I recently picked up a theatre brochure. In these economically challenging times it could well have been the programme for a small regional rep, but it wasn't: it was the brochure for Chesil Theatre , the home of the amateur Winchester Dramatic Society, which has thrived in that cathedral city for years. As they proudly point out, this makes them older than the RSC. Amateur or voluntary arts are massive in the UK. As Robin Simpson of Voluntary Arts says, it makes the professional arts sector look like "peanuts".
Don’t underestimate amateur theatre as a source of training
Amateur Drama Research
Amateur theatre , also known as amateur dramatics , is theatre performed by amateur actors and singers. Amateur theatre groups may stage plays, revues, musicals, light opera, pantomime or variety shows, and do so for the social activity as well as the artistic side. Productions may take place in venues ranging from the open air, community centres or schools to independent or major professional theatres and can be simple light entertainment or demanding drama. Amateur theatre is distinct from the professional or community theatre simply in that participants are not paid, although this is not always the case, even though the productions staged may be commercial ventures, either to fund further productions, to benefit the community, or for charity. Amateur actors are not typically members of actors' unions, as these organisations exist to protect the professional industry and discourage their members from working with companies which are not signatories to union contracts. Opinions vary on how to define "amateur" in relation to theatre. Technically speaking, an "amateur" is anyone who does not accept, or is not offered, money for their services.
Death summons a man to the reckoning of his life, and his journey towards judgement makes up the matter of one of the best surviving examples of morality plays. Everyman, the central character of the play, is not a person but a place-holder representing all of mankind. As he converses with Knowledge, Good Deeds, Beauty and Goods, striving to secure a favourable account of his time on earth in order to reach everlasting life, a dramatic allegory is woven about the brevity of life and the necessity of living it well.
Nell has always wanted to Tread the Boards on Stage. Here's her review and findings of what its like to be on the other side of the curtain! Joining the local Amateur Dramatic Society was always on my list of things to do. I had been thinking about doing it for a while but kept putting it off, but then Sometimes its great to get out of the ordinary and do something extraordinary.