Who Are We?
The Fremont Players is a non-profit community theatre group dedicated to producing authentic British Panto.
Formed in 2001 by Simon Neale (an expat himself), the Players develop a totally original Panto every year. They take the production to the Oregon Country Fair in the summer, and then have an extended run at Hale's Brewery in Seattle over the Holidays.
The troupe meet year-round to create the entire production. They team up with the Fremont Philharmonic Orchestra who writes all original songs and music. Through improvisation, writing workshops, and just having plain old fun… a brand new Panto emerges each year!
What Is Panto?
It's a holiday tradition in England - everyone goes to a Panto at Christmas! They occur in every venue imaginable, from village halls to major London theatres. It is one of the few forms of theatre that caters to all ages, from 2 to 102.
Taking its roots from commedia dell'arte, it is a very stylized form of theatre with stock characters and scenes. Stories are based loosely on traditional fairy tales, but there's always enough saucy humor and contemporary references to entertain the whole family.
A big part of Panto is the audience participation. Just as in the spirit of melodrama, there are set call-and-response moments when the audience is encouraged to join in.
Other Panto Links
Want to know more about panto? Here's a few good places to start: