PULL BACK THE CURTAIN AND CELEBRATE ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE THAT EXPLORES THE HUMAN CONDITION THROUGH COMEDY AND DRAMA.
In 1967, when gasoline was 33¢ per gallon, The Andy Griffith Show topped the TV ratings and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released, Jeannette Clift George founded A. D. Players Theater. Over the next fifty years a troupe of part-time actors transformed into one of Houston's largest resident theater companies.
Today, A. D. Players inhabits a new state-of-the-art theater in the Galleria area and produces both Mainstage and Children's Theatre performances of new and beloved dramas, timeless comedies, special engagements and a holiday classics.
The Theatre Arts Academy offers students a learning experience that engages their imagination with the artmaking and innovation of theater. Ages 5–18 get hands-on education, exchanging skills and knowledge across various departments from rehearsal and backstage to technical and musical. The classes provide a fascinating look at the process of producing a theatrical performance.
Additionally, A. D. Players fields a Regional Touring Unit and has been recognized as an Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) theater.
Jake Speck joined A. D. Players as Executive Director in August of 2017, assuming leadership of the Houston company founded by Jeannette Clift George in 1967. Founding President & Managing Director of Nashville’s Studio Tenn Theatre Company from 2010 – 2017, Jake led Studio Tenn from infancy to one of the most celebrated and well attended theatre companies in the southeast. A Dallas native with Tennessee roots, Jake has seen great success as a producer and arts administrator and has an impressive performing resume, including a two-year run in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys and roles in regional productions of Kiss Me Kate, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Forever Plaid, The Melville Boys and many more. His television credits include featured performances on the Emmy and Tony Awards, a recurring role in the ABC series “Nashville” and the Netflix series “Master of None” opposite Aziz Ansari. Jake has also appeared in multiple films and performed a private concert for the President and First Lady at the White House. At Studio Tenn he starred in productions of Les Miserables, Twelve Angry Men and Monty Python’s Spamalot. Jake trained professionally at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City. He and his wife Emily are the parents of three young sons, Nash, Noah and Leo. “It’s an honor to join an organization with such a rich and storied history,” says Speck, “and to lead A. D. Players into its next phase of excellence in Houston’s rich and diverse arts community.”
Director of Operations
In his three decades with A. D. Players, Ric Hodgin has done every theater job imaginable in addition to acting. Most recently, as Director of Operations he facilitated the Company’s move into its new home – the Jeannette and L.M. George Theater – after more than 30 years at tiny Grace Theater on West Alabama. As a member of the Player’s resident acting company, Ric has entertained audiences in a series of memorable roles including King George II in Joyful Noise, John Proctor in The Crucible, and the patriarch of the Frank family in The Diary of Ann Frank. Other acting credits include Dr. Treves in The Elephant Man and Adam in The Diaries of Adam and Eve, and in addition Ric has directed several shows including The Cotton Patch Gospel and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Ric is a native of North Dakota, but a Texan since 1979. He and his wife Karen are the parents of three children, and grandparents of five.
Associate Artistic Director
Kevin Michael Dean joined A. D. Players in 1998, and became the Company’s Associate Artistic Director in 2016. As a member of the resident acting company Kevin’s most memorable roles include Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey, Ed in You Can’t Take It With You, Pastor Oglethorpe in Smoke on the Mountain, Juror #8 in Twelve Angry Men and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The Beams Are Creaking. His directing credits include the inaugural production in the Jeannette and L.M. George Theater, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Barefoot in the Park, The Jungle Book and The Hobbit. As a writer Kevin has co-written two Lifetime Network movies, A Woman Betrayed and The Preacher’s Sin. Kevin hails from Odessa, Texas, and studied acting at KD Conservatory® College of Film and Dramatic Arts in Dallas, Texas. He and his wife Jennifer are the parents of a daughter, Livey, and wranglers of two crazy pooches, Oscar and Lucy.