About US

Morningside Players Co.

The Morningside Players Theater Co. (MPTC) located in the Morningside Heights area of Manhattan, presents pay-by-donation performances of classic plays, developmental readings, and vibrant new works. As an award-winning theater company, MPTC serves to engage our richly diverse community with relevant, thought-provoking programming that builds a sense of neighborhood unity, joy, pride, and ownership.
​Founded in 1974 by Dr. Paul Kozelka of Teachers College, Columbia University. Morningside Players Theater Co. is based within the Morningside Gardens Housing Cooperative at Broadway and 100 LaSalle Street. MPTC achieved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization status in 1986 and was led throughout the 1980s and 1990s by Lydia LaFleur, Aimee Scheff and Dorothy Carter. In 2011, Susanna Frazer was appointed Artistic Director and Bridget Leicester became Managing Director. Invaluable were set and lighting artists Mike and Patrick Mahaney.
The company then began its ongoing relationships with Actors’ Equity Association, SDC, Materials for The Arts, Dramatists Play Service, Concord Theatricals. TDF Costume Collection and Fractured Atlas. Its nine-member advisory board is vested in the arts and the vital political and cultural role theater plays in our society.

The Audience Development Committee, (AUDELCO) awarded productions of The Old Settler and Fences as Best Revivals for 2014 and 2015 respectively. Many productions, like All My Sons, Dracula and A Month in the Country have had their runs extended. The company has added programs for teens – Page to Stage and performs outdoors at LaSalle Open Street Festivals. It receives grants from Columbia Community Service, (CCS), West Harlem Development Corp., Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, MHHC and contributions from many local supporters.
Audelco 2015 Winner - for Best Revival for Fences
Audelco 2014 Winner - for Best Revival forThe Old Settler

We are delighted to announce that John Kearns will join our Board of Advisors!

Please see his bio here and welcome!

Productions include Frost/NixonA Month in the CountryThe Country House, Fences, All My SonsA Raisin in the SunThe Devil’s Disciple, The HeiressMrs. FarnsworthThe Unexpected Guest, and numerous original works. Althea: She Went to Hell, by resident playwright John Barrow, had a successful run as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. TMP also was a guest company at Columbia University where it performed Wittenberg.

“Artistic Director Susanna Frazer's expert direction surely was the force that made All My Sons an organic whole.”

The Old Settler - Morningside Players

In recognition of excellence in Black theater within the five boroughs of the New York metropolitan area, the Audience Development Committee, (AUDELCO) named the Morningside Players standing room only and extended productions of The Old Settler and Fences as Best Revival for 2014 and 2015 respectively. The Morningside Players receive grants from Columbia Community Service, (CCS) to address the needs of underserved individuals residing in the neighborhoods surrounding the university.

"Twenty-first century in New York City is one of those times when curious theater goers can see plays by major writers with extraordinary casts working with highly acclaimed directors in the basements of Manhattan. I'm talking about a thrilling evening of theater, August Wilson's Fences. Watching this tragically moral drama unfold was one of the highlights of my theater season. Superb acting made me weep at this family's pain and laugh with relief at their momentary joys."

The individuals that make this all possible


Susanna Frazer

Susanna Frazer Artistic Director

Bridget Leicester

Bridget Leicester Managing Director & Treasurer

Carol Carter


Bryson Kiser

Technical Adviser

Debra Skoff

Assistaant Treasurer

Chloe Niemann

Photography and Social Media

John Barrow, Bridget Leicester, Tom Miller


Jim Fredericks

Music Supervisor

John Barrow

New Playwrights Group

Mark Hofmaier

Assoc. Producer and Space Coordinator

John Kearns

Board Advisor


Webmaster & DEVELOPER