History of OCP
Oldwick Community Players was formed in 1979, when Alexandra Teploff was looking to raise money for the Tewksbury Library. The first show produced by OCP and staged at Old Turnpike School was Little Mary Sunshine.
Other musicals performed and staged at the same venue were Viva Mexico, Somethin’s Afoot, Brigadoon, Carousel, and Kiss Me Kate. The proceeds from Kiss Me Kate were enough to provide the school with new stage equipment.
In 1986, a new director, Isobel Clowes, came on board and lent her talents to The Drunkard. By 1988, OCP moved out of Tewksbury to the VFW Hall in Glen Gardner to stage a Musical Revue of American Song and Dance and South Pacific, with founder, Alexandra Teploff in the cast.
Beginning 1989, OCP saw a growth in the number of actors coming from all parts of Hunterdon County. Shows that were staged included A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Oklahoma!, Pippin, and Cabaret, and in 1993, a straight drama, The Real Inspector Hound, was added into their season.
In 1994, with its production of Man of La Mancha, OCP saw attendance averages close to 150 people per performance! Other highlights included bringing the international touring group Up With People to Northern Hunterdon County in 1998, A Christmas Carol musical adaptation written by two OCP members, Robert Nesius of Califon and Thomas Mazur of Cedar Grove and performed first in 1998 and again in 1999 and 2000, and All My Sons directed in 2004 by Elaine Powers, in which Patrick Collins received a Perry award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
At this time, OCP joined NJACT to be judged for annual Perry Awards. Other notable performances included in 2006: Moby Dick - The Musical, (Jim Kudless directed and starred) and Amahl and the Night Visitor (Elaine Powers directed and starred), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in 2007, and The Bad Seed in 2008.
In 2009, OCP combined efforts with Hunterdon Radio Theatre and performed War of the Worlds at Solitude House and with Union Forge Heritage Association. Nick Thomas directed plays of Antiquity including Euripides’ Trojan Women and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. 2008 saw the first children’s Summer Acting Workshops, directed by Nancy Zrake Daniels and which ran successfully for 12 seasons and until Covid hit. Instrumental in the workshops’ success were student directors including Arielle Deversterre, Christian Krommenhoek, Jocelyn Songer, Paige Whitmore, Emily Niemeyer, Samantha Brynildsen, and Meredith Whitlock.
Merry LaRue directed a number of successful staged readings, and Christopher Rollings directed and performed a number of productions with OCP. Instrumental in the success of the many shows over many years were Jim Kudless, who singlehandedly kept OCP afloat during its lean years, Elaine Powers, who directed both children and adult shows, Barry DeVersterre (constructed stages and sets; ran lights and sound), Janice DeVersterre and Dawn Impalli (set designers) Maggie Baumann (musical director), Chris Hall (assisted in directing many children’s shows), Carol Nemetz (managed many productions from behind the scenes), and Kent Loudon (production photographer).
Board of directors over the years have included Gwynn Press Anidjar, Dave Baumann, Maggie Baumann, Nancy Zrake Daniels, Barry deVersterre, Ian deVersterre, Christopher W. Hall, Christian Krommenhoek, Jim Kudless, Merry LaRue, Kent Loudon, Carol Nemetz, and Elaine Powers.
Oldwick Community Players closed its doors when covid hit in 2020.
ODAC is a collaborative merger of Open Door Productions and Oldwick Community Players located in the greater Somerville NJ area