About Us

Founded in 1967 by Jeannette Clift George, AD Players pioneered a unique style of theater committed to producing plays and programs that uphold human value, offer creativity, and promote literacy and education.  The company is one of Houston's largest resident theater companies, impacting more than nine million people over its lifetime.  Annually, the company produces six Mainstage shows and four Children's Theater performances, fields a National Touring Unit, and maintains a year-round Theater Arts Academy.  AD Players is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. We share our mission with volunteers, community associates, and those who make our work possible through their support.

Acting Company

Jeannette Clift George

Jeannette Clift George

Jeannette Clift George is the Founder and Artistic Director of the AD Players. Her extensive background in professional theater includes acting Off-Broadway, at the Playhouse in the Park in Philadelphia, Arena Stage in Washington DC, and touring with the New York Shakespeare Company. She was for many years a member of the Alley Theatre acting company and performed in many productions there including Dear Liar; Ring Around the Bathtub; Romeo and Juliet; The Rivals; and title roles in Colette; and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. On the Grace Theater stage, Mrs. George has played the title roles in Driving Miss Daisy; Lettice and Lovage; The Trip to Bountiful; The Curious Savage; Helene in 84 Charing Cross Road; Amanda in The Glass Menagerie; and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest as well as directed numerous AD Players’ productions. Her film debut was in World Wide Pictures’ The Hiding Place as Corrie Ten Boom. For her role, Mrs. George was nominated for a Golden Globe Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a Golden Apple Award by the Hollywood Women’s Press Club, and as “Most Promising Newcomer” by the British Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jeannette is equally well known as author, playwright, Bible teacher, and national speaker. She is an associate member of the Dramatists’ Guild, and has authored many books and scripts which are available in the theater lobby or through her website www.jeannettecliftgeorge.com. Her plays have been performed on Grace Theater stage as well as many other theaters across the country.

Patty Tuel Bailey

Patty Tuel Bailey

Oklahoma Baptist University honored Patty in 2000 with the prestigious “Profiles in Excellence” Alumni award for her 25-year career with the AD Players. Holding the undisputed record for the most miles traveled in the Touring Company, Patty’s Grace Theater performances have garnered Best Supporting Actress Awards for The Diary of Anne Frank; Joyful Noise; and Angel Street. Favorites include: O Little Town of Bagels Teacakes and Hamburger Buns and Sister Calling My Name. Patty is featured in our Joshua video and John, His Story video, filmed live Off-Broadway. Patty reprised her John, His Story roles “on location” in Israel. The actress also has served as a Director of Touring and Children’s Productions and her handiwork is often seen in the costuming on our stages. Patty has a principal role in the award-winning feature film "I Flunked Sunday School" based on the book by her husband, Ken Bailey.

Kevin Dean

Kevin Dean

Mr. Dean is proud to be celebrating his 16th season with the AD Players where as an actor and director he has been involved in numerous productions. Recent appearances include Arsenic & Old Lace (Mortimer Brewster), Sanders Family Christmas (Mervin Oglethorpe), The Beams Are Creaking (Dietrich Bonhoeffer), Charley’s Aunt (Lord Fancourt Babberly), The Importance of Being Earnest (Jack Worthing), among others. He has also directed Godspell, The Jungle Book, The Hobbit, Bunnicula, Peter & The Wolf and The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. Kevin made his feature film debut in “I Flunked Sunday School”, where he starred as Lloyd Boyd, Personal Preacher. Recently he co-wrote and appeared in the Lifetime hit movie, “The Preacher’s Mistress”. Commercial credits include Honda, Academy, Hyundai, Sports Authority, AT&T among many more. When not at the theater, Kevin enjoys spending time with his bride of twelve years, Jennifer, and their dogs, Oscar and Lucy. For news and updates on Kevin’s future adventures, follow him on twitter: @kevindean323.

Craig Griffin

Craig Griffin

Craig started his professional career in Lafayette, LA, as part of the Abbey Players Theater and joined AD Players in 2009. He has appeared on the Grace Theater stage in Arsenic and Old Lace (Rev. Harper/Officer Rooney); Emma (Mr. Knightly); Pride and Prejudice (Col. Fitzwilliam); and Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming and Sanders Family Christmas (Uncle Stanley) as well as in multiple shows in the Children’s Theater. Other roles include The Odd Couple (Oscar); Pump Boys and Dinettes the Musical (Jackson); Jekyll & Hyde the Musical (Simon Stride); Our Town (George); and Harvey (Dr. Sanders).

Linford Herschberger

Linford Herschberger

Before coming to Houston in 1999, Linford received theatrical training in various schools and theaters in Ohio, Iowa, and Seattle, WA.  Linford is thrilled to be in his 18th season with the A. D. Players.  His favorite role was in The Snow Queen (Narrator and “Man”).  His OTHER favorite role is husband to Tina and father to Daisy, Pearl, and David.  A. D. Players credits include Charlotte’s Web (Narrator and Uncle), To Kill a Mockingbird (Nathan Radley), The Hero Squad vs. The World’s Angriest Cow (Gorilla, Christmas Tree), A Christmas of Many Parts touring show (Usher, Shepherd), Thumbelina (Maybug, etc.), Charley’s Aunt (Brassett the butler), Pinocchio And His Father (Mangiafuoco, etc.), The Emperor’s New Clothes (Weaver), and The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood (Friar Tuck).

Ric Hodgin

Ric Hodgin

In his three decades of seasons at Grace Theater, Ric has entertained audiences in memorable roles, including his award-winning portrayals of Joyful Noise (King George II); The Crucible (John Proctor); To Kill a Mockingbird (Atticus Finch); and The Diary of Anne Frank. Other credits include The Elephant Man (Dr. Treves); The Diaries of Adam and Eve (Adam); Galley Proof; RET; Myrtle, A Melodrama; Sanders Family Christmas; Sister Calling My Name; Shadowlands; Lettice and Lovage; and God’s Favorite. He adds to those credits, the directing of several shows including The Cotton Patch Gospel; the award-winning Best Show of ‘02-’03, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; and being the Managing Director for AD Players. Ric’s energy and attention first go to the Lord, then to his wife and three children, and the work he loves best comes in a close third.

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Braden Hunt

Braden got his training from University of Houston, the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, and the Stephanie Bradow Voice Studio. Although his most famous work is in Japanese animation, his background and love is in musical theatre. Favorite roles include: Anansi the Spider (Drummer), You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Snoopy), Parade (Hugh Dorsey), Company (Bobby), and The Dudley's: A Family Show (Vic). He's also a certified theatre teacher. In his spare time, he enjoys composing music.

Stephen Hurst

Stephen Hurst

Stephen has been with the AD Players since 2000. He holds a MA in Theatre for Young Audiences and Youth from Oklahoma City University. Stephen has worked for the Clovis Unified School District in Fresno, CA as an Assistant Director and Choreographer, and as a performer at Paramount’s Great America. At the AD Players, Stephen has performed with the National Touring Unit, Children’s Theatre, and Mainstage productions. He has done extensive teaching, has been Director of the Theater Arts Academy, and has been involved as director and assistant director for several productions. A few of his AD Players credits include: Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming, Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, Shadowlands, Joyful Noise, Mousetrap, and Peter and the Wolf.

Chip Simmons

Chip Simmons

Chip joined AD Players in 1997. His stage credits include: The Winslow Boy, The Curious Savage, The Importance of Being Earnest, RET, Ring Round the Moon, Myrtle, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Angel Street, Anastasia, God’s Favorite, Shadowlands, and Sanders Family Christmas, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure and A Christmas Carol, among others. This year Chip renews his partnership with NavPress publishing and Eugene Peterson to appear in his one-man production of The Apostle. Chip is also a produced playwright with projects including James and the Giant Peach, Adventures in Odyssey and most recently the world premiere and audience favorite, A Cardboard Christmas.

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Christy Watkins

Christy earned her B.A. in Theatre Performance from Greensboro College and her M.F.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi.  Christy is so excited to be entering her 10th season with the AD Players. Some of her favorite acting roles include The Little Foxes (Regina), The Diary of Anne Frank (Mrs.Van Daan), Steel Magnolias (Truvy), Malcolm and Teresa (Kitty), The First Church of Texaco (Alice).  Christy has also had the pleasure of directing Over the River and Through the Woods, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Beams are Creaking, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Foster Father, Gift of the Magi, Pollyanna, and Where the Red Fern Grows.  Christy would like to thank her wonderful and loving husband Joey and her two children Zoey and Ryder.  She would also like to thank all of the AD Players volunteers.

Company

Founder/Artistic Director - Jeannette Clift George
Managing Director - Ric Hodgin
Director of Development - Irby Bair
Children's Theater Director - Kevin Dean
Production Manager - Mark A. Lewis
Production Stage Manager - Hannah Smith
Box Office Manager - Keely H. Surla
Marketing Coordinator - Kimberly Beller
Business Manager - Kevin Fisher
Scheduling Coordinator/Human Resources - Chip Simmons
Theater Arts Academy Director - Melody Torno
Volunteer Coordinator - Christy Watkins
Operations Manager - Craig Griffin
Director of Costuming - Donna Southern Schmidt

Board of Directors

Susan Santangelo, Chairman
Devon Decker
Lorraine M. George
*In Memory (Served 1971 - 2004)
Barbara Tatum Lewis, Secretary
Roblyn Herndon
Jack Kinard
Michael Massey
Gina Metzler
Paul Thompson
Marsha Eckermann
Miles Marks

Advisory Board

Ms. Sarah Bellows
Elsa Billman
Dr. John Bisagno
Mr. & Mrs. Jack Blanton, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Bill Booker
Linda & Sam Bradshaw
Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell
Mr. & Mrs. Dougal A. Cameron IV
Evelyn Clift
Cris & Bill Emmons
James T. Fox
Mrs. Clare Glassell
Marylou & Gene Habecker
Rev. Laurens A. Hall
Martha & Jim Hunt
Mr. & Mrs. Lanson B. Jones
Dr. & Mrs. Campbell Lange
Carol & Jay Loucks
Mrs. Jackie McCauley
Mr. & Mrs. Jack Modesett, Jr.
Dr. James W. Moore
Ms. Phyllis Pittman
Mr. Jack I. Tompkins
Mr. & Mrs. Peter Wareing
Sue Whitfield
Mr. Dan Wilford
Jane & Jim Wise
Mrs. Carrie Woliver