The Elden Street Players’ (ESP) Board of Directors has announced plans to transition the 25-year-old community theatre company into the Dulles Technology Corridor’s premier professionally-operated, not-for-profit regional theatre.
This fall, ESP will begin its evolution into NextStop Theatre Company. The reorganized, re-christened organization will build on ESP’s history and resources to expand its reach and create an even higher caliber of theatrical productions for the Dulles area.
“When the ESP founders established the company, they set out to create a ‘different kind of community theatre,’” said Elden Street Players’ Board President Todd Huse. “Rather than offering the same plays and musicals as other local theatres, they envisioned a company dedicated to producing artistically challenging pieces that were not seen on other stages; and do them well, for a price that made great theatre accessible to everyone. We have been fulfilling that mission for 25 years. So, now what? For us, the answer was clear. Take it to the next level. Raise our game.”
Leading this new phase in the life of the organization is Evan Hoffmann, whom the board has hired as the company’s first producing artistic director. Hoffmann grew up in Herndon and has been associated with the company for over 20 years. He has also developed a lengthy resume as a professional actor and director in the Washington, D.C., area, around the country, and overseas.
“It is truly a dream come true for me to be able to come home to Herndon and help guide this organization, that nurtured me and helped foster my passion for theatre as a young person, towards exciting new possibilities and a brighter future,” said Hoffmann.
ESP plans to complete its 25th anniversary season under the current name and structure, ending in August with a production of the musical “Caroline, or Change.” When the 26th season begins in late September, the organization hopes to greet patrons in the Dulles Corridor with not only a new name, but a whole new kind of theatrical experience.
When asked about the transition, the Town of Herndon’s Mayor Lisa Merkel said, "Elden Street Players has been a longtime centerpiece of the Herndon arts community, and we look forward to their continued success as they transition to a professional theatre company. The arts are alive and well in the town of Herndon!"