By Riley Scheffler
The Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Players are a group of talented college students who come together to put on three productions each school year.
The GRCC Players work onstage or behind the scenes to help put on productions at the Spectrum Theater. Typically the group meets five times a week, in the evening, for three hours. Taking a theater class prior to joining the Players is not required, and neither is having any past experience in theater.
“It’s fun working with this level of students, some come in here with just a little bit of experience some come in here with no experience, but a talent,” said Theater Program Director Tom Kaechele. “But it’s fun to see how high they rise with a seven-week rehearsal progress.”
Being a part of the GRCC Players, students can also earn college credit. There are three levels of commitment to the group, 20, 40, and 60 hours. Depending on the level of commitment students choose to dedicate to the program determines the amount of credit hours they will receive.
“This can be someone who is focused on theater, or someone who is focused in a totally different way, but have a talent for theater, whether it is backstage, onstage, or design areas that students can help out in,” Kaechele said. “It’s a place where everyone is welcome.”
For students not interested in acting, there are many things that go on behind the scenes that make the performances run smoothly. Between making costumes, building the set, getting props together, projection design, there are many roles that are needed to help make the show come together.
“It is very easy for students to get involved, students can just show up in my office, and say, ‘Hey I wanna get involved.’ We are a welcoming group,” Kaechele said.
Kaechele’s office is in the Spectrum Theater building, on GRCC’s campus for those individuals who would like to get involved.
Being a part of the GRCC Players can also help actors land a role in other plays around West Michigan. Directors from other theaters have reached out to the GRCC program directors to ask if they have any students that they would recommend for certain roles.
If you simply enjoy going to plays, the GRCC Spectrum Theater is also home to three other programs, the Jewish Theater, Heritage Theater, and the Actor’s Theatre. Between all of the groups that call the Spectrum Theater home, they typically put on one show a month.
Be sure to check out “Dean Man’s Cell Phone,” which is the GRCC Players’ next performance which runs March 29-31. Students are welcome to come to the dress rehearsal on March 28 free of charge. Anyone interested, is able to buy tickets at the box office at the Spectrum Theater, or call the box office at 616-234-3946 to reserve tickets.