HISTORY OF THE VILLAGE PLAYERS as at DECEMBER 2018
The Village Players was founded on 11th November 1981 in La Conversion by a group of enthusiasts of English language theatre led by Zelda and John McKillop. The group’s first event was a theatre workshop held in December 1981 and the first “production” was a play reading of “Lovers” by Brian Friel in February 1982.
The society’s first full-length production was “The Matchmaker” by Thornton Wilder, staged in Lutry in May 1982. The society was formally established with a written Constitution in June 1982.
Since that start the Village Players have produced a wide range of shows in various theatres and halls in and around Lausanne and elsewhere in Europe.
Currently the VPs have staged 105 Productions in front of paying audiences – including 17 Old Time Music Halls and 11 English language Theatre Festivals, not only in Switzerland but also in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. Participation in these festivals has resulted in the awards being gained for Best Presentation, Original Script and a Discretionary Award for an actress with a non-speaking role!
Apart from the above, the Village Players have organised poetry, Karaoke, musical comedy, quizzes, evenings of nonsense, of erotica, of specific themes (e.g. Burns Night, St. George’s Day etc.)
The VPs started producing shows at the CPO- Centre Paroissial d’Ouchy in May 1982 and since 2011 has almost exclusively used this venue for stage productions. Now called the CPO- Centre Pluriculturel et social d’Ouchy, it has been “home” for all Village Players activities since September 2014.