Charlotte Players close their 60th season with ‘Men Are Dogs’

June 26, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

BY T MICHELE WALKER – The Charlotte Players have refused to allow a pandemic to stand in the way of their 60th anniversary. Making the best of a challenging season, the non-profit community theater has done its best to remain open while keeping its theater patrons safe with social distancing, masks, and loads of sanitizer.

Their production of “Men Are Dogs,” which closed Sunday, June 20, is written and directed by New York playwright Joseph Simonelli. This production marks the official end of the Charlotte Players’ 60th season. The show is a testimony to the spirit that is live theater.

A hilarious and clever play, “Men Are Dogs” had the audience at the edge of their seats. Simonelli has not only written a crafty show but has successfully directed a strong cast of actors.

The Charlotte Players are fortunate to be collaborating with such an esteemed playwright as Simonelli who said that he is happy to be back at the Charlotte Players. He last directed his Valentine’s Play, “With This Ring,” at The Charlotte Players in February.

Making the best of a difficult situation is written in a theater person’s DNA. “The show must go on” are not just empty words to a thespian. The COVID pandemic proved that.

“The show went on,” continued Jones. “Now, however, we are faced with a challenge so formidable that mere hurricanes seem minor in comparison – the pandemic of 2020-21.”

The damage to theaters worldwide has been extensive. Jones says that while The Charlotte Players remains open, they have their issues due to COVID. “Our last season ended abruptly in early March. We estimate our loss at this time to be close to $100,000.”

The Charlotte Players have received stimulus funds, maximized their effort with the Giving Challenge last spring, and by observing rigorous safety protocols, we’re able to stage one of the canceled shows in July and conduct a modest Kids OnStage.

“These are rough times for everyone, not just our community theater,” added Jones.

“I would like our 60th anniversary to be remembered as our milestone season, not our last season. We are a theater, but we’re also a community.”

Charlotte Players is a non-profit Community Theatre located at 1182 Market Circle in Port Charlotte, Florida. They are celebrating their 60th season of providing high-quality theatrical productions for the residents and visitors. The nonprofit organization provides educational outreach programs for students and preschool children that include; Kids OnStage, and the Charlotte County Imagination Library. They also bring in Professional Acts that are performed at The Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda, Florida. For more information contact (941) 255-1022.