Parker Players strives to craft productions showcasing the local talents of our artistic community and deliver high quality theater to Barrington.
Each year we license, audition, cast, rehearse and present a full season of entertainment. We include musical theater, comedic plays and dramatic plays in our repertoire.
We are currently searching for a permanent home in Barrington, but even when we find one, we will continue to exist as a company within that space--renting to and sharing with other arts organizations.
Parker Players Board of Directors:
President: Jack Lageschulte
Treasurer: Joe Bateman
Member at Large: Paul Cusimano
Parker Players Executive Team:
Executive Director: Dan Thake
Marketing Director: Jill Rojas
Parker Players Artistic Director:
Technical Director: Ray Harris
Costumer: Sharon Schmidt
Parker Players is named after the late Marc Parker. Marc was a 1973 graduate of Barrington High School. While at BHS, Marc designed all of the costume hats that were used in a production of Once Upon a Mattress. Fast forward to 2009, and Marc's son is also a student at BHS and is also involved with another production of Once Upon a Mattress. Marc wanted to share his designs with his son, but couldn't find any archives of ANY production performed at BHS. He realized what a loss is was not to build upon the talented work of predecessors in the performing arts department. Marc's solution was to establish the Barrington High School Performing Arts Alumni Endowment and build an archive containing 60 years of BHS production history--photos, film and records. In 2010, Marc produced the 60 year Barrington High School Alumni Show and invited any previous BHS theater student to return to the stage and reenact a scene from their starring role. It was a success.
Marc connected with other alumni throughout the process, including Ellen Werksman and Ray Harris. Nancie Tobison--while not a student alumni--was the current music director of BHS, approaching the end of a well established teaching career at the high school. Nancie owned a building, Ellen was a choreographer, Ray was a technical designer and Marc had a vision to establish a community theater in Barrington. Tragically, Marc passed away before he could see his vision turn into reality, but Nancie, Ellen and Ray carried on in his name and Parker Playhouse was born.
By 2015 the black box theater space on Northwest Highway was finished, a 501(c)3 was created, a board of directors was established and fundraising efforts led by an energetic team added a state of the art lighting system and board.
Until 2019, Parker Playhouse showcased many fine performances within its theater space. However, in June of that year, Parker Playhouse shut its doors when the State of Illinois purchased the building as part of the future underpass project scheduled on Route 14. However, rather than view the transfer as a setback, the founders and board members chose to view the transfer as an opportunity to reinvent themselves.
The reinvention included a new name--Parker Players--still honoring Marc Parker, but recognizing that the theater was really a 'company' and not a 'house'. Even if the future of Parker Players includes another permanent home, Parker Players will function as a resident company within that space, intending to rent and share with other art centered organizations.
A new mission statement was created, the production and artistic team were restructured, and a renewed focus on casting age appropriately encapsulates the next chapter of our story. All while still providing the same high quality entertainment to Barrington and it's surrounding communities. We believe that Marc Parker would be proud.
Alice in Wonderland
Snow White and the 7 Emojis
Bye Bye Birdie
The Odd Couple
Love, Loss and What I Wore
Barrington in Broadway
The Wizard of Oz
The Gift of the Magi