Up until that time, the community had not been exposed to, "Broadway Style," adult, musical theatre. The show was exhuberently received and all involved were enthusiastic about continuing on with more musicals and plays, so, "NPTG," was quickly incorporated.
Shortly after incorporation, NPTG was offered an abandoned city building, which became it's home for costumes and rehearsals for the next two decades, while holding performaces at a city middle school.
By the early 1990's it was becoming clear that using city schools for performances was no longer economically feasable, due to rising rental, janitorial and security costs.
At about that time a small group of members proposed building a small, "black-box" theater on it's own property and several shows were actually produced there to great financial sucess, but the run was short-lived. It was soon pointed out that the propery could not be updated to a point that would allow the proper permits for theatrical assembly.
Due to the declining condition of the rambling building, NPTG accepted a cash offer for the building in 1998 and our search for a new "home" began.
NPTG kept it's name alive in the intervening years with "Showstoppers", a twelve member group which performed traveling musical reviews and shows at various venues throughout Massachusetts, and in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Yet we have always identified ourselves as a "Fitchburg," organization.
Fitchburg was once a city of many theaters, but sadly, few remain.
In 2007, we were invited to view what was originally the Swedish Congregational Church in Fitchburg, which was ideally situated near the common and boasted a sanctuary that was an obvious choice for a theatre. The building is also on the list of, "historic spaces," and was designed by the famous local architech H.M. Francis.
An offer was made, which was rejected, and the building laid dormant for the next year.
The following summer the owners returned to us, offering the building at less than our original offer for the building, given it's recent neglect.
During the next 4 years we were able to procure a small equity mortgage for repairs we could not perform on our own, and many of our members and friends dove into thousands of hours of sweat equity.
By the summer of 2012, we finally reached a point where we could request and receive our occupency certificate to operate a theater.
Now with 11 of our own productions under our belts, 3 productions in collaboration with the Fitchburg Theatre Company, a practical collaboration with Fitchburg State University students, and other sponsoring efforts with the Greater Worcester Opera Company, The Montachusett Chorale and other local performance companies, New Players Theatre Guild is entering it 40th year of operation in the city of Fitchburg.
In our new venue, our critically acclaimed offerings have included, "ANNIE," "THE SECRET GARDEN," and the classic commedy. "HARVEY."
In addition to musical and theatrical offerings, we have also made our Performing Arts Center affordable and available to local dance teachers for performance of their recitals. Rental of other spaces is becoming prohibitive even for these events.
Although we strive for, and do receive, some small local cultural grants, those of us involved in NPTG create these theatrical opportunities because of our love, dedication and belief in the transformative powers of local community theater. None of us receive pay; creating theater is our after work "job."
EVERY presentation we have offered at The New Players Theatre Guild Center for the Performing Arts has made a profit by coming in under-budget, but that is not enough to sustain the center for the arts that we hoped would be our legacy to Fitchburg and its surrounding communities.
We are very proud of how far we've come, but we still need YOUR help.
We are most immediately in need of a Heating System, Roof Repairs, Updated Electrical work and more modern Building Insulation.
Our grand opening show was entitled, "Don't Stop Believin.' " We haven't given up yet.
For more background and current information on NPTG, visit New Players Theatre Guild on Facebook and our website: nptg.org
Thank you for your interest and support.
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