ON MARCH 12, 2020 a tour of THE KING’S SPEECH, for which I was an outside understudy, was cancelled – as was true of the majority of theatre world-wide.
Out of the disappointment of the demise of such a singularly wonderful experience, I felt the need to gather theatrical friends from vastly different parts of my life: friends and former students from Denison University, where I taught from ’77-’82; friends from the Hilberry Theatre at Wayne State University, where I received an MFA in Acting in '89; and three decades of compatriots in Chicago.
The idea was to gather actors who would read plays together via Zoom – in order to keep “the juices running”. We would alternate loosely-defined “classic” plays with new plays. No one would be paid, no one would be charged to participate. We were from all over and just wanted to bolster each other in the time of pandemic.
In a very short time, we added friends of friends and an extraordinary cadre of playwrights whose current number is, indeed, an embarrassment of riches. We currently have a core group of 50 – including 11 playwrights.
There are several hundreds of years of experience among us – experience of many types and places. The name UBIQUITOUS PLAYERS reflects the wide range of the participants.
Our standing format is a pre-show Discussion/Q&A on Friday evenings (7PM CST) and Readings on Saturday (2PM CST). We have only missed four Saturdays since April 1, 2020; all holiday weekends.
The camaraderie that has developed in this group has been amazingly affirming. Everyone supports everyone else. There is a sense of members of the group cheering each other on as they get to read plays either new to them or possibly in roles they might not have considered possible.
We have become an ensemble forged by necessity, and grown by enthusiasm.
We look forward to welcoming you to the family!
~ Tony Dobrowolski, Founder and Artistic Director
DENISON MAGAZINE JANUARY 2021
"An offscreen voice pronounces, 'End of play.' A mosaic of colorful rectangles quickly fills the computer monitor with the faces of other actors and the audience... Laughter, clapping, and convivial chat between audience and actors quickly turn to comments, questions, and a close discussion of the play and its impact"