The Stahl Theatre - West Street, Oundle, Northamptonshire, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
N 52° 28.861 W 000° 28.351
30U E 671632 N 5817543
Quick Description: This attractive, converted church is home to The Stahl Theatre of Oundle School.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 10/24/2009 7:12:37 AM
Waymark Code: WM7GNP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:
Oundle School describes this excellent venue in detail:
(visit link)

'The Stahl Theatre was opened in 1980. The Stahl Theatre is owned and managed by Oundle School, run by the Drama Department staff, many of who have a professional theatre background. It houses both the School productions and visiting professional theatre companies. It acts as the local community theatre used by the local junior and middle schools for their annual productions, by the Oundle Literature and Organ Festivals and by groups such as the Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

The consultant’s brief when converting the Congregational Church was to design a theatre of professional standard that could be effectively run by pupils. Over the interim twenty-five years the standard of the equipment has been constantly updated to keep up with changes in theatrical production. Thus now the sound equipment is of a very high standard, the lighting is fully computerised and we have recently added our first moving light to the vast stock of lighting equipment.

After a fire in 1997, the backstage areas of the Theatre were completely redesigned allowing for a great improvement in these facilities, such that there are now three well-appointed dressing rooms, a large rehearsal space, a Green Room and several offices.

Pupils are involved in all forms of theatre work: constructing and painting sets and properties, stage management, costumes, lighting and sound design as well as acting and directing. Regular sessions are run each week in each area and pupils then sign up for particular roles in a production.

All School productions are stage managed entirely by pupils, which becomes the most important job for any production. This pupil attends all rehearsals and runs the show in performance giving cues for all technical aspects of that show.

A large workshop attached to the Theatre run by the Technical Stage Manager provides the location for all construction work. This building houses all the necessary equipment for the building of flats and furniture as required for individual productions. Much of this is then stored on site and re-used when appropriate. Most evenings a number of pupils can be found building or painting items for the next production.

A member of staff runs the Wardrobe, but she has a large team of dressers who help out for all shows, being responsible for all aspects of costumes, including making costumes, running repairs and assisting with quick changes.

Pupils with a particular technical interest can become heavily involved in lighting and sound, and as well as working on School productions often become involved helping with the visiting professional companies.

Major School productions are directed by members of the Drama Department, but House Plays and other productions can be directed by pupils. Some of these are presented in the Stahl, but can also be presented in other venues around the School, such as the Great Hall, House Dining Rooms, and outside venues.
The Theatre Staff

We have a large, professional team of theatre practitioners. In addition to the Director there is the Theatre Manager, Ali Dean, who is responsible for the day to day running of the Theatre and who designs many of our productions; the Technical Manager, Phil Hanley, a professional member of the Association of Lighting Designers; and George Mullen is the full time Technical Stage Manager, with responsibility for building our increasingly ambitious sets as well as looking after the professional companies. Tessa Watts-Russell, the theatre secretary, runs the Box Office, which is open daily in term time. We employ a professional theatre photographer, Mike Kwasniak, to photograph all our productions.

One of our aims is that pupils should assume considerable responsibility and feel that they are helping to run an efficient enterprise. Large numbers get involved backstage, for both the professional productions and our own, acting as Stage Managers, Technical Designers, Wardrobe Staff and Crew. One reason for the success of the theatre is, we believe, that so many members of the School feel an involvement in it and a pride in its successful running. A number of pupils from the School now enter the profession as actors, stage managers or designers.

The Front of House teams are made up of groups from each of our Houses who ensure a courteous welcome for the audience, see them to their seats and help with interval refreshments, another way in which pupils can become involved with the efficient running of the Stahl Theatre.

Even in the grimmest of times people have always made music and they have always found laughter. And so, casting off the grey mantle of recession and the dark cloak of political collapse, the new Stahl season offers plenty of chances to escape the gloom through comedy, fantasy and excellent tunes that have outlived the ups and downs of history.

The curtain rises to the heart-warming strains of The RFK Big Band, an ensemble guaranteed to put a song in your heart and dance in your step. We have comedy in the shape of two very funny women performers. It is a thrill to welcome Jan Ravens whose Funny Look at Impressions shows just why she is in such great demand as a sharp and uncannily accurate mimic of the good and the great. Ginny Davis is bringing her award-winning talents here (as seen this summer on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth) with Family Matters, a show that will appeal to anyone who has ever been a teenager. We are proud to stage this production in aid of the Thommy Purbrook Scholarship Fund.

Fantasy is on the cards with The Six-Sided Man - a thought-provoking and dark game of chance, while longer evenings herald the arrival of ghosts in the shape of Norfolk's Rose, a new play by rising star Bart Lee and Scrooge's nocturnal visitors in John Mortimer's wonderful adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Regardless of the financial or political climate of the time, Dickens' tale of redemption and hope through change cannot be bettered as a harbinger of the Christmas season.

I hope you will find something to amuse, relieve, distract and cheer you in these pages and we look forward to seeing you here at The Stahl soon.'
Theater Name: The Stahl Theatre

Country: United Kingdom

West Street
Oundle, Northamptonshire United Kingdom

Web Site: [Web Link]

Venue: Academic Affiliation

Type of Productions:
Multi-use - all manner of productions

Restored Building: yes

Date of Construction: 1980

Stage Type: Proscenium

Architect/Designer: Not listed

Seating Capacity: Not Listed

Special Productions/Events/Festivals: Not listed

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