The Whitney Players Theater Company is a group of artists dedicated to bringing affordable, quality entertainment to the Hamden community while educating young actors through music, dance and drama.

The program is designed to integrate area professional actors with the youth from our community.  Our goal is to provide professional acting, dance and musical instruction while forming a company and producing a full length entertaining musical.  The goal for the young people is to learn from this experience and grow as performers.

With the price of theater tickets escalating our mission is to provide senior citizens and families with young children affordable entertainment within their own community.  The Whitney Players is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization co-sponsored by the Hamden Arts Commission.  If you would like to contribute to our organization you can mail a check to The Whitney Players, P.O. Box 185644, Hamden CT, 06518 or visit us on givegreater.org.  All donations go directly into production costs.​

Show history

2022 - Help!  I'm Trapped in a Musical (winter), Into The Woods, Jr. (summer youth), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (summer)

2021 - The Addams Family (summer), High School Musical (summer youth), The Big One-Oh! (winter virtual)

2020 - The Wiz, Jr. (winter)

2019 - The Outsiders (winter), Hairspray, Jr. (summer youth), Matilda (summer)

2018 - Thirteen (winter), Little Mermaid, Jr. (summer youth), The Wizard of Oz (summer)

2017 - Disney's Cinderella Kids/Prince Street Players' Cinderella (winter), Shrek, Jr. (summer youth), Seussical (summer)

2016 - Into the Woods, Jr. (winter), Beauty and the Beast, Jr. (summer youth), Anything Goes (summer)

2015 - Honk, Jr. (winter), Annie, Jr. (summer youth), Hairspray (summer)

2014 - Back to the 80s (winter), Magical Land of Oz (summer youth), Young Frankenstein (summer)

2013 - Thirteen/Godspell, Jr. (winter), Willy Wonka, Jr. (summer youth), Shrek (summer)

2012 - Footloose (winter), Seussical, Jr. (summer youth), Hairspray (summer)

2011 - Pippin/The Jungle Book (winter), Disney's Cinderella Kids (summer youth), West Side Story (summer)

2010 - Godspell (winter), Annie (summer)

2009 - Seussical, Jr. (winter), Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka (summer)

2008 - Seussical, Jr. Back to the 80s: The Totally Awesome Musical (summer), Magical Land of Oz (winter)

2007 - High School Musical (winter), Beauty and the Beast (summer)

2006 - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (summer); Odd Couple: Female Version (fall)

2005 - The Wiz (summer)

2004 - Anything Goes (summer)

2003 - Damn Yankees (summer)

Production Team

Our highly trained staff is dedicated to supporting the development of performers of all ages in theater, dance and music. In particular, our instructors and staff use proven methodologies and highly effective techniques to help children grow theatrically and socially.  Through this program children gain confidence and experience and have often moved on to illustrious programs at the high school and collegiate level.


Cindy Simell-Devoe

Cindy Simell-Devoe has worked as the Assistant Director at Act 2 Theatre on the Albertus Magnus College campus under the direction of Albert DeFabio for 12 years.  Her tenure there included such productions as Evita, Guys and Dolls, Company, Pippin and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Other shows have included Little Shop of Horrors, Camelot, Anything Goes, Godspell, Runaways, The Wiz, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story and Cabaret. Cindy directed student productions of Vanities, Same Time Next Year and Bleacher Bums.

Cindy directed the Whitney Players premier production of Damn Yankees in 2003, followed by Anything Goes, The Wiz, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Odd Couple (Female Version). High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast, The Magical Land of Oz, Back To the 80's: The Totally Awesome Musical, Seussical Jr., Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, Godspell, Annie, Pippin,Disney's The Jungle Book Kids, Young Frankenstein and most recently Honk, Jr., Annie, Jr. and Hairspray. In keeping with the educational mission of the company, she has conducted nine acting workshops, each involving more than two dozen young people in intensive drama coaching through the production of small, one act plays, monologues, theater games and cooking.

She has also directed Guys and Dolls Jr, and Footloose at the High Lane Club as well as The Magical Land of Oz at West Woods School in Hamden with a cast and crew of over 180 children, and The Jungle Book for North Haven's Ridge Road School.


Joan Christensen

Joan is entering her 32nd year as the owner and director of Joni's Dance Center in Hamden.  She has taught dance for the last 48 years and continues her studies locally and in New York.  Joan has choreographed many shows including Guys & Dolls and Footloose at the High Lane Club.

She also choreographed The Magical Land of Oz at West Woods School in Hamden in the spring of 2002 and assisted the choreographer for the North Branford High School's production of Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar.  She has choreographed all of the Whitney Players productions including Damn Yankees, Anything Goes, The Wiz, Joseph and the Amazing Technecolor Dreamcoat, High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast, The Magical Land of Oz, Back to the 80's, Seussical Jr., Willy Wonka, Godspell, Annie, Pippin, Jungle Book, West Side Story, Footloose, Hairspray, Godspell Jr. , 13 the musical and Young Frankenstein.

Her students, the Joan Lynn Company Dancers, have performed at numerous benefits and community events including the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, numerous nursing homes, and benefits for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the March of Dimes.  Her company also performed in the Gal-Mar benefit to keep teens off the street.


  • Jackie Ianniello
  • Amber Richetelli

Musical Directors

  • David Christensen
  • Kris Waldron
  • Maureen Lyden Ruhe
  • Christopher Rich
  • David Harris
  • Jaminda Blackmon

Production Manager

  • Dave Maruca

Assistant Directors

  • John Parisella
  • Jennifer Buonfiglio
  • Amy Nicefaro

Technical Director

  • Gregory J. Downing​

Stage Manager

  • Jackie Downing

Production Assistants

  • Jennifer Buonfiglio
  • Tracy Barletta Stratton
  • Haley Maruca