Wolf Creek Players
Wolf Creek Players is a community theater established in 2005, initially as the Norton Community Theater Project. A handful of people wanted to bring live theater to their hometown; two more people joined to direct the first show, and the theater was born. After a couple of years, it was decided we needed to take it up a notch: we were no longer a “project”, we were the real thing! As a result, Norton Community Theater Project established a board of officers, by-laws, a 501(C) (3) non-profit status, and adopted the name Wolf Creek Players. This name was chosen to more clearly represent that we were no longer solely a Norton venture.
For the first five years, Wolf Creek Players presented one show in the late fall each year. In 2012, we added a winter performance to our schedule which is generally a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater; and in 2014 a Director’s Showcase Drama.
In 2010 we added a children’s show in the spring to bring live theater to the children of Norton and eventually to Wadsworth. We now have a Children’s Education Outreach Program whose mission is to educate kids about live theater and to share our passion for the performing arts with them. Initially the children’s theater production was performed for the public at the Norton Community Center, with additional performances for students held at four local schools: Norton Primary, Norton Cornerstone, Isham Elementary, and Valley View in Wadsworth. In 2013, we received a grant that allowed us to be able to have the remaining elementary schools in Norton and Wadsworth bussed to either Norton High School or O. J. Work Auditorium in Wadsworth, to experience the 2013 spring production. Thanks to the success of our other performances we continue to be able to have the children’s admission be free with a paying adult.
From the first performance in the fall of 2005, Charlie Shook has opened Houston Hall in Norton as our home for the fall productions, and the Norton Community Center has generally been the host of our children’s shows in the spring. While one of our goals is to find a theater to establish as our home, Houston Hall can and does become an amazing theater house with some imagination and a rented stage.
Several of our members are former Norton High graduates who were active in speech and drama. Wadsworth locals have joined over the years, and we have now had people from Akron, Brecksville and other local communities come and audition with us as we continue to grow. We are always looking to welcome new people to join in the experience of a Wolf Creek Players show, whether onstage or behind the scenes. As we look to the future, the Wolf Creek Players continues to anticipate more murder mystery dinner theater, comedy, satire and all around fun. We also look forward to meeting new friends, and expanding our repertoire to drama, musical revues, and perhaps graduating to a full musical. Wolf Creek Players continues to stand behind its original goal—“To bring quality theater to the people of Norton and the surrounding communities.”