The Bethlehem Players, located in Franklin, TN, is staging the beloved musical “Annie” before it heads back to Broadway next year. Founded in 1987 by Bethlehem UMC Music and Arts Director Harry Robinson, the Bethlehem Players is a very unique acting troop who utilize some innovative ideas to attract attention in a market abundant in entertainment choices.
With a mission to reach out to the community and provide the actors with a rich theatre experience while creating quality entertainment for the audience, the Bethlehem Players has many ways to accomplish this goal.
Pictured above: Sandy (Dakota Phillips), Annie (Mackenzie Roberts) and Daddy Warbucks (Johnny Peppers).
Each year the production has a benefiting charity and this year it is Happy Tales Humane located in The Factory in Franklin, TN. During the actual shows, a Happy Tales dog will appear in crowd scenes and be around for introductions during the play’s intermission. No, it’s not the adorable dog Sandy ‘cause we aren’t crazy. It’s an additional dog and it will be equally adorable! This innovative idea allows us the chance to help a local humane society while adding a bit of extra frivolity to our show.
Another new aspect to the show’s marketing is a video series called “On The Road to NYC.” Found on the Bethlehem Players youtube channel, www.youtube.com/bethlehemplayers, you can see a little behind the scenes, catch the latest productions announcements and just enjoy the comical video scrapbook.
Finally, not content to just offer three dinner shows, the production has also added four matinee lunches where guests will get to briefly meet Annie and the Gang for pictures.
The Bethlehem Players only produce one major show a year so they do it up big. Last year, they staged their first world-premiere, original comedy “Southern Fried Funeral” by award-winning playwrights Dietz Osborne and Nate Eppler – Osborne & Eppler. Run by a dedicated group of volunteers under the guidance of a professional director, the Bethlehem Players are pretty excited to be offering tickets on-line via www.ticketsnashville.com. This is a first for the fourteen-year old group. For full information, visit the Bethlehem United Methodist Church’s website at www.bethlehemumc.com.
Reader’s Note: Nancy McNulty serves as producer and marketing director for the non-profit Bethlehem Players, a community theatre outreach program of Bethlehem UMC, Franklin, TN.