In 1971, a small group of theater-minded friends got together, and the Walter Anderson Players was born in Ocean Springs Mississippi. The diverse experience of Ginny Robinson, Nita Klein, Julie Franc, Kindard Fite, Wayne Stephens and others has led the Walter Anderson Players to the present.
With nothing much but a well-known name (adopted with Sissy Anderson’s permission), the Walter Anderson Players produced their first show. Although it was not a well-known Broadway production: “Fanny the Fabulous Flapper” started it all. In spite of Sissy Anderson’s initial skepticism in lending us Walter’s name, WAP has soldiered on. With community support, and a core group of friends with musical and theatrical backgrounds, the group has produced many fine performances over the last forty years.
Starting with that first production, WAP has performed at the Ocean Springs Civic Center, the Ocean Springs Community Center, and even MGCCC and the old Bay Star Theater in Bay St. Louis. Auditions and rehearsals were mostly held at the Ocean Springs Library, although streets of Ocean Springs and private living rooms were not out of the question. Now we have our own theatrical home at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center. As a partner of the “Mary C.” WAP is proud of the Trent Lott Theater, where we rehearse and perform.
Many years ago, WAP felt the need to give something back to the community that supports us. As a result, there is a Christmas concert presented to the community at no cost. “Christmas is A Feeling” is our gift to our community, and as part of that, we collect nonperishable food items for “The Lord is My Help”.
From producing well-known shows such as “Arsenic and Old Lace” to musicals such as “Cabaret”, to our recent “Originals”, which featured two local playwrights, the Walter Anderson Players strive to promote educational, cultural and recreational productions to the public. Our mission is to foster, encourage and engage in production, direction and performance of all types of theatrical works. Our youth productions not only give young people an outlet for their creativity, but foster good community relations and give them the chance to work with very diverse groups of people.
All auditions and productions of WAP are open to anyone in the community, with or without experience. A production takes more than just actors; there are a great many people behind the scenes, from publicity to set and stage crews.
Anyone interested in working with the Walter Anderson Players is invited to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We welcome you, and we appreciate the wonderful support we receive from our community!