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Theater History
[PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION]




A Beginning

In 1944, the year that the first nuclear reactor started operation at Hanford, the Richland Village Players was created out of a community meeting held in the Grange Hall. On May 27 of that year, less than three months after the Grange Hall meeting, the Players staged their first production “Dixie Jubilee” before a full house in the auditorium of the newly built high school.

The Richland Players have an outstanding reputation throughout the region for their productions.

Not only does The Richland Players contribute to the cultural fabric of the region but by its reputation, attracts audiences regularly from as far away as Spokane, Yakima, Walla Walla and beyond, contributing to the economic vitality of the Tri-Cities region.

Theater goers make a special evening of their attendance that regularly includes dining before and after the event. Out-of-town visitors additionally will reserve lodging, visit nearby wineries, shop and participate in other local activities while in the area.

A Richer Community

The vision that created the Richland Players in 1944 to bring music and laughter to an isolated community, and opportunities for local citizens to directly participate, continues today. As the community has evolved in the demographics of age and culture, so too has the Theater evolved its repertoire and vision for new productions.

Attended by more than 7,500 patrons annually, the theater has produced mainstays such as “Death of a Salesman,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Inherit the Wind” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The theatre offers a season of five productions that include comedies, mysteries, and dramas. Local works, such as the previously mentioned “Dixie Jubilee,” and “Brass Duck,” have found their debuts on the Richland Players Theater stage.

In addition to producing the region’s finest community theater, the Richland Players contributes immeasurably to the local community. Beginning with its association with Columbia High in the mid-1950s the Theater partners with local high schools to help create future generations of thespians and patrons in Southeast Washington State. The Richland Players bring senior citizens from the fast-growing retirement communities of the Tri-Cities area to shows throughout the season. In partnership with the non-profit United Blind, the visually-impaired can enjoy narrated performances. Hearing-impaired audiences enjoy performances with the assistance of a free system that provides special receivers.

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1947, the Richland Players Theater has offered a full season of live performances annually and without interruption for over 60 years. In 1971 the Players purchased and moved into the former Village Movie Theater at 608 The Parkway in Richland. – the very same theater in Richland that opened in their first year of existence!



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