The Players Guild Theatre was founded in 1932 by Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Truxton, who were committed to fostering a lifelong appreciation of the arts among citizens in our community. The Players Guild Theatre is recognized as one of the oldest continually operating theatres in the nation.
After the first three seasons, The Players Guilds productions had drawn enough community interest to warrant a change in facility. The Players Guild arranged to rent facilities at Lincoln High School. However, by 1940, Guild members recognized that the organization needed a home of its own. Coincidentally, at that time, The Case Mansion on Market Avenue North was purchased by Frederick Preyer who deeded it to the Canton Art Institute with the provision that the adjacent Coach House be rented to The Players Guild for one dollar a year. On February 4, 1942, the new Players Guild home was dedicated with a performance of “Village Green.”
Despite capital improvements made to the Coach House by the Guild, the audiences outgrew the space by the third decade. On December 13, 1970, The Players Guild reached another milestone with the dedication of the Cultural Center for the Arts and the establishment of a new theatre. Complete with offices and shop facilities, the Guild opened the new facility with a production of “Mame” on January 5, 1971.
In September of 2022, the Players Guild Theatre moved to the Fine Arts Building at the Kent State University at Stark to perform on the Mary J. Timken stage, opening with a production of “Million Dollar Quartet” on October 14, 2022.
Throughout its history, the Players Guild has produced over 600 productions for more than 2,000,000 audience members spanning several generations. Today the theatre is operated by a full-time professional staff and presents world-class productions and outreach opportunities for our community.