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Tour the Players Foundation

Tours of The Players are offered for visitors and led by Players who are trained docents.  The cost is $15 per person, $10 for seniors and students, $5 for high school and middle school students.  All tours are arranged individually; there is not a standing tour schedule.  

The 60-minute highlights tour covers four floors.  It includes the room where Actors’ Equity Association was founded in 1913.  The Hampden-Booth Library contains a vital collection of books, plays, and other artifacts of 19th and early 20th century American and British theatre history.  Edwin Booth lived in an apartment on the third floor that remains virtually unaltered since his death in 1893, with the skull used in his famous 100 consecutive performances of Hamlet on the mantle.  

Throughout the clubhouse are museum-quality art collections, theatre costumes, life and death masks and other artifacts of 19th century theatre.  

Tours may also be tailored to special interests, such as art and architecture, history of New York, American theatre history, and other subjects.

Some Members of the Docent Team Leading Tours of The Players
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Bob Cohn

Bob, a docent for seven years, enjoys sharing club history.  His singular favorite item at The Players is John Collier’s large scale painting of “Edwin Booth as Richelieu,” located between the Great Hall and the Dining Room.  Bob appreciates its “vivid beauty.”

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Barry Dougherty

Barry, a member of The Players for twenty-one years, uses skills honed as a New York City tour guide to share The Players story and collection. He is fascinated by the portrait of actress-manager Madame Vestris (1797-1856) that hangs on the staircase off of the Great Hall.  

 

 

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Karen Madden

Karen has a passion for Civil War history and its link to the Booth family.  She’s been a docent for five years and particularly enjoys relating the history of the Equity Room on the second floor, crowned by the stained glass of Shakespeare that once hung at Mr. Booth’s original theatre on West 23 Street.

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Sarah Ann Rodgers

Docent Sarah Ann Rodgers has been leading tours of The Players for over a decade.  There is never enough time to cover all of the treasures on display in the townhouse.  Her favorite piece of art is Edwin Booth as Hamlet, created by sculptor Launt Thompson (1833-1894) in the aftermath of the death of Edwin Booth’s beloved first wife, Mary Devlin Booth (1840-1863).

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Carl Rutberg

A docent for approximately five years, Carl considers himself a student at heart.  He is fascinated by the question of "What if...?"   For Carl, an advertisement for a Shakespeare Statue Fund benefit performance featuring brothers Junius, Booth, Jr.,  Edwin Booth, and John Wilkes Booth captures a moment when history could have taken a different turn.  (The advertisement is located at the entrance to the Burman Room.)

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Jim Sabetta

Jim became a docent in 2024 because of his love of The Players and a desire to learn as much as possible about the club’s history and its contents.  His favorite item at The Players is the painting of Edwin Booth as Hamlet, painted by Oliver Ingraham Lay from 1880-1887, and hanging in the Great Hall.

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Rory Schwartz

Rory, a former theatre teacher, is a ten year veteran of the docent program and is particularly passionate about an enormous book held together by a vise -- Edwin Booth's dictionary located in the Booth Room.

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Constance (Connie) Vaughan

Connie, a docent since 2014, is motivated to share what she’s learned from extensive reading about Edwin Booth and The Players.  She is fond of the Eric Pape Collection: "Pape's story and the story of how these exceptional works were discovered and restored is fascinating."

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