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Our history.

Parker Players is named after the late Marc Parker. Marc was a 1973 graduate of Barrington High School. While at BHS, Marc designed all of the costume hats that were used in a production of Once Upon a Mattress. Fast forward to 2009, and Marc's son is also a student at BHS and is also involved with another production of Once Upon a Mattress. Marc wanted to share his designs with his son but couldn't find any archives of ANY production performed at BHS. He realized what a loss is was not to build upon the talented work of predecessors in the performing arts department. Marc's solution was to establish the Barrington High School Performing Arts Alumni Endowment and build an archive containing 60 years of BHS production history--photos, film and records. In 2010, Marc produced the 60-year Barrington High School Alumni Show and invited any previous BHS theater student to return to the stage and reenact a scene from their starring role. It was a success.

Marc connected with other alumni throughout the process, including Ellen Werksman and Ray Harris. Nancie Tobison--while not a student alumnus--was the current music director of BHS, approaching the end of a well-established teaching career at the high school. Nancie owned a building, Ellen was a choreographer, Ray was a technical designer and Marc had a vision to establish a community theater in Barrington. Tragically, Marc passed away before he could see his vision turn into reality, but Nancie, Ellen and Ray carried on in his name and Parker Playhouse was born. 

By 2015 the black box theater space on Northwest Highway was finished, a 501(c)3 was created, a board of directors was established, and fundraising efforts led by an energetic team added a state-of-the-art lighting system and board.

Until 2019, Parker Playhouse showcased many fine performances within its theater space--including The Odd Couple, The Bad Seed, Alice in Wonderland, and Bye Bye Birdie to name a few. However, in June of that year, Parker Playhouse shut its doors when the State of Illinois purchased the building as part of the future underpass project scheduled on Route 14. However, rather than view the transfer as a setback, the founders and board members chose to view the transfer as an opportunity to reinvent themselves.

The reinvention included a new name--Parker Players--still honoring Marc Parker but recognizing that the theater was now a 'company' and not a 'house'.

 

Parker Players Theater Company now exists as the resident theater company in their new home at The Barrington, at 540 W Northwest Highway. 

 

​We believe that Marc Parker would be proud.

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Previous Board Members

Dan Thake

Jack Lageschulte

Marcia Roznick

Cindy Johnson

Emily Reynolds

Nancie Tobison

Ellen Werksman

Sharon Schmidt

Vicki Wauterlek

Paul Cusimano

Fran Taglia

Josie Croll

Serene Hebert

Maureen Doyle

Elizabeth Piriczky

Christina Fanucci

Gregg Werner

Julie McNabb

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