Our Mission- (Expanded July 2021)
Stage Left Players is a non-profit arts organization that provides a safe space to nurture performers, directors, designers, artists, makers and writers of all ages and abilities who work together to create community.
Our Vision- (Expanded July 2021)
Transforming, inspiring and creating community through the arts.
Our History ...
In 1992, Stage Left Players, a community theater troupe, now based in historic Lisbon, Ohio, began as a small group of theater enthusiast who wanted to tackle lesser-known plays. With no permanent home, the troupe produced small musicals, comedies and dramas in a variety of venues including church basements, community halls and even an old ambulance garage. Despite having little-to-no budget and ever-changing venues, Stage Left acquired a small, but dedicated following of fans who appreciated the troupe's cavalier spirit and quirky approach to the arts.
Stage Left eventually found a permanent home in the unlikeliest of places. In 1997 in Lisbon, Ohio, two Presbyterian churches merged. As a result, the smaller of the two churches, the Trinity Presbyterian Church, established in 1859, was left empty as the congregations gathered at the larger New Lisbon Presbyterian Church. Stage Left approached the church's governing body and was granted permission to produce Roger & Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" at the unoccupied church in January 1998. The show drew an audience, and most importantly, revenue. for troupe.
Stage Left continued to perform in the historic church building. In 2007, the New Lisbon Presbyterian Church sold the Trinity Presbyterian Church to Stage Left and the building was renamed the Trinity Playhouse to honor the building's history.
Stage Left impacts the lives of thousands of children through a robust children's theater outreach program. In addition to performing several children's plays each season, Stage Left hosts a multi-week children's theater camp every summer. Under the direction of Resident Artistic Director Kandace Cleland and Resident Musical Director Jodine Pilmer, the camp gives children in grades K-8 an opportunity to grow artistically, emotionally and socially through performance. The camp culminates in a full-length performance that showcases the children's singing, acting and dancing talents.
Though the camp's focus is on the performers, the camp also gives older students a chance to grow their skills. Camp counselors are often previous attendees. They play an active role in teaching and directing the students. Counselors are also in charge of designing and constructing the set. During performances, counselors are back stage making sure the shows run smoothly.
To date, several former Stage Left students have continued their careers in the arts. Some have pursued Broadway, while others have taken their talents into classrooms across the United States. The skills they learned at the Trinity Playhouse have had life-long impacts.
Since 1992, Stage Left has performed hundreds of shows, both large well-known musicals and small, intimate dramas. But, the troupe has also given life to shows written by Northeast Ohio playwrights including Kandace Cleland and Michael Dempsey.
The impact Stage Left has had on Lisbon, Ohio, and Northeast Ohio is immeasurable. The Trinity Playhouse is a safe space for performers young and old. The troupe truly embodies what it means to be a community theater.