In 1972, Jack Boyle, a member of the RHS English Department, founded the New Players Company as a co-curricular activity involving 30 to 40 students who produced two or three plays per year and another two during the summer. By 1979, the program had expanded to four to six plays during the school year plus a summer program and special production for children, introduced by Brian Aschinger, who was then the Director of the Company. In 1986, Rachael Daum and Dennis Carroll, both faculty members at RHS, were appointed Co-Artistic Directors. Meg Schaefer joined the Company in 1988 as a Resident Director. During the 1990's student participation in New Players steadily increased, until it comprised over 10% of the student body. The Junior New Players program began in the early 1990’s as well and soon became an integral part of the Company. Also during this period, numerous alumni returned to New Players to serve as directors and designers. In 2005, Meg Schaefer was appointed Artistic Director of the Company. She has been committed to expanding the company’s network of directors and designers and has hired many alumni and other theatre professionals to work in various capacities. In October of 2009, NPC Association was granted non-profit status, and a Board of Directors, comprised primarily of parents of current and former students, was appointed to provide financial and service support to the New Players Company.
The New Players Company is dedicated to offering students the highest caliber of theatre education by providing them with a wide range of experiences during their high school years. In continuous production for eleven months out of the year, New Players exposes students to plays and musicals of all genres and styles. The New Players repertoire is comprised of contemporary as well as classical plays and includes challenging, complex works by artists ranging from Shakespeare to Sondheim. Students in the New Players program are involved in all aspects of theatre, under the guidance of a dedicated staff of theatre educators and professionals. Numerous opportunities are offered to students to develop their technical skills by working on set construction and painting, lighting, sound, costume and make-up. Interested students have opportunities during the year to write plays for production. In addition, students serve as stage managers, junior company directors, and directors of one-act plays and musical scenes.