Thanks to an awesome local lady's donations, our fundraising ebay account has been updated with a lovely selection of good condition children's DVDs, just in time for the holidays, all listed this evening! Lots of Disney and other content. Every penny raised goes into our rehearsals/ props/ costuming/ venue hire/ insurances etc (and thus mean we can keep running!)
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We are thrilled and incredibly grateful to Tesco Bags of Help/ Tesco Community Grants, for confirming today that they will contribute £1,000 contractually ringfenced for our production of Ben Hur over the coming year, specifically contributing to costumes, props, and making involvement more accessible for local people. A final usage report of the specific use of the funds will be made to Tesco Bags of Help will be available on our website, in the fundraising section, in due course.
We continue to fundraise as best we can for our upcoming shows, rehearsal space, and to be able to get things form the charity shops etc for making into costumes and props (as well as the insurances and the other costs behind the scenes like that).
To this end, we are just reminding everyone that one of our regular ways of fundraising is to sell "lots" of used postage stamps to collectors on our Ebay shop (take a look at: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/southdevonplayers) . We are incredibly grateful for donations of any used stamps - after all, if you do not collect them, we would be hugely grateful for any donations. They can be sent to us at the community centre where we usually rehearse, or email us if you are local to Brixham and one of us can collect. Please help us by sharing the word, and thank you so much for supporting local theatre work
This week has been very positive.
First of all, we would like to make a huge thanks to the healthy living shop in town, Oats, from whom we collected our fundraising pot the other day. It was counted up today and we had raised £22.28 - enough for a week of rehearsal hall hire when we return to our physical rehearsals later this summer; which is fantastic!
You can check out Oats (who have a super shop) at www.oatsofbrixham.co.uk.
Our lovely friend Alllie and supporter also brought up a stamp collection which was left to us for fundraising by her mother, Margaret, who used to love coming to our outdoor shows and events; the stamps were amazing and have been put on sale online on our fundraising ebay account - if you, or a friend like stamp collecting, please pop over to our ebay shop at www.ebay.co.uk/usr/southdevonplayers
We have suspended the email newsletters on mailchimp while we sort out a glitch; a couple of recipients reported recieving the same email dozens of times, and while we get to the bottom of the glitch, and sort it out, newsletters are suspended as we dont want anyone else getting their inbox swamped. Hopefully it should only take a week or two!
We are continuing with rehearsals; the cast and crew are amazing! And the education pack is coming along well, with videos and additional resources. We would love to create a video or document (or both!!) answering wider student questions, so if you have any about creating digital theatre in general, or about the show in particular, please send them our way ( email@example.com).
Today we have some incredible news which we hope will make a huge difference to our future.
We would like to welcome Dawn on board as our new grant fundraiser (she will be specialising in grant applications). She has a professional history of grant fundraising for theatre and the wider arts, including some larger national companies.
Securing this kind of assistance means that while we will continue all our usual fundraising (ebay, Redbubble, the second-hand book shelf in Oats, etc), we have a better shot at getting really proper funding which will allow us to do things like (but not limited to)
- obtain up to date portable lighting, sound and projection equipment
- build our arts inclusion "theatre buddies" scheme easier
- raise Equity rate payments for our cast and crew at last (something we have wanted to achieve for years)
- fund the £20 per week for our rehearsal space, in a stable manner.
- transport our actors and crew easily to show bookings outside our home area of Torbay
- reach new venues further afield with our shows, from which we are precluded due to travel costs.
- provide specialist, knoweldgeable accessibility support to both creatives in our shows, and visiting audience members, with disabilities.
- develop our digital education packs that come with each show.
It has taken a long time to find someone with such a background, and experience. Having met Dawn today she seems absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to work with her to help bring the South Devon Players forward to this (in my opinion) long overdue step for our amazing team.
As we look towards busier times again after the pandemic, we are also looking for people who would like to get involved with us, behind the scenes, to help create shows, and increase access to our work. The roles we are looking to fill vary hugely in commitment and theme, but as long as you are based in the relevant area, are reliable & communicative, and love the arts, then we should get along very happily indeed. Please read on to find out what we are looking to fill. If you would like an informal chat about any of these roles, do please drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, at any time.
*NB, at the moment, due to lack of funding, all of these roles are voluntary. We hope, eventually, to be able to make all of these roles paid positions by dint of raising the funds to do so! Sadly with the Brixham Pannier Market being permanently closed by the town council, we have lost our large second-hand book stall, meaning that we are having to create new sources of fundraising even for basic things like rehearsal space, from scratch.
We would also like to be very clear that we take Covid-safety extremely seriously. While some roles can be done, or at least prepared for, from home and can therefore start sooner rather than later, any roles that involve working out and about with others/ in groups will only begin when it is safe to do so - we estimate August onwards. In the meantime, training and preparation, as far as can be done remotely over Zoom etc, will happen for those roles in preparation. All of our "face to face" work in groups will have Covid-safety measures in place.
We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the owners of local health food shop Oats ( <- please like their page!) who will be stocking our fundraising book stall, beginning during next week!
Thank you so much to Oats for helping support our work!
You can visit their website at https://www.oatsofbrixham.co.uk
We are sad to announce that today we, along with all other stall-holders, recieved the sudden news that after the pandemic, Brixham Pannier Market will not be reopening, as the local Brixham Town Council have decided to not renew the hire to the market. The Pannier Market was held in the market hall in the town hall complex, in Brixham Town Centre.
Over the past year, when able to open, it won a national award for it's support of local businesses, and was featured on ITV, for doing the same.
Sadly there was no consultation with stall-holders when the Town Council decided to close it.
This of course has negatively impacted quite a few local businesses, completely closing-down at least one, and for our company, has resulted in the end of our book stall, which fundraised for rehearsal space (in turn putting those funds into a local volunteer-run community centre), as well as providing a face-to-face place where people locally could find out about our work.
With the town having a higher-than-national-average demographic of older people who are often less familar with using the internet, having a face-to-face point of contact was invaluable, as well as the fundraising.
Our existing stock of books (all of which had been donated) will be sold off over the spring (ideally in bulk), and we will be focussing on different ventures, including building up our ebay shop, and, once it is fully safe to do so, arranging a point in town where people can come and meet us and find out about our work, once a week.
Regardlless of how things have turned out, we cannot thank Shaun and Mark Kennard enough for all their hard work in trying to get that market running well, and for their support for all local businesses and organisations. Everyone at the market has made enduring friendships, which will continue into the future, but it is truly the end of an era.
We will find new ways to fundraise and new ways to make ourselves accessible on a general face-to-face level in our local town, as we slowly come out of the pandemic.
If anyone might be interested in acquiring three large crates of books (all subjects, fiction and non-fiction), please drop us a line email@example.com
Details of the crowdfund can be found at https://crowdfunder.co.uk/benhursdp
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, has caused the continued postponement and cancellation of live shows for well over a year, for every performance venue in the UK. Now, the UK government has published an expected roadmap of eventually being able to reopen the theatres by the end of the year.
Ben Hur is the Players' big returning big project, returning to theatrical "normality" after Covid. It is also the company's biggest/ most ambitious show to date, pushing performance, technical, set, lighting and costuming ingenuity to new heights, bringing this beautiful tale to the stage.
Based on the famous novel by Lew Wallace, Ben Hur is set in the first century AD. Judah Ben Hur, a young nobleman of Jerusalem; a city under the occupation of the Roman Empire; is accused of attempting to murder the Roman governor, by his erstwhile closest boyhood friend, Massala, now a Roman commander. Sentenced to life as a galley slave; a sentence which usually led to death within months, Judah survives, and after a pirate attack on the Roman navy in the Agean sea, travels to Rome a hero, having saved the life of the Roman commander in his escape. He once more returns to Jerusalem, seeking his mother and sister, who were imprisoned for the same attack, and finds no trace of them. He does however, find Massala, and blinded by rage, challenges Massala at the annual arena "Games". Massala is killed in the games, with his dying breath, reveals to Judah that his mother and sister were in fact released and driven from the city as lepers. With all hope, and all lust for revenge, gone, Judah is lost, but fate is not finished with him. He eventually finds his mother and sister, who are miraculously healed by a preacher, who has recently come to the city........
A historical drama set in Biblical times, the tale of Ben Hur is interwoven with the life and death of Jesus Christ, who appears twice in the drama. This is ultimately a powerful tale of hope and love, set within the dramatic and often brutal times of the Roman Empire.
The script features a wide range of strong, memorable characters, both male and female, with a large age range, carefully crafted into a show which will not only explore ambitious creative and inclusive theatre-making, but also a show, that regardless of any religious or political belief of the part of the audience members, will remain a powerful, beautiful memory for years to come.
Subject to coming safely out of the pandemic, and in accordance with the UK government's expected roadmap to national recovery from the pandemic, allowing for rehearsals and performances from August onwards, the Players expect to cast the show in August 2021, when they will also begin rehearsals, twice a week (Wednesdays and Sundays) in the room they rent in their local community centre. The show will be toured to local & regional venues, including theatres, churches, and other spaces, during the spring of 2022. The team usually perform in at least 4 towns and cities, ranging from their home town of Brixham, up to Bristol, but they are also hoping to expand the tour this time for such an exciting show, and are actively seeking new venues. The team will also be filming the show for online broadcast through our website. Should dates of recovery from the pandemic change nationally or regionally, the project dates may change in line with that, but this project will go ahead.
The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company is an internationally awardwinning theatre company based in the beautiful fishing port of Brixham, in South Devon (hence the company name!) in the southwest peninsula of England. Founded in the winter of 2005-6, to create theatre opportunities for local actors in an area of high poverty and deprivation, the South Devon Players specialise in carefully researched historical dramas; often new writing based on new historical research, Shakespeare, and as in this case, staged adaptations of classical literature. Bringing these stories alive on the stage, brings historical research, and some of the great classical tales, to life in an accessible, colourful, experiential format - so much more different than the black and white of the pages of a book.
An inclusive, female led company, the company welcomes actors and crew at all levels of previous experience, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, education, or other kinds of identities/ demographics. The Players hold the belief that talent and professionalism is everywhere, and needs only a chance to shine. The only requirements of the company is that those who join the team have the desire and drive to create groundbreaking top-quality theatre, work positively in a team environment, developing and sharing skills, and that good manners, positivity, reliability and kindness are paramount .
The Players are launching the crowdfund for this project to help support their return to the live stage, with funds going towards costumes, props, and the costs of production, as well as funds towards payments for the actors and crew, facilitating a high quality and positive project to return from the lockdowns and Covid crisis.
The South Devon Players Theatre and Film Company, are developing a proud tradition of creating world-class historical and classical dramas. In 2019, their production of Macbeth, was booked for a second tour and won an international theatre award in New York for its professionalism and creativity. Laura Jury, the director of that production of Macbeth, & many of the Player's shows, and founder of the theatre company, has returned to lead this new project. Laura has also recently been selected to appear in an online Shakespeare project by the Globe Theatre. With lockdown, the Players have been using the internet to perform and stream digital theatre from Brixham, around the world to global audiences, with growing excellent feedback.
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