Dear Actors, Friends, Subscribers and Supporters
Welcome to the latest Sterts Newsletter.
First the not so good news...the Squashbox shows that we were advertising for April have been postponed. We put Sterts forward as a potential re-opening Pilot organisation to the Department of Culture Media & Sport. We knew that we could deliver shows safely and hoped the Pilot proposal would be accepted. Regrettably, we were not successful because the DCMS decided to focus their Pilot events on a few larger organisations based in big cities. Don't worry Squashbox fans, he will be at Sterts each week from the start of the school summer holidays.
Much Better News!
We can announce that we have been awarded an Arts Council England Recovery Grant which will enable us to move our summer season closer to what we would like to see as a "Normal" year. This is part of the government grant of over one billion pounds to support the arts so Sterts are up there alongside the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company although they did get a bit more money than we did...
This grant gives us the scope to invest in a number of developments including ensuring that our new Box Office & Changing Places accessible toilets will be ready for the season.
Our summer season will open with The Little Mermaid in June followed by The Countrymen and Poltroon which have already been announced and are selling well.
Auditioning for our In House shows is very nearly complete, there are still opportunities in Shrek the Musical, if you are interested contact show director Phil Croft for a chat, firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are two great opportunities for older teenage boys in The Hypochondriac. Details at the end of this Newsletter.
If you are not an actor yourself but know somebody who might be interested, please share this information.
We regretfully took the decision that with very short rehearsal times it was not possible to stage Wendy & Peter Pan safely but we will be adding a late summer play to the In House season and we are adding an autumn Studio show both of which will be announced very soon on our website and Social Media.
The dates and booking for Shrek the Musical and The Hypochondriac will be on the website next week. There will be more visiting shows announced very soon as the theatre companies confirm their plans for the summer.
We will also have pre theatre suppers in Sterts cafe available this summer, these will be provided by the team from The Manor House Inn in Rilla Mill and more information will follow on our website and social media.
Your Safety As we have consistently maintained, the health and safety of all our actors, audience, performers and volunteers is our top priority. We commissioned a return visit from the specialist professional Covid Risk Assessor who set the rules for our successful opening last summer. He has looked closely at our plans and is happy to give us clearance to open with an audience initially of 200 per show. We are still under some restrictions; One Way system, hand sanitising, rigorous cleaning etc. What this means for you is that when Sterts re-opens you will be able to enjoy great entertainment safely and securely. We have also achieved "We're Good to Go" status by Visit England.
AGM If you are interested in finding out how Sterts runs our AGM will take place on 19th May at 7.00pm. This will be a hybrid meeting with some live attendees and a live stream on a social media platform, details to be advised.
Are you looking for a Volunteering opportunity that is all about entertainment in the fresh air? Join Sterts Volunteer team. We have roles for all, we will train you and are a friendly, sociable and welcoming bunch. Contact Sarah on 01579 362382 or for more information.
Your on-going loyalty and support is much appreciated and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to Sterts as soon as possible.
Auditions for The Hypochondriac.
Come and join Sterts and be part of an irreverent and exciting interpretation of the Moliere classic from the team that brought you the hilarious socially distanced Twelfth Night in 2020.
CLEANTE, a young man 16+, passionately in love with Angelique. He will do anything to be with her. He is an honest, very nice young man, who finds the situation with Angelique’s proposed marriage to somebody else very upsetting. He appears first on stage in a ridiculous disguise to smuggle himself into Angelique's house and pretends to be a music teacher, though his musical skills are questionable. The part involves comedy elements and is a leading role.
THOMAS, a young man 16+, he is betrothed to Angelique even though he doesn't love her at all. He's not too bright, arrogant and pompous. He is training to be a doctor, who hopes to make lots of money out of people’s misery. He is not an aristocratic boy but tries to behave like one, which adds comedy to his character. The scenes Thomas is involved in are big and loud.
Both parts offer a chance to work with an experienced professional director and learn from some of the best mature actors in Sterts.
Contact the office on 01579 362382 or for more information
The big news is that we have been given an £18500 grant from the Clare Milne Trust that, along with funding from Cornwall Council, will allow us to establish an inclusive environment for all visitors.
As you know we have been developing a Community Hub with activities for the rural community which has so far played host to a Memory Café, a Men’s Shed, Pilates and Yoga classes, a craft workshop and a Women’s Group. Our ambition has always been to make the theatre more accessible but we've been held back due to the lack of appropriate facilities. But thanks to this grant from the trust, we will be able to build a ‘Changing Places’ disabled toilet within our new box office facility.
New Box Office/ The Pavillion
A combination of a generous Cornwall Council grant, volunteer-led fundraising from the ‘Sterts Family’ and the generosity of local businesses and community groups has helped us repurpose Looe’s former cricket pavilion into a new box office facility. The former pavilion was kindly donated by Menheniot Cricket Club and will not only house a new Box Office, but also administrative offices and the Changing Places toilet facility. This will enhance capacity in the main building for the Community Hub, enabling more local children and community groups to participate in activities, including the Junior and Senior Theatre groups.
Peter Woodward, our Centre Director, says: “Increasing our capacity and the inclusivity of Sterts has been a long held ambition for the charity and its volunteers. We’re a significant step closer to achieving that and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to this – we’re so pleased that the community has embraced this vision.
“We are fully committed to developing our accessibility for our whole community and as we emerge from the national lockdown, we want to welcome everyone back to Sterts. We are partners with a number of specialist drama groups, schools and care homes but our toilet facilities have long fallen short of their expectations. We’re so thankful for this grant which complements the other improvements we have made in the theatre for the benefit of both disabled visitors and performers in recent years.”
A Huge THANK YOU!
In addition to the Claire Milne Trust, Cornwall Council and our wonderful volunteers, Sterts Theatre would like to thank the following organisations for their support:
Alusen Management Service Limited
Caradon Tool Hire Liskeard
Eagle Plant Hire Launceston
Ferguson Transport Plymouth
Martin Hoare Groundworks Upton Cross
Menheniot Cricket Club
Safesite Scaffolding Pensilva
Stewart Every General Builder Coad's Green
The Clare Milne Trust supports people living with disabilities in Devon and Cornwall. The Trust does this by making grants to charities working directly with people with disabilities in the South West. The Clare Milne Trust focuses its grants on small effective charities with good volunteer support.
Clare Milne, the granddaughter of Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne, had a disability and had therefore experienced the benefits that are garnered from well run and committed charities. The Trust was established in 2002 with funds derived from her grandfather, A.A. Milne. Clare died in 2012, but her legacy continues.
It is the aim of The Clare Milne Trust to support and improve the lives of people living with disabilities in Devon and Cornwall.