you decide to audition for a particular show
- Mentorship programs in lighting, sound, and other aspects of theatrical productions
Auditions at the Bergen County Players, Inc Theatre
Performers who are trying their hand at the theatre have the opportunity to audition for various roles at the Bergen County Players. Mostly, the auditions are held during the first months of the year.
Bergen County Players Inc Events
The Bergen County Players schedule lines up events for a year-long season. The events are listed on its website for the audience to see. Some of the shows that have been lined up for the 2019-2020 season include;
- 33 Variations
- The Lion in Winter
- Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
- It Should a been you
You can expect to watch dramas, comedies, and musicals at the Bergen County Theatre NJ.
The Bergen County Players, Oradell, NJ is a non-profit organization. This means that tickets for their shows are set at pocket-friendly prices.
The Bergen County Players continues to grow, serve and entertain the people of Oradell, and beyond. It also continues to hone the skills of its participants, preparing some to get in full-time show biz careers.