Gateway players strut their stuff

Some people act for fun, some for money, some for college credit.

The Gateways Players, a Yuma group formally in existence for two years, acts because of the passion they have for the theatre. Each member has participated in other local organizations and contributes to all aspects of production, from on stage to behind the scenes.

Jonathan Close, director of The Gateway Players, decided to create the group about 10 years ago although it has been official for two years. It is affiliated with St. Paul's Cultural Center, located in Yuma's North End.

Inspired by a desire for expanding Yuma culture to include classical theatre, Close began with five close friends. The group now has a total of six actors, each with a unique set of acting experiences.

In order to join this group, one doesn't need acting experience, only a strong dedication to the its mission. Members also must show a willingness to learn and work on each performance and to improve in skills on and off stage

"It's an ensemble group, and all of us contribute ideas," says Close.

The Gateway Players focus on classical theatre, but are open to contemporary works, too. Last year they did "Dinner with Dickens" and "Dinner with Shakespeare," each including monologues and small pieces from scenes. More recently, they did "An Evening of Romance: Dinner with Romeo and Juliet." For these performances, dinner is provided by Tina's Cocina.

Two graduates of Arizona Western College participate in this group of actors. Close himself no longer teaches in a formal classroom, but he has grown steadily in polishing his acting craft.

For upcoming events, the group relies on posting fliers around town on word of mouth. The free advertising gets them a small crowd, but a crowd full of enthusiasm.

The Gateway Players foresee nothing but a bigger and brighter future from here on out.

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