About The Most Epic Garden Players Concert Ever

Celebrating 20 years of original musicals under the direction of Betina Hershey at The Church-in-the-Gardens and The Community House! 

Betina turned down a national Broadway tour to lead Garden Players. “I said I'd try it for 5 years to see how I liked it. 20 years later, I'm still thrilled with the theater we create together!

Alumni have grown up and gone on to become performers, writers, composers, poets, creatives within business and science, out in the world making positive impacts!

We are so touched by this video hello from Mateo Lizcano! All of the alumni, community members, families, and kids who have helped Garden Players grow  into the theater home it is now (from 1916, before Betina, up until today and our shared dreams for tomorrow) - Thank you! You've helped inspire us and our community! 

We are so excited to gather together for a reunion alumni concert, and are thrilled to have you on the stage and in the audience. 

This is truly going to be an Epic gathering! Thank you!

PARKING PASS - make sure you have one in your car before the concert starts

To Open: Ash Rasputnis will do a short comedy set. “I felt included and involved. I still have a very strong emotional tether to my time in GP." 

Special Moments: Rev. Fred speaks. We honor previous director Jeff Edmond. We honor previous custodian Javier Reyes, Alumni Remembrances, Acting Improv moments to introduce our shows. 

Composers: Denver Casado (flying in from California), and Forest Hills' very own Sunny Knable,. Director Jeff Edmond will be honored, along with Javier Reyes (alumni custodian/backstage crew/guitar), and a HUGE shout-out to all of our volunteers and designers!

Gold Star SPONSOR - Terrace Realty

Supporter - Kids Only Dental

Food Donation - Dee's

This Production Is Made Possible by all of our sponsors, volunteers, alumni, as well as The Community House, The Church-in-the-Gardens, and Garden Players.

See The Cast Bios

Alumni performers include Alyssa Lin, Ash Rasputnis, Autumn Clarke, Benny Wilkinson, Caitlin Burke, Carina Kahane, Caroline Itskov, Chase Goldberg Friedman, Elliot Nieva, Gabriel Kahane, Isabella Perkins, Jack Yasharian, Jane Brooks, Liren Zhao, Luke Kuniya, Mark Perkins, Michaela Pascuzzi, Michelle Garcia, Nicholas Bompart, Nicollette Barsamian, Rajan Worden, Scarlett Razzo, Brandon Razzo, Seriana Russo and more.

The Band: Denver Casado, keys. Sunny Knable, keys. Harvey Wirht, drums. Javier Reyes, guitar. Shawn Hershey & Lowell Hershey, trumpet.

Garden Players

Garden Players is a small, local, musical theater program led by professional performers who love kids.

Every September-May we put on a small in-class Sharing Day in December, a concert in January with a professional band, and an original, fully staged musical in May.

Mission

Our mission is to cultivate children’s social emotional learning through community centered, socially aware, high quality theater education and performance opportunities. The results of our work are children who have learned to be brave, creative, internally motivated, and express their inner voice.

Vision

We envision a nurturing space for students, alumni, and community members to come together to make an artistic impact on each other and the world. 

We envision a world where original works with current and socially conscious themes bring laughter and fun along with deep thinking to both children and adults.

We envision a world where the development of original works is supported locally and brings joy to our community.

We envision a world where all children have access to theater. We aim to seek the participation of students who have a gift to give the art of theater and would not otherwise have theater or performance opportunities, due to economic or cultural barriers or lack of resources in their schools and communities.