The Fantastic Phoenix Players
Founded in 2001 and now in their 14th season, the Phoenix Players are an unstoppable force in Ottawa’s theater community.
The Players are a community theater group on a mission to produce a quality and accessible theatre experience for their members and audiences. The group offers opportunities for anyone to join the world of theatre, one that the troupe describes as a world full of creativity, enjoyment, entertainment and connection.
In the past, the Players have taken on large productions which were met with success and praise. The Players’ 2014 production The Diary of Anne Frank was spectacularly well received, attracting a young and appreciative audience.
“When you listen to our audience, they say they like all of our plays. They tell us every time that the play they just saw was the best play we’ve ever done,” explains Player Ellen Clare O’Gallagher.
Theater, of course, can be a moving experience for both the performers and audience. O’Gallagher recalls an emotional response from the audience after a past production of the comedy Dixie Swim Club.
“At the end of that play, looking out over the audience in the last scene, all the women and men in the first row had tears streaming down their faces. For the actors,” O’Gallagher says, “we could hardly get the words out, it was so touching.”
Becoming a Player has plenty of advantages. The Players offer the opportunity for not only actors, but also those interested in backstage work, to assist in stage productions. The group welcomes anyone and everyone looking to try their hand at the world of theater and acquire a wide range of skills along the way.
One great aspect of becoming a Player is that previous experience in both thespian and backstage work is not required. Without having previous acting experience, past Players have auditioned and landed lead roles. Meeting actors, directors, artists and theater fanatics that are eager to share their knowledge and passion for theater is a great benefit, too.
The troupe is always looking for those who would like to have a theatre ‘home.’ Being a part of this home means those Players can work with the troupe both on stage and off. The Players do not restrict staff from auditioning for plays put on by other companies. The Player is welcomed to take on other responsibilities such as backstage work, serving on the Players’ executive committee, working on publicity, or in some other capacity.
The Phoenix Players 2015 winter season is heating up with a knee-slapping Christmas offering, So This is Christmas… The two adult comedy shorts, directed by Jo-Ann McCabe, will be running from December 1 to 5 at the Gladstone Theatre, with matinees showing at 2:30PM and nightly shows starting at 7:30PM.
The first play, “Sleeping Indoors,” tells the tale of a family who takes a homeless man for dinner one Christmas Eve. The other, “The Christmas Tree,” is a story about the last available tree one Christmas Eve. A man and a woman spar with each other, using stories to determine who will leave with the tree.
To learn more about the Phoenix Players, you can visit their website phoenixplayers.ca.