We all know that 2020 had a devastating impact on theatres across the country. At the Place Theatre we have worked tirelessly to adapt our approach in order to still bring quality programming to the communities of Bedfordshire.
We wanted to share with you some of the projects that have been keeping us busy and also to invite you to give your thoughts on what you would like to see moving forward.
We can’t wait to welcome new and familiar faces back to the theatre in 2021 and we hope you enjoy hearing about some of the exciting projects we have been working on.
Thanks to some generous funding from the Department for Culture, Media, Digital and Sport (DCMS) delivered by Arts Council England (ACE) we have been fortunate to be able to welcome new members to the team. The new roles include a Social Media Assistant, Distribution Assistant and three Assistant Producer roles each focusing on different strands – Community, Outdoor and Youth Development. Find out more about some of the specific projects our new team are working on below.
Whilst we are sad not to have been able to welcome audiences into the theatre for much of 2020 we have taken the opportunity to think about plans for the theatre and have begun an extensive refurbishment of our foyer, bar and kitchen area. In addition to this, we have been given part funding from the Borough Climate Change Fund to replace our old boilers with a new Hydro Kit. This is a really exciting project for us as it takes us a step closer in our bid to reduce our carbon footprint and begin the journey to becoming carbon neutral. Our existing boilers are very old, inefficient and costly so would need to have been replaced very soon. The new unit will not only help us to be more environmentally friendly by removing our reliance on gas but will also help us to reduce our heating costs thus saving money which can be used to fund new projects for our audiences to enjoy. Our funding for the new unit only covers half of the costs so we are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the remaining £9,500. If you would like to donate, please click the button below.
Plans for 2021
During the various lockdowns we learnt a great deal about how to bring live performances to audiences in different ways. Over the summer we were lucky enough to be able to host some outdoor performances from local live performers as well as professional theatre from some of our audience’s favourite companies.
We also started digital performances which have evolved and grown as we have become more familiar with the various digital platforms and understanding what works and what doesn’t. We have produced two regular digital shows for our audiences which are growing in popularity and what’s more – they are FREE!
Read Poets Society and A Chill in the Air take place on alternate fortnights on Sunday Evenings at 8pm. Read Poets Society features an hour of poems, usually around a specific theme and A Chill in the Air features a mix of spooky stories and poems guaranteed to make you want to sleep with the light on! Details about future dates and how to get your FREE tickets are all on our website – both events are free and we are always looking for new people to join in so if you are keen to take part then please contact Harri Mardlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We love to keep in touch with you all, so why not join us on a Friday morning for our regular Coffee Mornings – online via zoom – a lovely way to check in with each other and get all the news on what is happening at the theatre. To join us, email email@example.com
This Must Be The Place
Tune in to Bedford radio station! Lissy, our Head of Communications and Scott Hutchison, a regular performer on our digital community events, host an hour of chat, interviews and exciting news about events and community projects. Listen out for them once a month on Saturdays at midday.
Friends for Life Project - Timeless Tales
While residents in our care homes across Bedfordshire are facing greater isolation than ever, we are finding new ways to connect with them and let them know they are not forgotten.
In collaboration with Friends For Life, our Timeless Tales campaign aims to bring stories and poetry virtually into care homes with the eventual aim of residents recording their own tales to share with us too.
Each week we will be sending recordings of children, adults, families reading their favourite story or poems for care homes to play to residents.
We would love you to be part of this. If you’ve written some
thing you would love to share, or have a favourite you could read and record – get in touch! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We know that our audiences can’t wait to get back into the theatre and watch live shows. As a theatre we know that we have to be flexible in our approach and ensure that we are also abiding by COVID guidance at all times. So, with that in mind, we have recruited an Assistant Producer in Outdoor Programming to develop ideas for outdoor events that all of our audiences can enjoy. We hope to be able to bring you some really creative and exciting programming that will stand the test of our English Weather! Keep an eye on our website for details of our outdoor events from May 2021.
Finally...We Want To Hear From You!
We always want to hear from our local communities and right now we particularly want to hear from our rural communities. We want to understand what art and cultural events our rural communities in Bedfordshire access, how this differs to our more urban audience and how we can reach more of our rural communities within our future programming/projects. So, if you have a few moments spare, please take some time to complete our short survey.