Our History

History of AD Players Theater

AD Players, originally known as After Dinner Players, was founded in 1967 by Jeannette Clift George. The troupe of part-time actors performed its first performance in 1968, and seven years later, in 1975, the Players created a Touring Company. In the late 1970s, the Players purchased the Grace theater building. Soon, the Touring Company was performing internationally. The Theater Arts Academy was established to offer a variety of drama classes to children.  AD Players continued to grow through the early nineties, even expanding with the building of Saint Street Annex, which served as the new home for costume shop, Touring Company, rehearsal hall, and Theater Arts Academy. The company also started Houston's first year-round children's theater. In 1997, AD Players made their off-Broadway debut performing "John His Story" at Lamb’s Theater in New York City.

Detailed History Timeline

1966 Jeannette Clift begins work with drama students at Houston Baptist College
1967 First performance of her script, To Be Announced, by a core student group (some would later form the first After Dinner Players company)
1967 Jeannette Clift forms the After Dinner Players (A. D. Players)
1968 AD Players first performance; they perform IBID.
1969 AD Players is incorporated as a non-profit with Board of Directors
1971 Jeannette Clift marries Lorraine M. George
1975 Jeannette Clift George stars in The Hiding Place; her performance is nominated for a Golden Globe Award
1975 Formation of first Touring Company; actors in touring company are AD Players’ first full-time actors
1977 AD Players offers first children drama classes; course would later become Theater Arts Academy
1979 Grace Bible Church building on W. Alabama is purchased and the first stage is expanded; becomes Grace Theater
1982 Grace Theater pews are replaced by permanent theater seats, and the stage is enlarged again
1983 Touring Company goes on first of three European tours
1985 Touring Company performs on Chuck Swindoll Caribbean Cruise
1987 AD Players' Israel Tour
1987 Godspell performed at the new Wortham Center Theatre downtown Houston
1990 Saint Street Annex is built; new building serves as home for costume shop, Touring Company, rehearsal hall, and Theater Arts Academy
1992 AD Players opens Houston’s first year-round children’s theater at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Rotunda
1994 AD Players acquires Bob Howery scene shop north of downtown
1997 AD Players’ off-Broadway debut with Jeannette Clift George's John, His Story, at Lamb’s Theatre, New York City
2003 Purchase of Galleria-area property for new theater complex

The future of AD Players is bright.

In 2003, the company purchased over three aces of land in the Galleria area of Houston. The purchase of this land will enable AD Players to build a state of the art theater. This new facility, located in one of the top tourist destinations in Houston, will enable AD Players to continue serving the Houston community with its unique artistic signature of hope and faith. To find out more on how you can help "Celebrate the Future", please visit our Capital Campaign page.