Wetumpka Depot

The Wetumpka Depot Players recently traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for a national theatre competition.

They’re pushing 40 this upcoming year.

The Wetumpka Depot Players theatre group started in 1980 and is preparing to celebrate its 40th season.

Executive director Kristy Meanor gave credit to the community for keeping the Depot Players around for four decades.

“It’s a huge milestone to celebrate,” Meanor said. “We’re probably one of the oldest community theatres in the state and it says a lot about our company. It says a lot about our volunteer base, our patron base, all varied to what we do here, and all who appreciate the vision community theatre enriches and it makes a community a better place to work and play.”

Shows for the upcoming anniversary season will be announced in the next few weeks.

“We’re excited about our 40th season,” Meanor said. “We hope the community will continue to rally around us in our next 40 years.”

The Depot Players reaches out to educate and bring in shows to the area in addition to performing its own shows. It reaches out to children with a youth academy and “The Penguin Project” for children with special needs. There is also a retired seniors group called “The Encore Players.”

The group just returned from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where it was one of 12 troupes at AACTFEST19, a national theatre competition. The depot players performed “The Diviners” and won people’s choice awards for favorite moment for the play’s drowning scene; favorite actor Reese Lynch; favorite show; excellence in costume design by Gayle Sandlin; excellence in sound design; and excellence in acting for Lynch and Lauren Norris.

“The Depot Players represented the Southeast at this festival,” Meanor said. 

Upon the Depot Players’ return from Gettysburg, Meanor and others immediately started preparing for “Big Fish,” a musical about a soon-to-be father going checking to see if any of his father’s stories were true. The show will open at the end of July.

Meanor said it takes about eight weeks for the group to prepare for shows. About 100 people participate in a season and more than 200 volunteers are involved in the Depot Players.

Meanor said the company lets people involved in normal day jobs release their creative sides and is an outlet for many.

“They need a place to design and create and collaborate with other artists so that’s key to the community that we all heard that opportunity,” Meanor said. “It’s key to the community that we open our doors so that people can volunteer in an organization where they’ve invested their time and resources because they know it’s going to be a really important thing for the community.”

To get involved with the Depot Players, visit www.wetumpkadepot.com and the Depot Players’ Facebook page.