Social group to thriving theatre in stages

WHAT began 60 years ago as a social group for theatre lovers has become a part of The Hills' cultural community.

President Stephen Snars said the Castle Hill Players began because a small group of locals with a passion for drama were motivated to create a little theatre in The Hills.

"Early years productions were in the Anzac Memorial Hall Castle Hill," he said.

"Their early successes with both shows and fund-raising led to the acquiring of the building in the Castle Hill Showground now known as The Pavilion Theatre."

The Players' first production was Blithe Spirit in 1954 and their first performance on the Pavilion Theatre stage was Ring Around the Moon in 1966.

The Players have more than 180 members who volunteer to put on seven productions a year.

Mr Snars said the theatre company's success was based on providing quality drama in a community theatre setting.

"Our members have always been people who cared about theatre and its place in the local community," he said.

"We have a tremendous sense of inclusion as a vital part of our philosophy."

Many aspiring actors and actresses made their debut with the Players.

"Keen-eyed TV viewers have sometimes spotted faces from our stage in commercials and locally produced programs, perhaps reading newspapers, loading trucks or sitting on a bench," Mr Snars said.

■  Don Quixote runs until February 15. Performances are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8.15pm, and Sunday matinee at 4.30pm. The Pavilion Theatre is at Castle Hill Showground. Enter via Showground Road. Tickets: $26 or $21 concession. 

■ Details: paviliontheatre.org.au

■ What are some of your favourite memories of the Players?

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