Full redecoration of the auditorium with repairs as necessary with the objective of enhancing Preston Playhouse as a vibrant artistic space.
It's 75 years since the building (itself 175 years old) was converted into a theatre. It's a recognised heritage site and is opened annually for public visits under the Heritage Open Days initiative, England’s largest festival of history and culture. It's decades since the auditorium was updated and whist it's a heritage site, we would prefer it not to become a museum piece
The theatre is operated by Preston Little Theatre Co Ltd, a registered charity wholly staffed by volunteers. For a project of this size fully capable professional help is needed. This will require funds beyond our means and we are looking for public support to help finance the work.
The work will include making good all the walls and ceiling and then repainting them including the arch and surround of the stage
What we'll deliver:
- A modern theatre which has a welcoming atmosphere for its audiences
Why it's a great idea:
The object of Preston Little Theatre Co Ltd is to advance general education in the theatrical arts by providing a well-equipped theatre where local amateur groups can rehearse and present their shows, thereby developing their own talents and the public appreciation of live theatrical performance.
As Preston's only working theatre, we do all we can to keep theatrical arts alive in the City.
Our objective for this project is to make Preston Playhouse a modern, welcoming centre for theatre in the City with a view to sustaining our present audience numbers, and attracting a new, more diverse, younger audience.
Our aspiration is to encourage younger people to experience theatre and provide the opportunity for those not yet engaged to visit, perhaps for the first time. The project will provide a much more attractive welcome to those who may have the perception that the Playhouse is "old fashioned".
Steps to get it done:
- Receive tenders 13 January 2023
- Submit Crowdfund Lancashire application 1 February 2023
- Go live with fundraising 1 February 2023
- Gain funding 31 May 2023
- Deliver project 1 July to 31 August 2023
During the current season the theatre is scheduled to present 99 performances, 32 of which will feature young persons, to overall audience numbers of some 15,000. Several hundreds more people will be involved on stage, back stage and front of house.
At present, each resident User society has a loyal audience which has been developed over many years. The core audiences for the drama groups tend to have a more mature age profile with around 60 to 70% of attendees qualifying for concession ticket prices. One exception is Preston Musical Comedy Society which stages the annual Christmas pantomime which always attracts full houses with a mix of children, parents and grandparents.
Other Users with a youth focus include the Players Drama School, Euphoria Dance, Broughton Music Academy, Preston College and the Jopson Music Academy.
We also run occasional workshops for local schools and colleges and host shows for charitable organisations raising funds for such as Parkinson's Disease