16 Gramercy ParkNew York, NY 10003(212) 475-6116
The Players, a private theatrical club, has been in existence since New Year's Eve, 1888. The house was originally purchased by actor Edwin Booth, and transformed by architect Stanford White into a clubhouse. Many of Edwin Booth's costumes and masks can be found today on display in the main room; the third floor rooms, where he lived out his last days, are furnished as they were when he died in 1893 at the age of 59.
Presidents and members of the Players have included Edwin Booth, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), John Barrymore, Eugene O'Neill, José Ferrer, Gregory Peck, Jack Lemmon, Helen Hayes, James Earl Jones, Kevin Kline, Walter Cronkite, Jane Pauley, and Tommy Lee Jones.
A popular spot is also the table where Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) shot pool with other early members of the club. This is located near the present day bar, and not far from the "Sarah Bernhrdt Room", a tiny elevator where the great actress was once entrapped for almost an hour, while visiting the club in 1911.
Artwork of all kinds grace the walls -- watercolors of past presidents, a Norman Rockwell portrait, John Singer Sargent portraits, James Cagney's and Al Hirschfeld's drawings, to name a few.
Some of the pleasures of being a "Player" -
* Delicious Thursday night dinners served in the elegant dining room
* Tuesday and Saturday night entertainment
* Free play readings by "Players by Players" members
* "Playwright's Workshop"
* Monthly "In the Grill" series in which prominent Players talk about their lives and careers in a casual setting
* The highly popular monthly "Meet Your Fellow Players" cocktail parties
* The monthly "Forgotten Films to Remember" series, Sunday afternoons, accompanied by a huge and delicious buffet brunch
* The use of the beautiful clubhouse for private parties
* Use of the splendid Reading Library, which features an amazing collection of theatrical biographies, plays and theater history It also contains a wide collection of important news and literary magazines as well as newspapers.
* A bountiful Thanksgiving celebration, a Christmas Party featuring caroling and a traditional Christmas feast, a charming Easter Sunday lunch, and a "blow-out" New year's Eve party.
* All of this, in the most beautiful townhouse in New York City.
(This excerpt was taken in part, from write-ups distributed at the Players Club, no authors listed.)
For Membership Information, and a Membership Kit, please call (212) 475-6116