With the 50th season underway, Players by the Sea has recently named Bradley Akers as new artistic director. Akers says he hopes to strengthen community relations and extend the reach of the theatre’s educational programming to incorporate theatre for the young. Players by the Sea will also unveil an artistic statement that connects patrons, artists, and community groups with the work they do.
“As a community theatre, it’s our duty to reflect what’s happening in the community and tell the best stories by the best storytellers.”
“As a community theatre, it’s our duty to reflect what’s happening in the community and tell the best stories by the best storytellers,” he says. “We definitely want our creative community to know that this is home, that people have a place to work and perfect their craft in any capacity. We’re your place, and we have your back and support you.”
“If there is an opportunity to play on this playground, I’m going to jump over to this one.”
A 2012 graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Akers served as Associate Director for the past year prior to his recent promotion, assisting Executive Director Joe Schwarz with marketing and managerial tasks. When it came time to transition into his new position, he jumped at the chance: “Over the last month, I gradually started assuming more artistic responsibility which is where my heart is. That’s what I have training in, directing and the artistic side of things,” he says. “If there is an opportunity to play on this playground, I’m going to jump over to this one.”
As part of his new position, Akers must balance front-of-the-house duties including scheduling, budget, timing, and programming with his backstage responsibilities working with directors, staffing volunteers, and getting his hands dirty.
“I work with directors to make sure they are producing that standard that we’re known for. I collaborate with our production manager to make sure every aspect of the show is coming in on time and on budget,” he says. “We know that there’s a Players by the Sea standard that we uphold, and now it’s my job to make sure that we get there. I look at the big picture. I look at programming, what we do on stage and what our education program does and how that supports and uplifts our organization’s mission.”