A Cocktail of Creativity, Hold the Olives

Kelsey Theatre is unique in that we thrive as a collective of fifteen independent performing arts groups. These groups include twelve award-winning, semi-professional theater companies, a talented college theater troupe, a modern dance ensemble, and a symphonic band.

We’re like the theater equivalent of a great cocktail that only your favorite bartender knows how to mix. Here is a list of our ingredients. Imbibe responsibly. Cheers!

Note: These groups encourage people to get involved. Opportunities vary based on needs. Please contact each group directly for details. See our audition page for their current performance opportunities. Subscribe to receive audition announcements by email.

the MTM players

In 2012, the newly formed Ways and Means Committee at American Legion Post 455 decided to put together some bigger entertainment fundraisers. One of the members — Past S.A.L. Commander Rob Lasky — was a professional DJ as well as a community theater director and actor. A few years earlier, we had an Elvis-impersonator — Sammy J — perform with much success. We invited him to come back, but he had since become under the management of Memphis Memories Productions of WOGL’s Rockin’ Ron Cade. So, we decided to go big and made this an outdoor event with a rented stage hosted by Rockin’ Ron himself! Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and we did not have as big of a turnout on the rain date. The following year, we invited Sammy J back (sans Rockin’ Ron) for a smaller, inside show. It went well, but again, it was not well attended. Finally, in 2014, Rob Lasky proposed that we hold an interactive murder mystery event with dinner. Using his past directorial experience, he gathered a mostly inexperienced cast comprising of some local community theater actors and a few post family members — including the sitting Post 455 Commander! IT WAS SOLD OUT and thus was born: The MTM Players at Post 455! “Fond Farewell” became the first of several productions under the moniker “MTM Players” and the infant production company got bigger and more popular each year. It had its kernel of a beginning with Sammy J and a rainy day in 2012 and grew to doing complete plays off site as well as in our post hall. We thank the performers who worked for weeks to rehearse for a one-shot performance for our first foray into community theater.

K2K Entertainment

Producing shows at Kelsey Theatre since 2011, K2K Entertainment is a young, vibrant and passionate company. Known for producing The Kelsey Awards Ceremony each year in collaboration with Kelsey Theatre, K2K likes to explore new territory and spreading good vibes through the arts.

The Kelsey Players

The Kelsey Players is our in-house production company. Its focus is giving young performers their first chance to perform on stage side-by-side with seasoned adult actors. Best known for producing the fan favorite holiday show ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, The Kelsey Players has given more than a few working professional actors their first taste of theater.

"Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life."
– Amy Poehler

broken legs Productions


Maurer Productions OnStage (MPO)

Established in 2004, MPO was founded with the mission to support the community by offering creative opportunities to actors, artists and theatre craftsmen. Known for raising the bar when it comes to production values, the award-winning team at MPO has staged some of Kelsey Theatre’s most popular shows, including Monty Python’s Spamalot, Avenue Q, Shrek the Musical, Singin’ in the Rain, and Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA. (

MCCC Academic Theater & Dance Company

The MCCC Academic Theatre and Dance Company gives students of Mercer County Community College and Mercer County residents a chance to develop their acting, dancing and design skills through live theater productions. Mounted on both the Kelsey Theatre main stage and in the black box Studio Theatre, their productions range from classical to modern, musicals to the avant-garde. Their past productions have included The Normal Heart, Spring Awakening, and Return to Forbidden Planet. (

Mercer Dance Ensemble

The MCCC Dance program includes the study of jazz, ballet, and modern dance styles from the fundamentals to advanced instruction. The Mercer Dance Ensemble features a group of the program’s most talented students, faculty and alumni, plus guest choreographers and dancers. Each year, they present a dance concert using music and movement to sway your emotions, and tell myriad tales.

Mercer County Symphonic Band

Lead by Dr. Louis Woodruff, the Mercer County Symphonic Band is an ensemble sponsored by Mercer County Community College. Performing now for over 35 years and with sixty participating musicians of all ages, the band is dedicated to the musical growth and enjoyment of its musicians and audiences. (

The Pennington Players

Entertaining local audiences since 1951, The Pennington Players has performed in numerous venues over the years, landing at Kelsey Theatre in the 1990s. Their goal is to use theater to entertain and learn and have fun while doing it. Their past productions have included American Idiot, GlenGarry Glen Ross, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Peter & The Starcatcher. (

Pierrot Productions

One of the first local theater companies to take up residency at Kelsey Theatre back in the 1990s, Pierrot Productions is a company known for taking creative risks. Their choice of shows is both varied and eclectic. Their past productions have included Chess, Sweeney Todd, Carrie the Musical and Dogfight

Playful Theatre Productions

Founded in the 1990s, by the early 2000s Playful Theatre Productions had quickly become the lodestar for many of the groups producing shows at Kelsey Theatre. A magnet for talent with an appetite for challenging productions, the group quickly rose in popularity with audiences as well. Their past productions have included Cats, Les Miserables, and Sunset Boulevard. (

Shakespeare '70

By Frank Erath, President/Founder

In the beginning (Spring 1970), there were two long-time friends who had an invitation to do Shakespeare. Gerry Guarneri and John Livecchi (a former student of mine) had eagerly accepted and decided on Hamlet, and, when they needed someone to look after our poet, I made a third as Protector of the Bard.

That first venue was a pretty primitive, natural bowl in Washington Crossing Park, where some people Gerry knew from a local company had done a musical or two in previous summers. They wanted to expand and diversify their program; no better diversifier than Mr. W. S. himself.

We rehearsed in an elderly building on East State Street in Trenton that housed The Trenton Conservatory of Music, owned, fortunately for us, by Gerry’s aunt, Miss Isabel Kaminski. Those late summer nights were hot, hot; no a/c in that old place.

John Livecchi portrayed a Hamlet of deep thought, troubled by the burden laid upon him by his father’s Ghost. The August weather cooperated; we drew an audience. Management was pleased and we were in business.

What we learned in years two and three (Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, respectively)was that there was a fairly sizable number of folks who wanted the opportunity to play Shakespeare and lots of audiences to hear our work. And so each year we grew, adding actors, staff and costumes.

We are glad that Shakespeare '70 now counts Kelsey Theatre as one of its homes! - M.Kitty Getlik 

Theater to Go

Theater to Go, originally founded in 1992 as R&R Productions, has grown into a premier, full service theatrical production company known for murder mysteries and interactive comedy theater. While many of their shows are performed for businesses and corporate clients in restaurants, hotels and other venues, Theater to Go calls Kelsey Theatre home. Their most recent productions include A Raisin in the Sun, Disney’s Frozen Movie Sing-Along, and Ken Ludwig’s Twentieth Century. (

The Yardley Players Theater Company

Founded in 1991, and serving the Yardley, PA and Trenton, NJ areas, this company has staged some of Kelsey Theatre’s most popular productions. The Yardley Payers welcomes people with various levels of training and interests and in areas from performing to the technical stage crew. Their past productions have included Mary Poppins, Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, and Disney’s Beauty & the Beast. (