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New: a newsletter for members only!
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Why this newsletter?
We now have a large and very diverse membership, but we all share the goal of keeping our much loved community theatre thriving and in good heart. The aim of this new newsletter -for members only- is to help connect all the groups within our larger theatre family, and hopefully to get more people actively involved.
When younger members join the cast of a panto, the older actors don't know them and vice versa. Some of our members only come along to Open Mic nights and are not aware of the acting side. Others do a sterling job on Front of House, but don't know what goes on at other times.

This is an attempt to put all of the Club's activities in one place,
whether they be weekly, monthly, annual or occasional. See below for more detailed information about some of these.

Open Mic Nights: every month, on the first Friday, from 7.30 till late

Acting Workshops:
  • Tuesdays 3.45 - 5.30: older students, year 9 upwards
  • Thursdays: 3.45 - 5.00: younger members- up to year 7
  • Occasional adult or mixed age workshops: we plan to do more of these, including Laban movement and fight workshops.
Reading/social evenings- occasionally, when we can fit them in. Reading plays just for fun, or with a view to performance.

Productions: up to four a year- always a pantomime in the early weeks of December, and a comedy for Wigton's Spring Festival around the Whit week. We have put on a Shakespeare play for the last two years, and intend to put on Macbeth in August.

Occasional Concerts: this year we welcome back South African Rock Band Gage on July 18th.

One off shows consisting mainly of readings, and often with songs

Occasional visits by professional actors and shows
How the club works
Dennis Graham, club secretary, and Connie Jensen, club chair, have been working behind the scenes to raise cash for our various refurbishment projects. Here we are on the stage of the theatre with Allerdale Mayor and Town Councillor John Crouch, who was instrumental in persuading the authority to grant us £5000 towards essential roof repairs. There are ten committee members, who meet roughly once a month, but a great deal of work goes on outside of main meetings.
Get more involved!
The list on the right gives an indication of the sort of work that goes on, and the people who do it. However, as membership, audiences, and events increase, we could really do with more help. Mums and Dads of young workshop members- could any of you spare a few hours now and again? Below is a list of volunteering opportunities! Please phone, text or email me if you can spare a little time to help out in any of the following.       (07977 835094, conjensen@trifolium.co.uk)
Connie
  • Cleaning! We need regular cleaners! it's usually two or three of the committee who clean when we can, but we need volunteers, and a coordinator to do a regular monthly clean, preferably during the last week of the month.
  • We need Front of House staff for Evolution ...  next week- 22nd, 23rd and 24th May. If you haven't done it before, consider volunteering for this- it's fun and you get to see the show for free! (Training will be given- you are not alone)
  • Help with building maintenance Dennis is site manager, but could do with help weeding and tidying outside, and putting up Open Mic boards on the Saturday before each Open Mic.
  • Tidying, sorting and storing costumes and props. Our wardrobe mistress, Liz Bell, and her assistant, Mary Walsh, can no longer manage the stairs to our storage area in the loft, and urgently need help.
  • We could do with more trained Matrons (male or female) to help support young cast members during performances.
  • Have any of you got special skills- plumbing, welding, woodworking, painting, designing, writing and publicity etc, that you are happy to offer?
Colin Dipple is a regular performer of monologues and comic verse at Open Mics, but this is his debut as an actor. Pam Fleetwood is our newest adult member. She is an experienced actor, having worked with CADS, (Cockermouth) Keswick Players, and The Elders Company Keswick. They are both very welcome additions to our company, and keep us all laughing during rehearsals! Come and see them in Evolution and Other Planning Disasters.
About Theatre Skills; As a retired teacher, I have an unshakeable belief in people's ability to learn, develop and improve. The idea behind the classes, isto equip students with the skills needed for performance, but more importantly, to build a company of actors who support each other and who want to take part in an enterprise where the production is so much greater than the some of its parts.

Please look out for more adult workshops- and please feel free to come along and watch, or even take part in, any of the regular workshops if you are free! We particularly welcome parents/guardians.

If you want to find out more, please read an entry from last year in my occasional theatre blog:

http://solwayarts.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-problem-with-theatre-skills.html
 
Diary  Dates
22nd - 24th May:  
Evolution and Other Planning Disasters

7th June Open Mic Night

5th July Open Mic Night

22nd or 29th June- Open Morning? (TBC)

8th July- Helen O'Grady Annual Showcase

10th July- Workshop Showcase? (TBC)

18h July- Concert with Gage

2nd August Open Mic Night ..... and every first Friday of the month until December
 
Look out for a different take on Macbeth in August, and a delightfully dotty romp through Victorian Wigton in December with our Scrooge themed panto
Current Officers
Chair: Connie Jensen
Secretary: Dennis Graham
Treasurer: John Bell
Membership Secretary: John Martin
Front of House Manager: Connie Jensen
Site Manager: Dennis Graham
Health & Safety: Maxine Noble
Technical Manager: Aaron Cockbain
Youth Representative: Daisy Connor
Committee Members
Kath Graham
Alison Lewis
Catherynn Dunstan

Organisers
Music Co-ordinator: Hayden Dunstan
Technical Assistant: Cameron Anderson
Wardrobe Mistress: Liz Bell
Stage Technician: Robin Wilson
Website: Kate Jensen
Box Office:
Easton's in High Street Wigton
016973 42521
For those of you who want more detail about next week's plays:
It’s a funny old evening of two halves!
David H Ross has cast his mind over nine billion years of planning applications and written a series of sketches, four of which open the night.
The Garden of  Eden project is a bit of a mess, with no provision for hard hats or tree-climbing gear, so the planning office Clerk does not want his name anywhere near the paperwork. He’s probably right, and it wont be the last time.
Then there is a proposal for a giant Cartway Services on that big patch of land on Salisbury plain. You can bet there is money behind that one. There is more than just money backing the next development – there are twenty thousand Legionaries behind the Roman Road. That’ll be a dent in the immigration controls!
Finally, the end of the Universe is not just nigh: it’s gone ahead without any proper Health and Safety measures. He who should not be named is making a comeback, but he could have been killed if he wasn’t immortal. Someone will have to carry the can (or bucket) for that.
 
At least there is an interval after Armageddon.
 
Kevan France has imagined a Universe in an Entirety of Multi-Universes, originally set up to encourage variety and change, but now ruled by a Think Tank which issues guidelines as regulations and recommendations as orders. Applications for experimentation have to be submitted in advance and in detail. This is the starting premise of his short play, Ofgod.
When the Inspectors arrive at this little Group 5 Cosmos, their initial hopes of a quick box-ticking exercise are dashed by emerging evidence of chaos, variety … and the E word. It will have to come to trial, but who will be the judge and jury?
These are the Galactic Premiers of these two plays, and we’re still chuckling at rehearsals. Both writers are members of the Scriptwriters group who meet at Keswick Theatre by the Lake. The casts are some of our newest and longest-serving members. Only three performances on May 22nd, 23rd, and 24th at 7.30
In other news .....
We hope to make the following improvements to the theatre bulding:
  1. Work on the roof will start in June. We have raised over £1200 in addition to the £5000 grant from Allerdale, so the building should be safe against next winter's storms
  2. We received a grant of £1800 from the Town Centre Improvement Fund towards beautiful new wooden doors with windows. These are being made and should be in place this summer.
  3. We intend to replace the first four rows of seats with high quality removable seating to increase the flexibility of the space, and to have the existing back five rows of seats refurbished in fabric which matches that of the removable seats. We have submitted a bid for funding to cover this to Cumbria Community Foundation. Fingers crossed.
  4. We have a local builder who has given us a very reasonable quote for refurbishing our toilets in a way that does not involve knocking the whole building down. We have always been concerned that the existing Men's/ Disabled toilet is not fit for purpose. By making it slightly smaller, and installing three or four completely enclosed and private toilets, we hope to bring the facilities up to modern standards. We will also move the cast toilet so that actors do not have to go through the male dressing room to get to it. Local charity, the Hadfield Trust has said they are happy to help fund this.
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