Kirk Players have been performing since 1966. It all began when John W. Lynn organized a benefit performance at the Kirk of the Lakes Presbyterian Church in Mundelein, IL, to raise funds to help Vietnamese children with cleft palates. John immediately recognized the opportunity to do something worthwhile while having a lot of fun performing! He became our Founder and first Creative Director and established the tradition that still lives today.
One of our most valued community service tenets is to provide ongoing contributions to arts and education organizations through our participation in the arts. Throughout our many years, we have been privileged to donate in excess of $100,000 to groups in Mundelein and the greater Lake County area.
John W. Lynn was the founder and a former Director of Kirk Players. John loved theatre his entire life. At Chicago’s Senn High School he was recruited as a replacement in a McDowell Players' production and the bug bit. High School leading actor, two years with McDowell Players, four years with Chicago’s Globe Players, four years in Goodman Theatre Acting Company, professional experience in radio, television, films, “off-Broadway” and Summer Stock heightened his love of community theatre. Our “Community Stock Company” concept is the fruit of his deep love for theatre. John served on the Mundelein High School Board, the Fremont Library Board, the Mundelein Community Days Commission, as Director of the Lake County Fair Queen Pageant and the Lake County Fair Talent Contest. During his 35-year Kirk Player Directorship, John sometimes allowed himself on stage. He appeared in Death Of A Salesman and Social Security. In 2006 John returned to our stage and earned a “Leslie” nomination for his role as Frank Gianelli in Over The River And Through The Woods. John has been in several films including Return To Me, where he was Carroll O’Connor’s stand-in. His work with Kirk Players has earned him many honors, including the ATA Community Theatre “Man of the Year," the GLMV “Heart” Award and the prestigious Studs Terkel Humanitarian Award. In 2011 he returned to the Director's chair with the delightful production of The Happiest Millionaire. In 2013 John receive the American Association of Community Theatre' Robert Gard Superior Volunteer Award and was proclaimed an Outstanding Citizen by the Village of Mundelein. We lost our great friend and leader on August 27, 2013.