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Not having a live audience has not daunted the English speaking theatre group: Bonn Players celebrate 40th Birthday

Not having a live audience has not daunted the English speaking theatre group : Bonn Players celebrate 40th Birthday

English-speaking theatre in Bonn is still going strong. The Bonn Players are celebrating their 40th birthday: Four decades of plays and productions in English are due to be commemorated in an action-packed and exciting year. The pandemic might mean fewer live audiences for some events, but the excitement about this special year is high, nonetheless.

Largely due to a generous influx of much needed funds from supporters, and a healthy donation from the Volksbank, helping to cover their 2020 running costs in the absence of ticket sales the Bonn Players are still going strong. In fact, they are stronger now than ever, as they enter 2021 and start to celebrate their 40th anniversary of providing top-notch, English-speaking theatre in the Bonn area.

They are planning to make it an action-packed and exciting year, with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to be the only factor limiting the number and format of events planned for 2021. In addition to the usual two summer and winter “blockbuster” performances, more online and in-person events are planned throughout the year at both the Brotfabrik and outside venues, such as the Grüner Spielstadt in Endenich. They are also eagerly looking forward to being able to tread the boards again and perform Sharks in the Custard by Tony Layton and Ruby and Millie & The Old Chemical Plant by Tara Meddaugh, two one-act plays that are quite literally waiting in the wings from last November, when the latest lockdown was initiated, just days before they were due to perform – watch this space for more information on performance dates once we are all „unlocked“.

 The main celebration of the year will be a member-only Gala Dinner at the Dreesen Hotel planned for 28 August 2021. A special limited edition, hardback book is also being compiled to commemorate The Bonn Players over the past 40 years that will include a history of the group, as well as anecdotes and testimonials relating to the creation and performance for each of their productions – a staggering 88 productions have graced the stage in this time. The book should be ready towards the middle of 2021 and anyone interested in having a copy to grace their coffee tables or be visible in their bookcases during Zoom calls should contact the Bonn Players via email.

The Bonn Players have also been very industrious over the winter months developing a new website due to “go live” in February. 

The Bonn Players Chair, Tracy Tollmann, said: “Building on the success of the former website, which has really done us proud in the past; the new website will be available on all mobile devices, and offers user-friendly navigation to easily accessed useful information, such as current, and future productions, how to become a member and engage in all of our ACT-ivities, as well as a comprehensive history of The Bonn Players productions since 1981.”

2021 will be a year of looking ahead and ensuring that The Bonn Players remain vibrant and relevant for the next 40 years. Another initiative gaining momentum is the establishment of a Youth Theatre Group, “Firmly rooted in the local community and facilitating the creative interaction of young people, which has never been more needed than now,” commented Tracy, adding: “It has the empowerment of young people at its core, offering them opportunities to perform, learn about the processes of theatre performance and production, and thus hone their theatre craft. We seek to introduce children of all backgrounds and skill- sets to the stage, and to foster a theatre family.” The initiative has so far run two “St. Nicholas” online Workshops last December, with a second “A Midwinter Day's Dream” online Workshop planned for this month, where children between the ages of 9 and 13 will engage with an excerpt from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Plans are underway to work on a production for performance later in the year.

Adapting to living life in lockdown, The Bonn Players are also offering more than ever via virtual environments, running regular online clinics to get the less "tech-savvy" members up-to-speed on this new technology, so they can participate in online monthly quizzes, play-reading groups, workshops, and feasibility readings to ascertain suitability for future productions. Tracy Tollmann sums it up: “The Bonn Players - so much more than just acting!” 

Info: If you are interested in receiving regular updates on The Bonn Players' ACT-ivities then please send an email to info@bonnplayers.de, consult Facebook, and/or become a member. More info can be found at: www.bonnplayers.de.