Players of the Stage, which is affectionately called POTS, started in 2000 with sixteen children getting together to put on a recital for a church’s banquet. What we thought would be a one-time event has lasted twenty-one years. Through the seasons, the students have grown in their talents and professionalism. They have performed The Best Christmas Pageant Ever four times, Tom Sawyer twice, A Christmas Carol five times, Pride and Prejudice twice, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Miracle Worker, The Little Princess, Jonah, The Amateurs, Pygmalion, Anne of Green Gables, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Twelve Angry Jurors, The Prince and the Pauper, Wind and the Willows, Peter Pan, Quality Street, Doubt, Oliver Twist, The Outsiders, The Mouse That Roared, Love Labors Happily Ever After twice, three One Act showcases and many summer drama camps.
Players of the Stage was started by Mr. and Mrs. Barshinger and their daughter Anna Barshinger Lauffer. Mrs. Lauffer was the artistic director from 2000 – 2009. In 2009 Sharon Barshinger took over and held the position until 2018. Marian Barshinger was the artistic director from 2018-2021. Sharon Barshinger Noel is back as Interim Artistic Director.
Players of the Stage is currently holding their shows at Living Hope Presbyterian Church but hope to someday have a theatre building all their own.
In the fall of 2005 Players of the Stage began doing their shows as benefit shows to local charities. They have donated proceeds to Bright Hope Center, formerly Care Net, American Ministries to the Deaf, Bloom, formerly Truth for Women, HOPE Kids and to the Allentown Rescue Mission. During the past eight seasons they have raised more than 234,000 dollars, every cent of which has gone to those organizations.