Researching The People Behind Theatre In The Round In ScarboroughSince Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre opened in Scarborough in 1955, hundreds of people have been employed by Studio Theatre Ltd and Scarborough Theatre Trust, ranging from actors to stage management, administration to front of house and many, many more. It is an obvious statement that the people involved with the theatre are the key to its success. Whilst some people may be more recognisable than others or have more responsibilities, ultimately everyone who has worked with theatre in the round in Scarborough has in some way contributed to the company's achievements.
This ethos was symbolised by the Green Room at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. During Alan Ayckbourn's tenure as Artistic Director, no-one was allowed kettles in their office. Morning and afternoon coffee breaks took place at the same time every day and anyone who wanted a drink - no matter who they were or where they worked - had to come to the Green Room. Alan believed this not only fostered a community but communication between the departments, so everyone would know what was going on in the building. It also emphasised that everyone was important to the building as the Green Room was a place for all the theatre's staff. Throughout Alan's tenure as Artistic Director, every department was actively encouraged to attend these breaks as it was seen as a vital part of the successful operation of the company.
This also extended to rehearsals, which were open to all staff members. A balcony was deliberately included in the design of the main rehearsal room so staff could observe productions in rehearsal. Again, Alan felt this fostered a community but also allowed everyone to feel part of the production process. He felt it particularly important that front of house staff, particularly box office staff, should attend at least Ione rehearsal for every show to better understand what they were selling to the public.
Sadly, in the years subsequent to Alan Ayckbourn stepping down as Artistic Director, the majority of these initiatives have either dropped off or been closed down - such as being able to attend rehearsals and common tea-breaks. Perhaps understandably given everyone has their own ethos and Alan Ayckbourn was unusual in trying to produce a theatre community where everyone in the company was equally valued.
Within this section of A Round Town, the website has made an attempt to pay tribute to many of the key figures who have contributed to productions at the theatre-in-the-round in Scarborough between 1955 and 2008. It cannot claim to be a definitive list, but hopefully it includes many of the people who contributed to the company over these decades.
Research, Limitations & IssuesIt is fair to say no-one has attempted to make a list of everyone who has worked at the various homes of theatre in the round in Scarborough between 1955 and 2009. It is a massive task, not helped by the limitations of the material held in archive. Not even the Stephen Joseph Theatre itself holds a single list of people who have worked with the company over the years in each department and most of the information for the website has been drawn from the programmes for the productions and information held in the Ayckbourn Archive at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, the Stephen Joseph Theatre collection at Scarborough Library and the author's personal archive.
This does mean there are omissions. For whilst the programmes are extremely comprehensive in the staff listings since 1996, prior to that the programmes were not as comprehensive or even particularly helpful. Even production staff were frequently left out of programmes before the 1970s. As a result, there are obviously gaps in the various lists.
The website is limited to what information was presented in the theatre programmes and, also, which programmes have survived. For anything before 1996, there is no other source of information which has survived which offers an insight into the people who worked in theatre in the round in Scarborough.
ActorsWhilst a comprehensive list of every actor to have worked with theatre in the round in Scarborough between 1955 and 2008 does exist in private archive, it is not carried on this website. Given the sheer number of professional actors who have worked with the company, a decision was made on grounds of space to just give a taste of some of the extraordinary talent which has performed with the company during this period.
Of course, the choice is subjective when you are reducing a list of approaching a thousand actors to just a hundred or so. As a result, there may be some disagreement as to the choices and the inclusions and omissions. This is inevitable with a subjective choice made by the website administrator.
OmissionsIf you notice an omission, we're more than happy to put it right. All you need do is send a name, the relevant department and the year(s) or a couple of the productions which took place during that tenure. We'll then check the information and add it to the list. Email the details to: email@example.com.
All research for this section of the website is by Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without crediting Simon Murgatroyd and the website.