NSU River City Players
THANK YOU for an incredible 40th season!!!
This summer we celebrated the 40th season of performances at the NSU Playhouse. Thank you for your support and patronage over the past 40 years. We will be announcing our future plans soon!
In the meantime, make sure you continue to support activities presented by the NSU Drama program and the Sequoyah Institute at the NSU Playhouse!
Support the 2023-2024 season of performances at the NSU Playhouse!
We currently have opportunities for businesses and individuals to advertise with and/or sponsor performances at the NSU Playhouse! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
The History of The River City Players
Capitalizing on the talent of the university's students, the gifted faculty, and the abundance of Tahlequah tourists during the summer months, the River City Players (formerly known as the University Players) hosted their first season in 1983. C.H. Parker, now-retired Northeastern State University instructor of speech and theater, and the late Joe Davis, NSU jazz studies director, created the script for the River City Players first production, Ferlin's Folly or Dolly Goes to Dixie. In following seasons, under the direction of Cheryl Kinion, the company became known for combining the best of popular music, Broadway hits, gospel, and everything in between and River City Players quickly became one of the most popular events produced by NSU.
In 1995, C.H. Parker met Tim Gilliam, a young country and bluegrass musician who had recently returned to Tahlequah from performing in Nashville to pursue a degree in mass communication at Northeastern State University. From that initial meeting sprung the nexus for Downtown Country, the university's annual Branson-style show showcasing live country music. The first year's Country Fare evolved into NSU's Downtown Hoedown, and eventually became known as Downtown Country. Downtown Country has hosted a number of talented artists over the years, including NSU alumnae, 2005 American Idol winner and country music superstar Carrie Underwood. Around the year 2000, the two casts joined marketing and box office efforts to combine as one series known as the Stars in the Summer. In 2013 the cast returned to the name River City Players, however the legacy of Downtown Country is still continued through the country performances of the River City Players. Now in its 32nd season, River City continues to showcase our talented performers and brings audiences back year after year.
From left, DJ Fortner, Carly Johnson, and Katelyn Morton
Hagen Wano and Katelyn Morton as Sonny and Cher