Researching The People Behind Theatre In The Round In Scarborough

Since the Library Theatre opened in Scarborough in 1955, hundreds of people have been employed by Studio Theatre Ltd and Scarborough Theatre Trust 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 at the theatre has in some way contributed to what it is today.

Former Artistic Director Alan Ayckbourn has said on many occasions - no doubt inspired by Stephen Joseph - that the theatre is a community where everyone is vital. Be they on-stage, working off-stage, running the theatre or front of house. All depend on the other. He noted on several occasions, the Front of House team were as essential as the production team because if an audience disliked a play, hopefully the front of house experience was good enough to still cast the theatre and the evening in a positive light.

This ethos has always been 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.

In the
People section, this website has made an attempt to pay tribute to everyone who has contributed to theatre-in-the-round in Scarborough over the decades. It cannot claim to be a definitive list, but hopefully it will continue to grow and mark as many people as possible and their contributions to the theatre.

Research, Limitations & Issues

It is fair to say no-one has attempted to make a list of everyone who has worked at the various homes of the Stephen Joseph Theatre since 1955. It is a massive task, not helped by the limitations of the material held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. There is no single list of people who have worked at the theatre over the years in each department and most of the information for the website has had to be drawn from the programmes for the productions.

This does mean there are omissions. For whilst the programmes have been extremely comprehensive in the staff listings since 1996, prior to that the programmes were not as comprehensive or even helpful! Even production staff were frequently left out of programmes before the 1970s, never mind administration and front of house staff. As a result, there are gaps in the various lists, but omissions can rectified (see foot of the page).

The website is limited to what information was presented in the theatre programmes and which programmes have survived - for anything before 1996, there is no other source of information which has survived which offers an insight into the staff at the theatre.

Exclusions

Whilst the lists aim to be as comprehensive as possible, the sheer volume of the task - and quality of research material available - inevitably led to decisions of what would be included and what would not.

> The People section of the website aims to list and include professional full-time or part-time employees of Scarborough Theatre Trust (except for exceptions below).

It does not include:

>
Volunteers: Volunteers who have worked for Scarborough Theatre Trust since 1976 are not included in the list as there is no reliable source of information for all the people who have been involved in voluntary work for departments such as the Education Department over the decades. The exception to this is, where known, the volunteers who manned front of house between 1955 and 1975 are included.

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Restaurant / Bar Staff / Shop: As the restaurant and bar have frequently not been run by Scarborough Theatre Trust, the staff for these facilities have not been included.

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Placements: Work / education placements have not been included as, again, no comprehensive details exist for these people.

Over time, the categories above may be added to the website, but the immediate aim is to make as comprehensive a list of professional employees of Scarborough Theatre Trust as possible.

Omissions

If 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: admin@alanayckbourn.net.

All research for this section of the website is by Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without crediting Simon Murgatroyd and the website.