Peter Murphy's Players began in the summer of 2012 because of a need in my community, particularly among children, for the gift of Theatre. I felt within myself a longing to fill this need. This group has always been and forever will be centered around the giving of a gift: to inspire others, especially children, through the art of Theatre. We aim and aspire to create an atmosphere that encourages self-confidence and, not only artistic, but also personal grow
Slideshow below of year's 2014 and 2015 has been graciously put together by Marie Kottenstette.
The History of Peter Murphy’s Players
The Mission of Peter Murphy’s Players is to provide a formative and enriching theatre experience for young people, focusing on building self-confidence, a spirit of generous teamwork, acting and musical skills, and a true sense of purpose and appreciation for the goodness and beauty of the performing arts.
The group conducted its first theatre workshop at the Lancaster Community Center with a cast of 14 players and seven dedicated and talented volunteer team members culminating in a performance of a stage adaptation by team member, John DelVecchio, of P.G. Wodehouse’s hilarious short story, The Truth About George.
With the overwhelming support and encouragement of parents, attendees, and Lancaster town officials, in 2013 Peter Murphy’s Players performed a delightful musical adaptation, of Jean de Brunhoff’s short story, Babar and Zephir, written by local playwright and artist Mr. Brendan Enwright. This marked the first time that the Lancaster Town Hall’s stage had been used to present a dramatic production in over 30 years.
The workshop grew to include 24 very enthusiastic and dedicated players and a volunteer team of 10 members enhanced by a number of talented artists who worked with Mr. Enwright in creating an elaborate and magical scenery. Composer Mr. Paul Jernberg accompanied the performance on the piano. Summer, 2014
Peter Murphy’s Players presented the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown by Clark Gresner, based on the comics by Charles M. Schulz. The show, accompanied by an orchestra of seven young, local volunteer musicians, was again performed on the Lancaster Town Hall stage. The orchestra was led by the experienced and talented musician and conductor, Mr. James Brehany, former teacher from the Trivium School in Lancaster.
Peter directed, with Marie Kottenstette as assistant director, Bridgette Nelson as choreographer, artist Norah McCann heading scene design and construction, and team members Emma Hannon, John DelVecchio, and Jeanna Francis, with Andrew Ortiz leading the children in sports.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with a cast of 27 children. Mrs. Margaret Hannon led the costume department with elaborate detail, and Marie Kottenstette assisted the director. The Players were also honored with guest pianists Diana Mukusheva and Emily Swope.
Peter and his team tackled a remarkable feat: the production of five plays in one weekend. The performances were held at the Lancaster Community Center, and Margaret Hannon headed the costume department.
Summer, 2016 Peter re-collaborated with Brendan Enwright and directed his adaptation of Shakespeare’s, The Tempest, as a musical for children. The performance was held at Trivium School in Lancaster, with Michael Enwright on piano, Alex Ortiz on guitar, Gunnar Mitchell on Lights and Sound, and many other unforgettable volunteers.
This past summer was one to never forget. In January of 2017, Peter and William McCann began their work on the production of Mr. McCann's powerful, historic play about Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator of Ireland. The Liberator was performed on August 11 and 12, and was an enormous success.
The Players also continued to provide their sixth annual Summer Workshop. This year, Niamh McCann, both adapted the story, Charlotte's Web, for the stage, and assisted the director; Hannah Smillie: Stage Manager and Acting/Singing Coach; Sue Hannon: Costume Designer; Kaley Somers: Set Designer; Marguerite Ortiz: Choreographer. Music was written by Emily Swope and Paul Keefe.
Both The Liberator and Charlotte's Web were sponsored by the Lancaster Community Center and performed at the Mary Rowlandson School Auditorium in Lancaster, MA.
Peter Murphy has also been involved in the direction and production of short plays for two local homeschooling groups, Leominster 4-H, a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, performed as a fundraiser and accompanied by members of the Worcester Youth Orchestra and guests with Mr. James Brehany as Conductor. Peter is the Theatre Instructor at Nashoba Valley Movement, a dance studio in Clinton, MA and has acted in many plays and musicals in the Central MA and Providence, RI area.