who we are... and why we decided to do this.
Story. Characters. Motivation. For you to walk out of a theater... ANY theater... and feel that you got your monies worth, you need to have experienced at least those three elements.
THE GENESIS OF COMPASS PLAYERS:
STARTING OVER WITH “CHAPTER TWO” and moving forward
Jeanna Michaels wanted to be a stage actress and director when she grew up—as a drama/theater major at UCLA, she was fortunate to play the lead in “ENDANGERED SPECIES” at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Before she knew it, she was thrust into a career as a film and television actress, best known for playing Bobby Ewing’s secretary on the television series “DALLAS,” and for playing a spy on the daytime soap opera “GENERAL HOSPITAL” (opposite Tony Geary, Tristan Rogers and Emma Samms). Television paid the bills, theater did not. But during her roughly twenty years on television, she never lost her desire to bring good theater to the public—and she was involved in building theater facilities and all aspects of theater production, as well as acting and directing and being on the Board of Directors, of 2 elite theater companies in Los Angeles. So that soothed the creative beast . . . for a while.
Now Jeanna is here in Surprise, AZ. Twice she has lent her creative talents to the Sun City Grand Drama and Comedy Club: first, as director of Thornton Wilder’s “OUR TOWN,” and most recently as director of Agatha Christie’s “THE MOUSETRAP.”
So the long term goal (hopefully not too long term) is to build a theater in the city of Surprise, and the immediate goal is to build a thriving theater company that is able to attract talent from outside the Phoenix West Valley — including younger talent, and those with professional backgrounds and contacts in the Los Angeles theater community.
So in 2015, Jeanna, along with three other Sun City Grand residents, Dave Golden, Frances Murphy and Steve Murphy, formed a new theater company called Compass Players, branding themselves as “Taking it in a Surprising direction.” Since the city of Surprise has yet to build its own theater, they secured themselves a temporary home in the Peoria Performing Arts facility - Theater Works.
Compass Players’ first season included a contemporary version of Neil Simon's “CHAPTER TWO”, A. R. Gurney's Pulitzer Prize nominated play "LOVE LETTERS, " and finishing the season with another A. R. Gurney piece: "SYLVIA." We've taken our meager profits and donations and begin our second season building on the success of the first. This season's slate includes John Pielmeier's "AGNES OF GOD," Gore Vidal's "THE BEST MAN," and Cynthia J. Cohen's World Premiere Comedy "WEST PALM PRIME."
Invest in us. Either buy tickets or make a charitable contribution, and come see how we can entertain, enlighten, and move you. We are confident that the pieces we produce now and in the future will keep you talking about them and us for a long time to come.