Does The Players Centre Need to Move?
The simple answer is “yes!”
The current facility is located in the heart of the cultural corridor along US 41 in the City of Sarasota. The area has seen tremendous growth, which has caused a shortage of parking for the theatre. While the audience demand at The Players is great, the facility is inadequate. The current building was constructed in the early ‘70s and is in need of significant updates. The cost to renovate and upgrade the facility would be in the millions.
Location was also a deciding factor. There are eight other performing arts organizations within a five-mile radius of the theatre, which causes a constant competition for attendance. The Players conducted an evaluation of attendance through a zip code analysis from the past five years. The results indicated that only 2.6% of ticket buyers come from the barrier islands, while 28.5% come from the I-75 corridor from Lakewood Ranch down to South Sarasota. Over 45% come from Whitfield, central and east Sarasota, all within minutes to the new location.
What Will The Players Centre Do for the Community?
- Provide three new performance spaces with year-round programming of both non-professional and professional performers.
- Attract, serve and entertain a projected number of 200,000+ local and regional visitors annually to the new campus.
- Provide vital training for 500+ students in performing arts.
- Provide scholarships to 50+ students annually through The Players Building Better Grownups Scholarship Program.
- Partner with local businesses to increase economic impact by attracting visitors to work, live and play in the area.
- Engage hundreds of local actors, instructors, designers, directors and creators as resources.
- Maintain affordable ticket prices for community inclusiveness.
- Provide 3,500 free tickets annually to underserved community members though The Players Charity Preview Performance Program.
How Can You Help?
Make Your Mark!
In order to make the new Players Centre a premier performance and arts education facility in the Waterside Place at Lakewood Ranch, the goal is to raise $30,000,000. The generous lead gift of $1 million from the Muriel O’Neil Fund for the Performing Arts of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the expected proceeds of approximately $9,000,000 from the sale of the current Players property will kick off the campaign.
The Players Centre is pleased to offer the community a chance to be involved in the planning of the new project. The goal is to share in creating a new jewel centrally located for all to enjoy.
A Model For Success
“It will take the entire community to help us create this exciting new theatre centre. The payoff will be amazing as we build to enhance everyone’s theatrical experiences. From having dinner before the show, to seeing a drama in our “black box” theatre, to enjoying a Broadway Series musical or play, and even capping off your night with a cocktail and show in our Cabaret Lounge – The Players Centre will center around you!”