Members of the Board of Directors of the Wesley Chapel Theater Group.

Considering that New Tampa has had an acting troupe for 20 years and is awaiting the opening of the New Tampa Performing Arts Center early next year to call home, it seems only fitting that Wesley Chapel should have a theater troupe of its own.

So, it’s exciting to announce that the Wesley Chapel Theater Group (WCTG) Inc. is set to make its own debut, on Sunday, January 9, at 2 p.m., at the clubhouse at The Ridge at Wiregrass Ranch.

Wesley Chapel’s theater troupe will be performing three short plays written and directed by Marc Sanders and between each play, the Wesley Chapel Theater Singers will perform a variety of musical numbers, led by WCTG’s artistic director Rodney Bueno.

“All of us have backgrounds in theatre and performing,” Sanders told me when I both went to cover (and decided on the spot to audition for) the group in late October. “We all just felt the time was right for Wesley Chapel to have its own theater group.”

And, although I wasn’t selected to be a performer, I told the group members that I will support their efforts in much the same way I threw the support of the Neighborhood News behind the New Tampa Players theatre troupe two decades ago — and have promoted that group’s efforts ever since.

Performers with the Wesley Chapel Theater Group rehearse for their upcoming debut showcase on January 9 at The Ridge at Wiregrass Clubhouse.

The three plays to be performed on Jan. 9 include “Stick ‘Em Up!,” a send-up of a silent movie, the drama “Legos For Tim” and a comedy and all are short plays.

I unfortunately couldn’t attend a recent rehearsal (top photo) and performance at Avalon Park Wesley Chapel to find out what songs will be performed but according to the group’s post on Facebook, they will perform some “beautiful musical numbers.”

The singers include Jim Kendall, James Hernandez, Mike Dixon, Liz Loftus, Cheryl Sanchez, WCTG President Diana Dechichio, and artistic director Rodney Bueno, who also serves on the WCTG Board.

The other Board members include Vice President Colleen DeFelice, treasurer Dan Dechichio, secretary Kendall Bueno, fund-raising chair Meshalynn Olsen, publicity chair Rachael Naylor and Sanders. 

WCTG is still seeking performers, volunteers, sponsors, stage hands and more.

For tickets to WCTG’s Jan. 9 showcase event, which will be followed by light refreshments and a meet & greet with the group, visit For more information, follow the Wesley Chapel Theater Group Inc. on Facebook.  

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