The Marceline Community Players came into being August 17, 1962, when about sixty enthusiastic players presented the Musical Comedy “Here Comes the Showboat” by Robert St. Clair, under the direction of Mrs. Fleeta Rodgers at the Walt Disney Amphitheatre.
A crowd of eleven hundred greeted the singers, dancers and a cast of players who performed Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a starlight performance in conjunction with the recreational program set up for the summer by James Adair, Coordinator.
The cast of characters included: W. R. Stronger, Captain of the Show Boat; Kaye Johnson, Little Eva; Sondra Lake, Topsy; Bruce Hood, Uncle Tom; Darlene Fruin, Ophelia; Dr. L. O. Adamson, St. Clair, (Eva’s father); Kenneth Dail, Simon Legree; Bill Long, Marko; Wilbur Ralston, Gumpton Cute; Julie Pennick, Emmaline; Terry McGuinnis, Adolph; Stephanie and Kathy Powell as Property Girls. Mrs. Jane Miller was at the piano, with Mr. Tully Reed the accompanying banjo artist, and Mike Fruin as trumpet soloist.
The Marceline Community Players were so well received that they will do a repeat performance on Saturday night June 29, 1963, to add to the Diamond Jubilee celebration entertainment program.
Probably more people received some pleasure from the Community Players presentation during the summer of 1962 than any other single program. Almost 125 people were involved in the production of this show and approximately 150 attended the single performance. Disney Park Amphitheatre was filled to overflowing and the people who had the most pleasure were the performers themselves. This is the ultimate goal: pleasure through activity for every citizen of Marceline through some medium of recreation.