In 1961, Robert E. Simon purchased 6750 acres of land in Fairfax County, VA, far from the rapidly developing suburbs of Washington DC with a master plan for a new planned community to be called Reston. Simon’s concept was to create a community based in part on the idea of providing Reston residents with artistic and cultural experiences close to where they live and work. In the spring of 1966, three residents of neighboring Herndon approached Simon to ask if residents of Reston might like to perform their original musical, The Greatest Game in Town. The plot was centered around adventures and misadventures in the stock market and made a net profit of $200. Thus, the Reston Players organization was born.
Over the years, the Reston Players occupied a number of different performance venues and encountered a number of challenges including the 1972 fire at Bowman Chapel which destroyed all of the Reston Players’ assets. Later that year, the company reorganized itself as the non-profit Reston Community Players.
In 1979, RCP mounted Applause, its first production in the brand new state-of-the-art CenterStage at the Reston Community Center and has been performing there ever since.
In 1984, Lindsay Petersen, the Secretary of the RCP Board of Directors, purchased a warehouse in Herndon which she leased back to RCP for a nominal fee. The warehouse was converted into a rehearsal hall, scene shop and office, and provided storage for costumes, props, and set pieces. Upon her passing in 2002, Ms. Peterson transferred ownership of the property to RCP and it remains our home to this day.
The 2016-2017 Season marks RCP’s 50th Anniversary of providing high-quality theatrical experiences to the Reston community and our final production of the season, Private Lives, will mark RCP’s 200th main stage production. RCP looks forward to enhancing the cultural environment of our community for many years to come.