60 years and still counting…….
Celebrating our 60th Anniversary is an accomplishment that we are very proud of.
In 1963, Abner Kolberg, Leslie Ogden and Shirley Carparelli organized The Harrison Players, as a non-profit theatre group. The Recreation Department became their sponsor and The Harrison Players became an affiliate of the Town’s Recreation Department. The group continues to be grateful to the Recreation Department for all they do, including making rehearsal space available to them.
Back in 1963, the original Players decided to see if there was interest in a community theatre. They took out a small ad for a casting party at Risoli’s. To their delighted surprise, about fifty Harrisonites showed up, including Dottie Pustola and Anne Wurzberger, who were chartered members until they recently passed away. And so came “High Button Shoes”, a smash on Broadway and a super smash in Harrison. This led to many other big musicals, some with casts of 60 or more performers in their shows.
In addition to big musicals, such as “Fiddler” and “The Music Man”, their history also consists of dramas, mysteries, children’s shows, musical revues and comedies, such as their recent productions of “Plaza Suite” and "Who Killed Elvis?!". Their members include people from all occupations and auditions are open to everyone. Harrison Players also welcomes volunteers who would like to help backstage.
The non-profit group is comprised of volunteers, many of whose members work full time and rehearse in the evenings. They come from all walks of life, with one goal…..to put on the best production possible. Even Frank Vetere, who has served as a town councilman in Harrison for many years, was a Harrison Players member. Past Presidents include: Rebecca Axelrod, Pat Bierko, Douglas Bloom, Toni Ferris, Abner Kolberg, Dorothy Lipton, Ann O’Brien, Dottie Pustola, Louise Salem, Deborah Susswein, Marilyn Tarricone, Victor Tarricone, and Ford Winter. The current Board of Directors consists of Co-Presidents Jennifer Ricci and Pat Tisi, Treasurer, Peggyann Munnick, Recording Secretary, Nina Leone, Membership, Robin Campbell and Members-at-Large, Ronnie Bader, Cheryl D’Onofrio, Ken Munnick, and Anthony Ricci. Doug Bloom, Bernice Feldman, Ford Winter and Rachel Zenhausern are all current advisors.
Limited funds and rising costs of budgets are all reasons why many theatre groups have had to dissolve , but not The Harrison Players. Without a doubt, they have suffered their share of financial and other challenges, however instead of succumbing to the pressure, the group diversified and found new performance venues. In addition to performing in the Harrison Schools, the group has performed at Westchester Broadway Theatre, The Capitol Theatre, The Emelin and The Osborn. To maintain their dedication to the neighborhood and preserve the community spirit within Harrison, The Harrison Players remain very active in civic affairs. They are affiliated with Arts Westchester, The Harrison Council for the Arts and still with The Harrison Recreation Department.
Throughout the years, the group has had the commitment and efforts of many who have offered their time and talents in order to help the group prosper. These individuals, as well as the many volunteers throughout the community are responsible for the success of the theatre group. The group thanks all of those who help them continue their dream.
High Button Shoes
Most Happy Fella
Harrison Players Follies September-2013