Chelsea Area Players Celebrate 50 Years of Community Theater with a Win

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By Doug Marrin with Don Paulsell

Chelsea Area Players (CAP) is celebrating its 50th anniversary of community theater in Chelsea. And as a highlight to its remarkable history, CAP’s float also won first prize in the Chelsea Fair Parade.

The troupe has delighted audiences with more than 135 shows including musicals, youth theater, summer workshops, and winter dinner theater. Chelsea’s own Jeff Daniels was one of the original cast members during his high school years.

CAP’s blue-ribbon float was designed by Brian Myers and decorated by the CAP Board and friends. It included rotating flames on the candles and a rotating medallion on top, all accompanied by the music "There’s No Business Like Show Business.” The skirt on the float highlighted the logos from many of CAP's big name shows. Next year in June, 2023, CAP is scheduled to perform Jason Eyster's anticipated original musical "The Only Man In Town" - the musical story of Frank P. Glazier. Glazier, along with many others, was responsible for bringing Chelsea from a small rural agricultural town into the 20th century with industry, education, social programs, banking, the Clock Tower, water fire protection, and electricity.

The seed for the Chelsea Area Players was planted at a cast party attended by several alumni of Chelsea High School musicals, many of whom are participating in productions to this day. As they reminisced into the night about past productions, their drive to get together again and put on another show grew.

The first production, The Sound of Music, was produced on a shoestring budget under the auspices of the Recreation Council and would not have been possible without the support of Charlie Cameron. They opened on July 28, 1972 (you don't know hot until you've played a nun in a high school auditorium where the temperature and humidity are about 95 degrees). Despite the heat and budget constraints, they kept together, and the next summer, the Chelsea Players opened as a community theatre company with a production of Fiddler on the Roof.

CAP’s mission is to enrich the educational and cultural life of the community, promote understanding and appreciation of the performing arts, provide worthwhile entertainment, encourage interest and active participation by the community in all phases of the theatre through dramatic productions and other related activities, and to foster and support the involvement of adolescents and young adults of the community in the dramatic arts.

Learn more about the Chelsea Area Players at https://chelseaareaplayers.org/about/

Photos courtesy of Don Paulsell

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