The journey of the Off-Beat Players has been a long and winding road. In the summer of 2001, founder, Kim Malara, followed her dream to develop an inclusive theatre company that had a special concern for performers with intellectual disabilities. To embrace the mission of a truly inclusive theatre, performers of all abilities, backgrounds, and identity would be welcomed into this company. The original manifestation of this idea was the Anything’s Possible Players.
The company in the summer of 2001, was made up of only twelve members. The program’s first performance, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, took place at The Arch Street Teen Center the first week of August. Performing to a small audience of about 100 Greenwich patrons, this first-run was a huge success for all those involved. The Anything’s Possible Players would go on to put up seven additional shows from 2001-2007.
In the fall of 2007, a small group of parents and friends of the Anything’s Possible Players, still just a program at that time, met to discuss advancing to a fully independent non-profit organization. By the spring of 2008, the Off-Beat Players was established with an official 501(c)(3) status. This independence ensured that the founding members of the company would be in control of the direction and development of The Off-Beat Players in perpetuity.
A major change to the company occurred in the spring of 2018, when members of the Greenwich Country Day School community approached us to develop a partnership. Through the generosity of GCDS, The Off-Beat Players moved from the Arch Street Teen Center to the Greenwich Country Day Performing Arts Center.
In this newly renovated theatrical space, with a full performance sized stage and an audience capacity of 400, The Off-Beat Players entered a new realm of possibility. This larger space has given us the opportunity to explore new ways to express ourselves on stage and allows us to share our work with a larger audience.
In 2020, the Production Staff and the Board of Directors determined that in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, the best course of action would be to take our company digital. To provide continued programming and maintain the health and safety of our participants, we have conducted rehearsals over Zoom and explored our creativity through new outlets like videography, play writing, and sketch comedy. Even when presented with seemingly insurmountable challenges, the Off-Beat Players continues to prove that anything is possible when groups of people come together in a community of love, unity, and creativity.
The Off-Beat Players has grown to be a company of over fifty members who work both in the performing arts and technical theatre. Our company has proudly included young adults from Greenwich High School, The Convent of the Sacred Heart, Green Farms Academy, Brunswick, Greenwich Academy and The Greenwich Country Day School, just to name a few. In just over ten years, the Off-Beat Players has become a staple of the Greenwich community. Providing a unique theatrical experience, The Off-Beat Players look forward to many more years serving the young adults in our company as well as entertaining and educating our audiences through the power of inclusive theatre.