Ordinary People, Extraordinary Performances
Macbeth performed in a Cardiff Shopping Centre, Much Ado About Nothing performed by serving members of the Royal Air Force, The Tempest in a quarry in Durham and Richard III performed in Leicester Cathedral by Leicester University students where the Kings newly discovered body will be buried, just four of the 90 productions that will be part of the UK's biggest amateur theatre project – Open Stages.
We believe that Shakespeare, and the art of theatre making belongs to everyone, not just to watch but to perform – that Shakespeare is not simply the province of the Oxbridge director, the University Academic, the GCSE/A level student, or the trained professional actor.
Open Stages demonstrates and develops the idea that Shakespeare is, and has always been, the people's playwright, by engaging with, supporting, developing and celebrating the work of amateur theatre makers. For many, amateur or community theatre is their first, sometimes only, experience of Shakespeare and of theatre in general. With the strategic input of professional practitioners we can help make this experience an exciting and memorable one, an experience that will kindle a lifelong love of Shakespeare and the theatre, without destroying the unique community experience of great amateur theatre.
'Open Stages has enabled the RSC to discover, engage with, and celebrate a whole world of amateur, grass roots, theatre making. This new stage of the project will allow the RSC to develop and share practice with amateur theatre makers, build new relationships and will lead to a genuine step change in the relationship between amateur and professional theatre. It will also transport many of us in professional theatre back to where our love of theatre began and remind us of the energy, passion, and commitment it takes to create theatre wherever you're doing it.'
Gregory Doran, Artistic Director
Open Stages is generously supported by ESMÉE FAIRBAIRN FOUNDATION
Ordinary people, extraordinary performances: watch the Open Stages trailer.
Working with adults to bridge the gap between amateur and professional theatre.
Explore the productions by amateur theatre groups that will be performing in your area with our interactive map.