Nine O’Clock Players: SoCal’s Oldest Children’s Theater Company is Just Up the Yellow Brick Road from Larchmont

Dorothy meets the Scarecrow in the Nine O’Clock Players new production of Oz!

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Did you know that the longest running children’s theatre group in Southern California is right in our neighborhood?

A 1930s production by the Assistance League of Los Angeles’ Nine O’Clock Players

Since 1929, the Nine O’Clock Players (NOP) has been performing classic theatre for children in the company’s historic barn-style theatre at 1367 N. St. Andrews Pl. (between Fountain and Sunset) in Hollywood. The theater is operated and supported entirely by NOP volunteers who, in addition to acting in the plays, handle set and costume design, technical work and every other aspect of the productions.

Stories for NOP shows are chosen from classic children’s literature, with dancing, singing, lively costumes and special effects.

The theatre group welcomes area residents for public performances and field trips, and also offers shows and bus transportation at no cost to economically and physically challenged children as part of the organization’s 85-year mission to introduce children to the magic of live performance, literature and music through the joy of theatre.

This tradition of giving back to our local community started back in the 1890s, when a group of Los Angeles society women founded a new charitable organization called the Assistance League®. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the League organized a relief unit, which in 1919 officially became the Assistance League® of Los Angeles. At the time, the organization focused on providing food and clothing for families adversely affected by World War 1…but it soon branched out in numerous ways to help improve the quality of life for disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles.

Within its first decade, the Assistance League® opened a Day Nursery, purchased office space, and started service groups such as a Preschool Auxiliary, Girls Club, Bookworms Auxiliary, and College Alumni Auxiliary. It also launched fundraising ventures including a Film Location Bureau, Attic Tea Room, and Thrift Shop. In more recent decades, the League has focused even more specifically on removing barriers to education for thousands of underserved and impoverished Los Angeles youth by providing education, shoes, clothing, books and an introduction to the arts.

As part of this latter effort, in 1929, the organization also formed the Assistance League® of Los Angeles Theatre for Children…and its award-winning Nine O’Clock Players (NOP) Auxiliary still performs two plays each year, in the fall and spring.

On November 4, 2018, the newest NOP show, Oz!, opened at the Assistance League Theater, bringing a new version of L. Frank Baum’s classic adventure (book by Tim Kelley, music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur) to singing, dancing life for a new generation of young Angelenos. (The Tolucan Times raved: “A delightful presentation filled with irrepressible humor, toe-tapping songs, and splashed with color, Oz! celebrates friendship, generosity and believing in dreams.”)

More public performances are scheduled for Sunday, November 11, 18, 25 and December 2, at 2 p.m. each day…and children can enjoy meeting the players on the patio after the show. Tickets are $15 each and available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Field trips to Oz! are also available for school groups. Field trip performances start at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. All tickets are $8, including a Q&A session with the cast after the show. Field trip shows are available on :

Tuesdays: October 20, November 6, 13 and 27
Wednesdays: October 24, 31, November 14 and 28
Thursdays: October 25, November 1, 8, 15 and 29

For more information on Field Trips, contact Lenore Schlachtman at nopfieldtrips@yahoo.com

So it’s a great time to discover (or re-discover) this neighborhood gem…just up the yellow brick road from Larchmont!

Oz!
A production of the Nine O’Clock Players
Assistance League Theater
1367 N. St. Andrews Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
http://www.nineoclockplayers.com

A group of Los Angeles students on a field trip to a Nine O’Clock Players show.

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