Bay City Players, located in Bay City, Michigan, is a community of performers and other volunteers that offers exciting, intimate and relevant theatre experiences. We believe in the power and immediacy of a great performance. Our dedication to that principle is how we’ve become Michigan’s longest continuously operating community theater, nearing our 100th anniversary.
Our Performances and Programs
Bay City Players presents five shows in a typical season at our Bay City theater, including comedies, dramas and musicals. Extra performances are sometimes added for benefits or other occasions.
Bay City Players is involved in state and national community theatre organizations, including:
- The Community Theatre Association of Michigan (CTAM)
- The Theatre Alliance of Michigan (TAM)
- The American Association of Community Theatres (AACT)
- The International Theatre Olympiad, hosting performers from Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
We are an arts leader in the community, participating in activities with groups such as:
- The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
- Studio 23
- The Bay Area Arts Council
- State Theater
- Delta College Planetarium
- Bay County Library System
- Bay County Historical Society
- Bay Concert Band
Bay City Players debuted on March 19, 1917, performing as the Bay City Art Club. During World War I, this hardy band of actors performed in members’ homes as part of the Thursday Morning Musicale and continued in the 1920s as the Musicale-Art Club. By 1929, it was renamed Bay City Theatre Guild. In 1931, it received the name it uses today, Bay City Players.
Mrs. J.D. (Emily) Grinnell is credited as the founder of Bay City Players. During its first 38 years, Bay City Players performed in a variety of places, including private homes, local opera houses, schools, church halls and movie theaters. It purchased its present home, the Pines Theater movie house, in 1955. Since that time there have been a number of renovations, resulting in additions to the stage; an orchestra pit; dressing rooms; several storage areas for props, costumes, scenery and furniture; a rehearsal room; an office; a spacious lobby and other amenities.