A Players Flashback: 1938


By TOWNES COATES


Outside our clubhouse (and even inside it, occasionally) the shorthand for The Players is “a club founded by actors.” Well, sort of.

Our founding father, Edwin Booth, had a place in popular culture we can hardly imagine for a stage actor today. At the club’s founding, Booth’s outsized fame and the involvement of other performing colleagues perhaps overshadowed some offstage men of the theatre, not to mention literary and visual artists who were foundational for us. But equal to all these were the professionals of law, medicine, finance, and public service. The dynamic mix of our club -- artists as well as patrons of the arts -- has been present since our creation.

As part of a year marking the club’s 50th anniversary, the June 15, 1938 Bulletin lists all of the first-year members of The Players. Now, 133 years along, we aim for a measure of diversity far beyond professions. But we pride ourselves, as well, in maintaining a uniquely interesting community, just as our founders intended.


Townes Coates is a producer and writer. He is Co-Chair of Membership at The Players. Drop him a line here.