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World Showcase Players at Epcot

World Showcase Players last show took place on September 25, 2014.

The UK street performers will be missed.

Adding to the many facets of Disney World, the World Showcase Players at the Epcot Theme Park brings an element of culture to the most magical place on Earth.

Based at the United Kingdom Pavillion within Epcot Theme Park, they are a renaissance-style comedy and performance troupe geared at entertaining Disney World’s crowds.

The World Showcase Players bill themselves as a traveling act and hold performances outdoors across different locations around the World Showcase.

The players are made up of well-trained performers who incorporate traditional street performance, stage acting, improvisation and comedy into their routines.

They encourage audience participation and often beckon you to clap, chant or even sing out from the crowd.

Quartet

While each performance is loosely based on a well-known play, the World Showcase Players are famous for incorporating comedic elements and modern references into their skits.

Performing in a group of four, the players are dressed in old English costumes and are accompanied by a tiny mobile stage and signage.

The basis for the show comes from the popularity of this type of street performance during renaissance-era England.

Common ‘plays’ the World Showcase Players perform include the story of King Arthur and the Holy Grail, along with variations of Shakespearean plays like Romeo and Edna, which is a comedic take on Romeo and Juliet.

The troupe typically starts each show with a brief introduction before encouraging audience members to get ready to clap, cheer or wave their hands.

The quartet use self-deprecating humor when describing their upcoming performance and do their best to attract a large crowd wherever they are.

Many of the players’ shows rely on audience participation and there’s a good chance that you might be singled out to play a character in their play.

King Arthur and the Holy Grail

For instance, in their performance of King Arthur and the Holy Grail, an audience member is chosen to play the venerable role of the king.

If you happen to be chosen, be prepared to engage in some banter and improvise with the other performers.

Don’t worry though, if you find yourself short on words, one of the professional actors will quickly step in to move things along after poking a bit of fun at you.

Even if you’re not formally in the show, the World Showcase Players make it a point to try and incorporate the crowd very heavily into their act.

Performances vary between 10 and 20 minutes and will feature large doses of comedy throughout.

Street performing has become a lost art, but the World Showcase Players are keeping its spirit alive.

The traveling troupe works on a varying schedule and can be seen throughout the World Showcase at the Epcot Theme Park in Disney World.

For showtimes and locations, check with the park’s guest services.

Performances from the group are family friendly, but will contain pop culture references and other improvisation that younger children may not fully understand.

Nevertheless, audiences of all ages will appreciate the boisterous and energetic show these consummate thespians put on.

By Marie Ospina
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