History of LOOKOUT! Players
(the short version)
In 1998, Jeff Ray, a drama teacher at Mira Loma High School formed a community based theatre as a forum for his students to expand their theatrical talents outside the confines of the educational system. Jeff Ray with his unique sense of humor, love of theatre and of teaching, gave a group of talented people an outlet for their creative energy.
In the Summer of 2000, Bleacher Bums opened as the first show to bear the name LOOKOUT! Players. The comic antics of a group of Cubs fans at Wrigley Field was a perfect nod to the newly arrived Minor League Baseball team right across the water: The River Cats. LOOKOUT! followed the popularity of Bleacher Bums with another comedy tied to the culture of Sacramento. Summer 2001 brought Sly Fox, a gold rush era dark comedy once again headed by the gifted direction of Jeff Ray.
Sadly, Jeff Ray passed away on June 3, 2002 (read the Sacramento Bee article here). However, before leaving this Earth, Ray had inspired countless young adults and sparked the flame of theatre in their souls. Now, without a mentor, a director and a friend, a core group persevered to continue what Jeff Ray started for them four years earlier.
In the summer of 2002, LOOKOUT! Players attempted their first production without Ray's guidance, an original work written by Matthew Craggs called I Think I'll Have A Sarsaparilla! This old west melodrama played for the tourists of Old Sacramento, and was a huge success. The cast and crew, all between the ages of 15 and 23, were more determined than ever to continue bringing quality community theatre to Sacramento. As a result several members of LOOKOUT! set to work transforming LOOKOUT! Players into a non-profit 501(3)(c) corporation.
During the incorporation procedures, LOOKOUT! was also working hard on its next show: All In The Timing, which premiered in the fall of 2002. The members of LOOKOUT! wanted to give other people the chance they were given: to come into a community theatre with little to no experience, and help to put on a show. This is something that LOOKOUT! continues to strive for, always attempting to bring in new actors, writers, directors, and tech crew, especially those who have little experience, but lots of passion.
Shortly after All In The Timing closed successfully, LOOKOUT! became an officially incorporated non-profit company. During the summer of 2003, instead of doing a show, they celebrated by having a large summer banquet to thank everyone who had helped them to get this far.
Fall of 2003 brought the tremendous wit of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, and Spring of 2004 brought the wacky antics of Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy. With these two hit comedies, LOOKOUT! continued to attract new members and audiences.
In Summer of 2004, Lookout! was priviliged to play Dalton Trumbo's monumental work, Johnny Got His Gun, written for the stage by Bradley Rand Smith. Ricardo Pérez-Gonzales brought this one-man show to its first Sacramento showing.
The goal of LOOKOUT! Players has always been to perform quality theatre in the Sacramento area while providing unique opportunities for hopeful thespians who have not had chances for community theatre experience.
The members of LOOKOUT! believe that theatre is as much a learning experience as a form of entertainment, and in this company, every member (regardless of if this is their first show, or if they've been involved since 1998) learns something with each show that is produced. If you are interested in donating your time or resources to LOOKOUT! Players, please join our mailing list to keep apprised of upcoming shows including audition notices and production information.
A Brief Résumé for LOOKOUT! Players