Formation and Early Years
The Guild of Players was formed in 1913 with the aim of “promoting an improvement in the public attitude towards, and taste for, the drama, by means of plays of outstanding merit, by lectures and readings”
While the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 did reduce the initial membership, the Guild spent those early years raising money for the war effort by putting on performances in the Mechanics Institute and the Lyceum Cinema – which is now the home of the Loreburn Centre.
After the War, the Guild continued with their program of performances and touring with various productions. One of the most noteworthy was “The Scotland of Robert Burns”, which was written by George W. Shirley, a local librarian, which would go on to become of the Guild’s most popular productions with the production even being staged at the Lyric Theatre in Glasgow to critical acclaim. It was also during this period that the acclaimed actor John Laurie was among the Guild’s members, featuring in some of those first productions.