In 1998, a group of local theatre buffs got together and asked each other, “What can we do to add to, and support, the arts in the Azle community?” They promptly founded the Azle Arts Association and called themselves The Popcorn Players. Their first production was a melodrama entitled “Dr. Deveroix and his Dastardly Deeds.” The show was performed outdoors on summer evenings. Happily, the venture was a smashing success … the ground work had been laid.
The group soon determined their mission to be the promotion of the cultural arts in Azle. Their dream involved opening up a cultural center that could be used by any and all people in and around the city for plays, musicals, dance recitals, art fairs, etc. The building would also house wedding receptions, dances or anything else that fulfilled the dream of supporting the arts in and around the community of Azle.
The Arts Association eventually established a temporary home in the old Lester’s Pharmacy which was owned by Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital and used as the Education Building. It is here that the Popcorn Players performed for the next nine years.
In the Spring of 2001, the Popcorn Players took on a major challenge - their first ever musical! “Godspell” was such an overwhelming success that it was revived in the Fall for an encore run, which also sold out completely, with audiences clamoring for more. A decision was made to establish a new tradition – that of ending each season with a major musical production. In the Spring of 2002, “The Pajama Game” sold out every performance of its three-week run.
January 2007 brought the latest milestone in the history of the Popcorn Players as they left the borrowed space at Lester’s and moved into a new home of their own. Armed with saws, hammers, and paint brushes, members of the group, along with their friends and a few kind strangers, banded together to create a new performing space at 1112 Southeast Parkway in Azle. The work was completed just in time for the opening performance of “An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf”.
The Popcorn Players are proud of what it they have accomplished so far, and look forward to what may yet be. They hope that you will accompany them on that journey. They look forward to seeing you in the audience or having you join them onstage.