Art, Music & Theatre
The Academy Players was organized in 1955 by a group of enthusiasts in East Greenwich and has a substantial record of growth and achievement. Membership is open to any adult interested in helping to participate in Academy Players productions, special events, workshops and meetings of general interest. The intent of The Academy Players is to provide the community with theater on a high level to create civic pride in our organization, while offering a satisfying medium for those who participate. We are staffed by a dedicated team of members who volunteer to do everything from building sets to directing productions. Actors, directors and technical crew are recruited from throughout Rhode Island, eastern Connecticut and southern Massachusetts. Local high school and college students who are eager to put their course studies to task are also encouraged to participate.
A typical season features with one comedy and one drama and concludes with a major musical all of which utilize the talents of over 100 local actors and musicians. For 2008-2009, our 54th season, opened with Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, the Broadway success made famous by the 1958 movie starring Paul Newman & Elizabeth Taylor. In February we will present the farce Lend Me A Tenor, a comedy of mistaken identities, innuendos and double entendres. Rounding out this fabulous season will be The Music Man in May. This classic is as American as apple pie, and who can forget the songs “76 Trombones” and “Gary, Indiana”?
We are also currently working on a youth program in conjunction with the East Greenwich High School where students get involved with every aspect of the theatre productions in order to provide them with the experience most colleges look for when applying for specific majors and/or scholarships.
Academy Players is a 501.c3 non-profit corporation. Our income to produce yearly productions, special events and programs to benefit the community is generated solely from business sponsorships, donations from benefactors, grants, the sale of season subscriptions and ticket sales. To loosely quote a song from Chicago; “We can’t do it alone…” so please check out our web site (www.Academyplayers.org) and come and see our top notch performances.
The East Greenwich Art Club was established in 1959 and is open to artists statewide. Membership includes contemporary and traditional artists as well as sculptors and specialists. Prospective members are asked to submit three works to a jury for consideration.
The club sponsors an annual member’s show and awards prizes to those judged best in the competition.
Meetings are held at 7:00 pm the first Tuesday of each month, except during July, August and January at Harborhill Place, 159 Division Street in East Greenwich. Demonstrations of various artistic methods are featured. Visitors are welcome.
East Greenwich Art Club Open Studio Drop-in painting sessions re held every Tuesday at the Parks and Recreation Center, 1127 Frenchtown Road, East Greenwich from 10 am to 2 pm. No instruction. All levels. Fee $1.00. Bring an easel and a lunch. Contact Gene at 828-4635.
Music on the Hill
Music on the Hill’s Great Performers Series brings nationally acclaimed musicians to the intimate venue of St. Luke’s Church in East Greenwich. Subscriptions and individual tickets are available for the four-concert 2005-06 series featuring pianist Jason Hardink, The Borromeo String Quartet with pianist Meng-Chieh Liu; The Lewin/Muresanu piano/violin duo, and jazz vocalist Marcelle Gauvin and her quartet. Music on the Hill also presents a juried scholarship competition for aspiring high school musicians. Concerts are Sundays at 4 p.m, For tickets, donor information, and volunteer opportunities, call (401) 398-1880. Music on the Hill is a not-for-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors. Mailing: P.O. Box 633, East Greenwich, RI 02818.
Historic Organizations & Sites
Daughters of the American Revolution
The General Nathanael Greene/Pettaquamscutt Chapter
DAR was organized October 1895 and this year celebrates
116 years of continuous and active membership.
The Chapter upholds and maintains the objectives of the
National Society, DAR, founded in 1890 which are Historical,
Educational and Patriotic.
Membership is open to any woman at least eighteen
years of age, lineally descended from a man or woman
who aided in the cause of American independence. Assistance
is available for lineage and genealogical research.
Chapter meetings are usually held on the first Thursday
of each month; for more information call Thelma Goin
821-8174, Dorothea Zuk 785-0507 or email the Chapter at
East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society
In 1967 the East Greenwich Preservation society
was founded. Its purpose was twofold. One,
to help preserve the town’s architectural heritage,
its history and customs. Two, to offer encouragement
in the preservation and restoration of buildings
and sites of historic significance.
Headquarters for the Society is the old Kent
County Jail which dates back to 1795.
In 1996 the society published a “red” book, A
History of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and in
2006 the society authored the Images of America
book, East Greenwich.
Information on membership programs and
activities is available on its website, www.eghistoricpreservation.org
or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone number 401-826-0178 or write to us at 110
King Street East Greenwich.
Kentish Guards, Rhode Island Militia
The Kentish Guards, Rhode Island Militia, chartered
in 1774 as an independent military company to protect
Kent County, today continues to: “preserve the military
traditions of our forefathers”. It is dedicated to maintaining
an appreciation for the past, while providing services
to the state and local community. The Guards are seen annually
in East Greenwich parades. Meetings are held every
Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. at the Armory at the corner of Peirce
and Armory www.kentishguards.org.
Kentish Guards Fife and Drum Corps
The Kentish Guards Fife & Drum Corps serves as
the “field music” of the Kentish Guards Militia, attending
parades, civic and military functions and fife and drum
musters. As the premier fife and drum corps in Rhode
Island, they have traveled extensively from Missouri and
Michigan to Virginia and Vermont as well as to Switzerland.
They have performed with the Black Watch Regiment
at Gubernatorial Balls and in the movie “Mr. North”. They
are also a leading member in the company of Fifers and
Drummers, an organization of 120 fellow fife and drum
corps in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Men accepted as members must be at least 14 years old.
Ages of current membership range up into the 70s. Instruction
on fife is available, even on a beginner’s level; bass
drummers should be able to read music and have some experience
or training; snare drummers should already have
training and practice in rudimentary drumming.
For information write to 1774 Armory Street, East
Greenwich, RI 02818 or call 295-5076. www.kentishguards.
Owned by the Kentish Guards, the Knowles House at 100 Pierce Street, was built in the early 1850's
by John T. Knowles and his wife. It is best known for the accomplishments of their son Samuel,
which include serving as President of The East Greenwich Toen Council for 13 years.
Although technically considered a Greek Revival building, the Knowles House has very strong influences
from the Italinate style. The large monitor which caps the house was rebuilt after being destroyed in the
hurricane of 1938. The second monitor was destroyed in 1990 by a fire that occured during restoration. Today,
the third monitor affords an unparalleled view as far as Fall River, Newport and Providence.
New England Wireless and Steam Museum
The New England Wireless and Steam Museum is a
public, nonprofit (501) (C) (3) educational institution.
It opened in 1964 to preserve the history of electrical and
mechanical engineering, particularly spanning the
period that saw the first central electric power, the airplane,
practical automobile, telephone, radio, X ray, etc.
It emphasizes New England’s contribution to these developments.
It is run by non-paid directors and volunteers. There are educational tours and
annual public events such as Yankee Steam-Up.
In its large collection is an extremely rare George H.
Corliss mill steam engine with a 15’ flywheel. It has Hartford
Connecticut’s first steam electric generating plant,
Providence made; and URI’s first steam generating plant, made in Hope Valley. These machines are operable.
It also has “PJ” the oldest working radio station in the world.
The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and has received numerous prestigious awards. Because of its volunteer staff, it is open by appointment only,
except for special event days. email@example.com
Sons of the American Revolution
The John Peck Rathbun Chapter of the Rhode Island
Society, Sons of the American Revolution, is a patriotic,
historical and educational society, dedicated to the memory
of those who made the sacrifice of service during the
Revolutionary War. The Society also promotes fellowship
among Revolutionary War descendants. The Society is always
ready to assist those who believe they have a tie to the
Revolutionary War, but cannot prove it.
To qualify for membership, a man must be 18 years of
age or over and a direct descendant of an ancestor who
rendered service during the Revolutionary War.
Meetings are held five to six times a year, generally in
For more information write: P.O. Box 24, East Greenwich,
or call Robert Allen Greene at 884-7530 or 884-5929
or fax (401) 885-9370.
The Surgeon John E. Greene Society
Members of this society are descendants of Surgeon John
Greene (ca 1590-1659), who followed Roger Williams to
Rhode Island. Greene became one of the 12 original proprietors
of Providence and founded Warwick in 1643. The Greenes had large families and intermarried with most of the early settlers of Rhode Island. Today there are thousands
of Rhode Islanders unaware they are descendants of
the Greenes. The Society may be able to help those who
can trace their lineage back two or three generations.
Organized in 1976, the purpose of the Society is to update
the Greene genealogy, printed in 1905, collect memorabilia
of the Greene family, publish a newsletter, save historic
Greene buildings and eventually establish a library
More information is available by writing PO Box 24, East
Greenwich, RI 02818 or by calling Robert Allen Greene at
884-7530 or 884-5929. The fax is (401) 885-9370.
Founded in 1907, the Varnum Continentals are a patriotic,
military and social organization to “perpetuate the
customs, uniform and traditions of the American Revolution”
and to encourage patriotism.
The organization, which marches in local parades, meets
at the Varnum Armory at 8:00 pm on the second Monday
of each month with the exception of July and August.
For more information call 884-4110 or write to 6 Main
Street, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Varnum House Museum
Located at 57 Peirce Street, the Varnum House Museum
is the Town’s most outstanding link to its colonial heritage.
The eight- room mansion was built in 1773 by James Mitchell Varnum, one of the founders of the Kentish Guards. From its perch on the crest above Main Street,
overlooking Narragansett Bay, the colonial home provided
Varnum and his wife Patty with lavish accommodations
and a headquarters for entertainment. Generals Lafayette
and Sullivan were frequent visitors.
The Varnum Continentals bought the house in 1939,
with the idea of creating an historical museum.
The Museum boasts eight large fireplaces, a restored kitchen, period
furniture and a wealth of colonial items donated by residents
of the town and state. Handsome outdoor gardens
are used for wedding receptions and the house serves as
the meeting place for several organizations.
During June, July and August the Museum is open from
10-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $2.00.
For special appointments call 884-1776 or write 1776 Revolution
Street, East Greenwich, RI 02818. Membership in the
museum is open to the public.
Varnum Memorial Armory and Military Museum
The Varnum Memorial Armory at 6 Main Street was built
in 1913. The lower level museum is a must-see for the history
buff. Uniforms and armaments from the Revolution
through Vietnam are displayed in a building that reflects
the medieval element in the 19th century picturesque architecture.
Tours are available by appointment.
For information call 884-4110 or write to 6 Main Street,
East Greenwich, RI 02818