Role Players’ Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1983 by a group of Danville residents who wished to establish quality community theatre in the San Ramon Valley. In addition to providing a venue where local actors, directors and technicians could ply their craft, the group hoped to attract an audience throughout the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa County and expand their theatrical alternatives. The company was formed as a California non-profit organization.
Although the mission has evolved over time, the fundamental aim has always been, and remains, to provide provocative, high quality theatre productions that both entertain and educate. Between the inaugural season and 1991, the Role Players occupied storefront space in Danville and produced five full-length productions a year. In 1991 the Role Players entered into a co-sponsorship arrangement with the Town of Danville and moved to the historic Village Theatre on Front Street.
The 2011 – 2012 season was one of our most successful, beginning with our collaborative effect with The Eugene O’Neill Foundation and Mourning Becomes Electra. Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead followed, and the enormously popular film noir classic Laura brought in a new audience of young and old. Our last play of the season and our first musical The Mikado brought the house to it’s feet with standing ovations. Before and during each of the four productions, we had discussions at the Danville Library, Read Booksellers at Blackhawk Plaza, and concerts at Father Natures.
The 2010-2011 season saw Role Players moving from three plays a season to four– the fourth being presented in association with the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House. The seasons have provided a professional-quality theatre experience and have garnered substantial critical success. Role Players Ensemble productions have run the gamut from serious dramas such as Eugene O’Neill’s The
Hairy Ape, to outright farce like The Foreigner. In many cases, the theatrical experience has been enhanced by pre-production and after-show discussions related to the subject matter of the show. These will be expanded and continued during the 2013 – 2014 season and are regarded as a fundamental part of the community theatre’s mission.
RPE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.