Florida Players is an exploratory student-run theatre company that provides diverse opportunities for artistic and professional growth through hands-on work in live theatre. Florida Players will produce engaging works that challenge both its members and audiences. Members will collaborate on all aspects of live theatre, including but not limited to: direction, design, performance, playwriting, stage management, and leadership. Florida Players also acts as an umbrella organization for the dance company Floridance. Florida Players is sponsored by UF Student Government and is open to all University of Florida students regardless of major as well as the greater Gainesville community.
Although the history of a theatre organization on the University of Florida’s campus can be traced to 1902, the Florida Dramatic Society was officially formed in 1929 with the help of the head of the Department of Speech: Henry P. Constans, whose name now graces the School of Theatre and Dance’s Mainstage. In 1931, the organization was renamed “Florida Players.” In a time when a Department of Theatre did not exist, Florida Players provided a means by which students could get involved, be creative, and make theatre come to life. Several programs, such as the free Lunchbox Theatre on UF’s North Lawn, also served to spark interest in the theatrical arts. As time went on, the University of Florida grew and the College of Architecture and Fine Arts was established in 1956. In 1975, the concentrations of study were further refined and a theatre department was formed. Today, Florida Players is one of UF’s oldest and largest student-run organizations. From the New Works Festival held every fall to the mentorship program, Florida Players continues to offer students the opportunity to create and showcase art, make memories, and form lasting relationships.
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