River City Community Players
River City Community Players traces its roots back to 1970 when the youth group at Huguenot United Methodist Church, led by Bud and LaVerne Jones, performed numerous skits and plays. The youth choir did various programs and there were even some Methodist-related plays performed with adult casts.
Staged productions began in the early ‘80s with The Last Supper written by church member Kay Simmons. After a few more staged productions, the Drama Guild was formed and began regularly staging full-length religious and non-religious plays, as well as short pieces for worship services and special events. At first, the cast and crews for productions were drawn solely from the church membership. But when the Drama Guild started to produce larger-scale shows, such as A Christmas Carol, it had to reach out to non-members in the community. The Drama Guild even took one of its plays on the road to another church, transporting stage, flats, and lights.
Some of the active Drama Guild members (including Bud Jones and Fred Schneider) became active with the now dark Reflections Repertory Company, and relationships developed there brought the Drama Guild to the attention of local actors, some of whom later became involved with the Drama Guild productions.
With the untimely death of Bud Jones in 2007, only one play, Love Letters, a play in which Bud had originally been scheduled to appear, was produced. In addition to the stage at Huguenot United Methodist Church, the play toured to various retirement homes and senior citizen facilities.
A year without any productions followed before the Drama Guild re-grouped. In 2009 main stage productions resumed with the involvement of interested community members as well as church members.
In 2010, the Drama Guild became the Huguenot Community Players (HCP) to reflect the greater involvement of, and outreach to the community. A board of volunteers representing the church and the local community oversaw the selection and production of plays that attracted actors, directors, crews, and an audience from the greater Richmond area.
In the spring of 2017 the Huguenot Community Players ceased its mission relationship with Huguenot United Methodist Church. Transitioning to a non-profit community theatre renamed River City Community Players, the theatre group will now be producing plays in a variety of settings around the Richmond area. For this next season (2017-2018), the first two productions will be performed at the original location Huguenot United Methodist Church and the third production will be performed at CAT Theatre (319 N. Wilkinson Road in Richmond). River City Community Players operates in much the same manner as HCP, with volunteers from the community in all positions, and strives to offer a variety of enjoyable and meaningful theatre productions for the greater Richmond community.