The mission of Center Players, Inc. is to bring enrichment through the performing arts to the diverse community it serves. To achieve this goal, the organization will conduct activities and programs to educate and entertain its patrons, and provide actors, directors and other creative people the opportunity to pursue their craft
THEATER WITH A HEART... IN THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY
Center Players has a strong commitment to educate, enrich and encourage a healthy quality of life for all the diverse members of the community we serve through the use of the performing arts. We honor that commitment in the following ways:
- In keeping with our mission, Center Players hosts group tours of our facilities that can include observing rehearsals.
- Through Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce, we offer fundraising and sponsorship opportunities to form relationships between local businesses and the arts.
- Our monthly play readings encourage community members to experience live theater at no charge.
- We secure corporate, business and community sponsorships for patrons with special needs so they may attend performances without charge through our Caring Community Ticket Program.
- At Center Players, people with disabilities are welcome in our audience, as actors and as members of our production team.
- We often choose material that is socially relevant, encourages empathy, and builds bridges between various groups within our community.
- Our productions offer fundraising opportunities for other community organizations.
Center Players was founded in 1996 and gained status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The troupe set its sights on establishing a permanent presence in historic downtown Freehold. The local residents and businesses enthusiastically embraced the concept, and sufficient seed money was raised to launch a development project for converting a warehouse on Main Street into a 300-seat theater. During that time, Center Players performed at various locations around town. However, changes in property ownership and a shortfall in funding forced the group to abandon the Main Street project. Founding member David Sorin encouraged the Board to downsize its vision and lease a storefront property on South Street. The space was custom renovated with interior design by New York City designer Nelson Kuperberg into an intimate, 49-seat theater. Doors to the new Center Playhouse opened in March of 2001 with a gala opening celebration and fully sold-out run of "Crossing Delancey."