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July 16, 2018

Thank you so much for your support and patience while we shift and start again. Lots of changes coming for Homecoming Players--news soon! Ithaca, we love ya! ~Rachel & Arthur


December 3, 2015

We are delighted to welcome Katie Spallone to our staff as our new director of marketing.

Katie brings a splendid blend of experience to this position. A veteran retail business owner in downtown Ithaca, the co-director and an instructor with the long-standing and well-established Actor's Workshop of Ithaca, and a seasoned actor, Katie is ideally suited to jump in and help steer Homecoming Players toward a successful future.

Homecoming Players

2016 Season Auditions

Saturday, October 24, 2015

2 to 5 pm

Community School of Music and Arts

Open to all actors, union and nonunion!

All members of every show company receive an artist's fee.

Closed auditions will consist of monologues from the season plays. Actors will be seen individually, in order of arrival (and signing in). Each audition will take no longer than five minutes. We'll call you back, if necessary, the weekend of 11/7 and 11/8. Check your email the week of 11/8. No callback does not necessarily equal no role. Sides will be provided.

The first three shows will be presented as staged readings, no memorization necessary. Dotty is a reprise of our 2014 hit show, with the same great cast.

Season Lineup and Cast Breakdown

Click here for monologues here.

DEATHTRAP (2/8 and 2/15)

A Thriller in Two Acts by Ira Levin.

Directed by George Sapio.

A chip off the old writer’s block.


40s-50+ female: nervous, self-effacing wife of successful writer of Broadway thrillers


50s-60+ female: wildly eccentric, world-renowned European psychic


40s-50+ male: Sidney Bruhl’s lawyer and friend, professional, somewhat stuffy



IN THE NEXT ROOM or the vibrator play (3/21 and 3/28)

by Sarah Ruhl.

Directed by Amina Omari.

Finding an outlet for expression.


40s-50+ male: a specialist in gynecological and hysterical disorders


20s-30s female: youthful, passionate, and powerfully inquisitive


20s-30s female: a patient to Dr. Givings, young, accepting of the status quo until exposed to new possibilities


30s-40+ female: assistant to Dr. Givings, attends to business very effectively, very professional


20s-30s male: another patient of Dr. Givings, very artistic, free thinker


30s-40s female: An African-American wet-nurse by default


40s-50s male: Sabrina’s husband, very concerned about appearances, a slave to the status quo

CRIMES OF THE HEART (5/9 and 5/16)

by Beth Henley.

Directed by Ross Harstaad.

Three sisters, three identities, one crisis.


30s female: the older sister


20s-30s female: the sisters’ first cousin


20s-30s male: Meg’s old boyfriend


20s female: the middle sister


20s female: the youngest sister


20s-30s male: Babe’s lawyer

DOTTY (7/22, 7/23, and 7/24)

by Arthur Bicknell.

Directed by Rachel Hockett.

You’re never too old to come of age.

This will be a reprise of our 2014 show, with the same wonderful cast.

Questions? Can't make the dates? Please write to

We hope to see you there!



Ithaca Voice

Ithaca Times, by Ross Haarstad

Lettice and Lovage


Ithaca Times preview, by Ross Haarstad

May 9, 2015

Listen to the director!

George Sapio talks to Bill Snyder

on WSKG's Artist Cafe.

$38,000 for a Friendly Face

The $38,000 for a Friendly Face, by Kristin Shepherd,

company takes a bow in the Kitchen Theatre, March 2, 2015.

From left: Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Holly Adams, Chantelle Daniel, Jacob Garrett White,* Marlo Del Toro, Katie Spallone, Camilla Schade, and Kit Wainer. Directed by Ross Haarstad, stage managed by Victoria Apodaca (stage managed by Zoe Benditt for KTC). Photos by Amanda Stein. Graphics by Dan Taylor.

The Book of Liz

First look at THE BOOK OF LIZ company!

From left: David Romm, Eileen Hagerty, Melanie Uhlir, Gary Weissbrot, and Eric Hambury, with director Rachel Hockett

Coming Up Next Season!

Click to see our upcoming 2014-2015 season, in the beautiful Kitchen Theatre.

Onstage/Offstage Interviews Hockett and Bicknell

Click for a wide-ranging interview with playwright and producer George Sapio, about Homecoming Players, the world premiere of Dotty, and other theatrical musings.


We're sorry to announce that this show had to be canceled. Please be sure to come and see the world premiere of Arthur Bicknell's new play, DOTTY, July 11-13, at the Kitchen Theatre!

Our 2014 Season Is Cast!

CLICK! to see the roster.

Exciting News about Our 2014 Season!

We are delighted to announce our 2014 season! We'll be presenting three concert readings--GOOD PEOPLE, QUARTERMAINE'S TERMS, and THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST--and, as our last show of the season, a full production of the world premiere of DOTTY: all in the state-of-the-art Kitchen Theatre. These four shows are part of the Kitchen Theatre Company's Kitchen Sink Series that has support from CFCU. The reprise of IN THE CAR WITH BLOSSOM AND LEN will be mounted in the Hockett Family Recital Hall at Ithaca College.

Spotlight on Local Theater: Us!

Spotlight on Local Theater: Us!

September 27, 2012

The web site for The Homecoming Players features the Greek poet Cavafy’s poem “Ithaka” — which holds the key to this homegrown theater company, just three years old this coming February.

“Your arrival there is what you are destined for,” the poem promises. And literally coming home to Ithaca, after a decades-long odyssey, is what motivated the company’s co-founders.

Rachel Hockett (artistic director) and Arthur Bicknell (literary manager) were good friends long ago at Ithaca High School, where they were both active in theater. Life took them down different paths, flung them clear across the country, and they only reconnected some 40 years later — on Facebook, of course.

Egging each other on to attend their class of ’69 high school reunion, they returned in 2009 and subsequently acknowledged Ithaca’s siren call — it was time to come home, for good.

“This is the sort of thing you do in your 20s and 30s,” Bicknell said of his choice to leave his job as a senior publicist at Merriam Webster in Massachusetts in order to follow his first love: theater. As a young man he’d acted and had success as a playwright, then, in 1983, a phenomenal failure with the now-legendary production of his “Moose Murders” on Broadway. (His upcoming book about the debacle will coincide with a New York revival this January.)

Hockett, who’d studied acting and directing, had founded an off-Broadway theater company in New York in the late ’70s (ironically, she and Bicknell were living in New York at the same time and never knew it) and had continued directing in California. But she left Berkeley to return to Ithaca, their fantastical project, and the family home she’d grown up in.

The two friends now share their theatrical dreams as well as the house. “‘Housemate’ sounds so mundane, so aprons and apple pies,” Bicknell said. “It doesn’t express our emotional connection.”

“We like to think of ourselves as ‘significant otters,’” Hockett added playfully.

Homecoming Players launched officially in May of last year with a concert reading of Bicknell’s 1980 play, “My Great Dead Sister.” Their next project was a one-night-only reading this month of “8,” Dustin Lance Black’s reenactment of the federal trial, based on court records, in which California’s Proposition 8 — which eliminated rights of same-sex couples to marry — was judged unconstitutional.

The fundraising event brought together actors from every major theater group in Ithaca. “I’m thrilled about this,” Hockett said. “Our mission is to collaborate with the local community of theater artists — we really feel that art is better when you work with others rather than compete with them.They were delighted to participate in the recent Wolf’s Mouth Collective productions, Bicknell performing and Hockett directing.

“Though we’re absolutely a work in progress as a company, we’re anchored in this idea of the intersection of social justice in the arts,” said Hockett, whose activist site, The Equality Mantra, promotes marriage equality. “A play can get you to think about issues in a whole new way.”

Three Homecoming Players events are scheduled for this season – beginning with a one-act play contest (submissions up to Nov. 15) to encourage new local work and emphasize social justice themes, the three winning scripts to be produced at CSMA in February.

Next May brings a staged reading, directed by Susannah Berryman, of “In the Car with Blossom and Len” by Ithaca College alumna Joni Fritz (of “Girl’s Room”) — a funny and heartbreaking play about taking care of elderly parents.

And in mid-August, the two friends tackle Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” directed by Ross Haarstad. “We’ve been waiting all our lives to do George and Martha,” Bicknell said, “and we’re doing it because we can — move over, Colleen Dewhurst and Ben Gazzara.”


August 15, 2012.

Thanks to the generous donations of over one hundred individuals, topped by an amazing eleventh-hour contribution by our honored guests for 8, Captain Steve Snyder-Hill and his husband, Josh, we were able to meet our goal of $8,000! We look forward to announcing our donation to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and marriage equality.

Capt. Steve Snyder-Hill (left) and Joshua Snyder-Hill, with their keepsake 8 script.

After their weekend in Ithaca, Steve wrote this on his Facebook page: "This weekend Joshua and I attended [the Homecoming Players' concert reading of 8]. This was one of the most memorable moments we have had to date. We have done many appearances on TV and been guests of honor before, but there was so much love and passion by all of these great actors to show the public the harm that our courts have done to gay people. We were so moved by all the warm affection of all of the people of Ithaca, including their Mayor. This one will definitely be one of those memories that will outlast all the others. Thanks Rachel and Arthur, you guys are the best, we will always remember you!!! . . . . We intentionally waited to see the play, and not watch it, even with all the famous actors who have done it, and I can totally say that no one will do it better, because of the heart that was put into this. It was worth waiting, and we could never experience it like that again. Rachel and those actors were top notch driven by passion!!! Even bringing tears to our eyes several times during the play..."

That Was the *8* That Was!

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