History of The Players

The Players Club of Detroit was founded in 1910 by a group of local Detroit businessmen as an institution to encourage amateur theater. From the beginning, it was a strictly male club. For the first 15 years of the club's existence, they were forced to perform in different venues each month, including the Detroit Athletic Club, the University Club and the Twentieth Century Club.

The Players clubhouse and theatre was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1985 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The building includes a four-story high stage, as well as a kitchen, dressing rooms, basement storage and prop rooms, and a formal meeting room on the upper floor.

THE PLAYERS The Players, a Detroit gentlemen's amateur theatre club founded in 1911, opened this playhouse in 1926. The handsome building was created by club members William E. Kapp, architect; Corrado Parducci, stone sculptor; and Paul Honore, muralist. The playhouse, built in the style of the sixteenth-century English Renaissance, was one of the earliest major structures in the area to use cinder block laid in ashlar on its interior walls to give the appearance of cut stone. It has been in continual use as a playhouse since its completion.

The Players playhouse is located on East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit. It is a brick and concrete-trimmed tile roofed, Mediterranean Revival style rectangular, one-story building, supported by a flat-roofed, two-story, brick rear addition. A round arch triple bay facade of concrete block is enframed by a wrought-iron balcony. Ten stone sculptures, representing comedy and tragedy appear beneath a recessed frieze line, and facade extremities are accented by concrete block quoining. Beneath the west entrance pavilion traced in limestone is the legend "The Players," above which is an open-mouthed stone figure surmounted by the pig Latin phrase "Numquam-Renig" - Never Renege. The playhouse is also notable for its splashy Art Deco interior murals, which feature theatrical paintings and appointments.

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