In 1986, two Pinole,CA couples, Gary & Nancy Gill and David & Patti Clark met around the Gill's kitchen table to discuss their dream of forming a local community theatre group. Utilizing Gary's technical knowledge, Nancy's musical talents, David's directing background and Patti's producing and organizational skills, the PINOLE COMMUNITY PLAYERS was born.
Contact was made with Father Tom Ryan, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pinole, seeking support for the new endeavor. With Father Ryan's blessing and financial support, the Players gained use of the St. Joseph School auditorium. This required the Players to "load in" the production two weeks before opening -- constructing a stage, hanging lights, setting up dressing rooms, bringing in tables and chairs -- and "load out" when the show closed. Able to pack up lights, scenery and costumes at a moment's notice, the Pinole Players were a band of traveling performers in the theatrical tradition.
GODSPELL, a musical based on the Gospel of St. Matthew, was the first production of the new theatre company. Auditions were conducted and an outstanding cast of young local actors hit the newly-constructed stage in July of 1986. Two more successful seasons followed with productions of OLIVER, THE FANTASTICKS and SOUTH PACIFIC.
In 1989, the St. Joseph auditorium became unavailable, necessitating a search for a new venue. The City of Pinole offered the use of the Pinole Memorial Center. At the time, the Memorial Center housed the Pinole Senior Center, so shows still had to be loaded in and out. The next three summer productions were staged in the Little Theatre at Pinole Valley High School, which had a stage and stage lighting.
COMPANY, A CHORUS LINE, BABY, ANNIE, A LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and GUYS & DOLLS brought PCP to their 1991-92 SEASON. The Pinole Community Players had grown with the addition of many talented local people, including entire families -- all bitten by the theatrical bug -- who worked diligently and tirelessly to make PCP a well-respected performance group.
Still lacking a permanent home, in 1990, the Board of Directors proposed to the Pinole City Council that the company lease the Pinole Memorial Center as the Players' permanent performance space. In the summer of 1991, the City Council voted unanimously in favor of this agreement, pledged their support to the group and granted permission to establish a PINOLE COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE.
THE BEST OF BROADWAY opened the 1991-92 season and plans were underway to make renovations to the building and expand the number of adult and children's performances each year. This group has been able to accomplish renovations to the building, an increase in audience attendance, introduction of new directors and new productions. Pinole Community Players' quality productions, intimate performance space, unique cabaret style and family atmosphere continue to be strengths as its second quarter century begins.
Voted "Best in the West" by West County Times readers and supported by civic leaders, theatre goers, and the community in general.