Workshop Players — a nonprofit community troupe in Amherst that stages productions for audiences of all ages — continues to honor and preserve the 125-year history of the iconic sandstone building on Middle Ridge Road the troupe performs in. Erected in 1898 as a one-room schoolhouse, the Workshop Players Theatre served in that capacity until closing in 1951. (A sturdy marvel for the times, it replaced the original wooden-frame schoolhouse that had been on the property since 1876.)
Launched by Clearview High School drama teacher Valerie Jenkins in 1948, Workshop Players found a temporary home in Amherst’s Hickory Tree Grange Hall the following year before moving to the schoolhouse in 1953.
“The building’s rich history, coupled with the 70 years we’ve been in it, makes it a Lorain County gem,” says troupe member Kathy Whitmore. “We’re proud to be the oldest theater in the round in Ohio.”