The Watertown Players was founded by Bill Jannke in 1988 as a group to perform his annual holiday plays at the Octagon House Museum . This is still a large part of the group’s yearly out-put.
At that time there were no other local groups actively presenting theatrical productions in Watertown, with the exception of the local high school and colleges. In the early days of the Players performances were done annually. In 1991 the group made their first attempt at a non-holiday production when they presented an original adaptation of Mark Twain stories for cable television. After that it was back to the yearly shows.
Then in 1998, Brandon Thomsen, a member of the company since childhood, asked permission to use the name to produce “The Secret Garden”. From this beginning, the Watertown Players began to break away from once a year productions to form a yearly season.
Since that time the group has produced several musicals, including “Hello Dolly” (1999), “My Fair Lady” (2000), “The Sound of Music” (2001), “The King & I” (2001), “Bye Bye Birdie” (2002), “Once Upon A Mattress” (2002), “Annie” (2003), “The Music Man” (2004), “State Fair” (2004), “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (2005), and “Guys and Dolls” (2005). In 2003, The Watertown Players celebrated their 15 th Anniversary with a gala entitled, “Some Enchanted Evening: The Music of Rogers and Hammerstein”. The event was presented in partnership with The American Cancer Society and included a silent auction and musical revue. That same year the company presented its first full-length, non-musical comedy, “Auntie Mame”. Since then we have produced many various productions including “Marvelous Wonderettes”, “Winter Wonderettes”, “Don’t Hug Me”, “A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol”, “Packer Fans from Outer Space”, and many more.
Watertown Players are also host to a Children’s Theatre Workshop that began in 2012, bringing theatre opportunities to the youth of our community.
Anyone is eligible to audition for Watertown Players productions. One needn’t even be a resident of Watertown! All we ask is dedication and willingness to learn and work. We work hard, but the sound of the audience’s applause makes it all worthwhile.
We are Watertown’s oldest theater group and have been in the business of bringing quality entertainment to the Watertown area. We think you will agree that each production is better than the last.