Local amateur theatre companies in Open House at the RSC

30 November 2011

Open House
Sunday 11 December at 7pm
Swan Theatre
Box Office 0844 800 1110 or book online

Local amateur theatre companies are getting together for an evening of entertainment at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 11 December.

Following last year's sell-out event,
Open House returns as the RSC once again invites members of voluntary arts group The Bear Pit to display their talents in a festive variety performance.

Open House offers a mixture of comedy, drama, music and pantomime. From Dad's Army to A Doll's House, from Charlotte Bronte to Broadway musicals and, of course, a sample of Shakespeare, the evening's fun offers something for everyone. 

As a showcase for aspiring artists, Open House represents at a local level what the RSC is doing nationally with its Open Stages project, an initiative that aims to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre, re-forging the bond with the world of professional theatre.

Over 2011 and 2012 the RSC, in partnership with a number of regional theatres and amateur theatre associations, is running a national programme of skills sharing events and showcases, with amateur societies from across the UK invited to produce their own RSC branded Shakespeare themed production.

Productions are being performed everywhere from castles to village halls, from beaches to ball rooms, with many being performed in the hundreds of successful amateur run theatres around the country.

RSC Open Stages producer Ian Wainwright said: 

'We're really pleased to be hosting Open House once again. It's a lot of fun and with so many diverse acts on stage there should be something to appeal to all audiences. We're sure that it's going to live up to last year's hugely successful event.

'What we're doing with Open House also very much reflects what we are trying to achieve with our Open Stages project – forming a closer relationship with the amateur sector, celebrating its rich traditions, opening our doors to its work and collaborating with other professional partners nationally to leave a significant legacy.

'We're delighted to be once again working with The Bear Pit whose members have been both a test bed and an inspiration for the Open Stages project.'

The Bear Pit Chairman Pamela Hickson said:

'The RSC has once again invited The Bear Pit's members to display their home grown talent on one of the magnificent RSC stages for another Open House evening.

'Despite the fact that many professional actors started their careers performing with amateur companies, a distinct feeling of “them and us” has long existed. Here in Stratford I am delighted to say these barriers are being steadily dismantled.

'Throughout the year the RSC has run voice, movement and stagecraft workshops for Stratford amateurs, giving us access to skills and training that many professional actors take for granted.

'We hope that the people of Stratford will enjoy the fruits of this partnership when they join us for this jubilant pre-Christmas evening of variety!'

The following local companies will be performing at Open House: 

  • Avon Opera - Die Fledermaus
  • Avonside Players  - Panto Question Time
  • Caramba Theatre Company - Jane Eyre
  • Consensus – The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Fruitcake Theatre Company - Dad's Army
  • In2Theatre  - It's Behind You
  • Off the Shelf - Heroes
  • Phoenix Players – Buttons - The Panto
  • Second Thoughts Drama Group  - A Doll's House
  • Shakespeare Institute Players – King John
  • Stratford Musical Theatre Company  - Anything Goes
  • Stratford Playwrights – Tiling is our Business
  • Trinity Players – The Acts of the Apostles

Open House takes place at 7pm on Sunday 11 December at the Swan Theatre. Ticket prices from £8. To book tickets contact the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or book online.

For further information and press tickets please contact Mark Farnan in the RSC Press Office on 01789 272438 or mark.farnan@rsc.org.uk.

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