WIMBORNE COMMUNITY THEATRE AGM ON TUESDAY 15th MARCH 2016 AT 5 MIDDLEHILL ROAD, COLEHILL, WIMBORNE
Review of WCT activities in 2015
This report covers activities between October 2014 and September 2015.
This year saw a number of workshops and preparation for a production in 2016 related to World War One. In August a number of the group participated in the reading of a play as part of the Hiroshima Dispersed project.
In April 2015 we were very sad to lose Ken, our oldest and most treasured member, and also Kathryn who was a member of the group as a child.
We built on our successful fundraising efforts to continue to raise funds for the various projects.
The Year’s Activities:
- Practical Workshops on the theme of World War One
Three specialist workshops were mounted with professional artists who will be working with us on the forthcoming production. On October 9th 2014 Karen Wimhurst led a successful Music workshop in Church House. On November 6th Roz Conlon challenged the group with a session on Movement in the Crypt of the Minster. Adrian Newton held a very enjoyable workshop on Sound at Church House on January 15th 2015.
- WCT Workshops
During the spring and summer of 2015 Tony Horitz led several sessions which further developed ideas around World War One using a range of drama strategies based on our research of the period. The sessions were held at the Priest’s House Museum on March 5th and 24th, April 29th, 4th June, 28th July and 23rd September 2015.
- Hiroshima Dispersed
On August 6th, the 70th Anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, twelve members took part in a public reading of The Grandchildren of Hiroshima by Misaki Setyoyama on the Minster Green, Wimborne. WCT was invited by London Bubble to participate in Hiroshima Dispersed, an oral history and performance project. We joined groups from The Bubble Theatre in London, Yes Theatre on the West Bank in Palestine, Bohol Island in the Philippines, Pune in India, First Stage in Milwaukee, USA and South Africa to share this moving experience.
Throughout the year, research into Wimborne during World War One continued. A creative group was generated which met several times to identify pieces of research and how they could be used in the planned production.
Members of the group held meetings with residents of Old Road, where many families lost men during World War One, and with Len Pearce at the Minster who had useful information about the names on the town war memorial.
Four members of the group visited Flanders for a long weekend in May to see a spectacular outdoor performance of Furious Folly, in Poperinge, Belgium. They also visited the In Flanders Field Museum in Ypres and an exhibition, The Smell of War, in the Castle de Lovie, Belgium as well as war graves and battle sites.
- Website Archive Project
Throughout the year there was ongoing work in populating the website, including many of the playscripts of past productions, and ensuring that it was kept up to date with news and information for members. It now features a monthly Look Inside our Archive focus to point readers to a particular area of the archived materials. The site has been linked to Facebook to increase its audience and accessibility.
This year was again a successful one for fundraising.
- We held a Skittles Evening at the Coach and Horses pub on January 23rd 2015 and raised nearly £200. We also held a Quiz Evening on 22nd October 2014 at the Colehill Sports and Social Club which raised £362. We are grateful to John Billington for hosting both of these events. A new activity introduced this year was a summer event on July 17th which attracted many people to a Murder Mystery Treasure Trail around the streets of Wimborne, solving the clues to reveal the murderer, the murder weapon and the final destination where we all met for a well-earned drink. £285 was raised for WCT funds from ticket sales and a raffle. Our major success was the award of £15,000.00 from the Arts Council of England to fund our production in 2016.
- Christmas Party
An enjoyable Christmas party was held at Tony and Gill’s house on 19th December 2014 which also raised funding through a raffle run by Clare.
- Steering Group
The Steering Group continued to meet regularly to plan events and development as well as ensure that the group’s administrative affairs were in order, dealing with matters such as finance, insurance and Safeguarding for Children.We have now generated and adopted policies for Data Protection and Equality and Diversity which are available on the website.A sub-committee of the Steering Group also met several times to work successfully on bidding for grant for the 2016 production.
Stewart Bullen took over the responsibility of keeping records on membership and subscriptions in September 2015, following Jean Austreng’s resignation. Clare Small was co-opted on to the Steering Group to fill the vacancy left by Jean. We would very much like to thank Jean for her hard work managing membership and subscriptions, her commitment to WCT and her valuable contributions to workshops and meetings.
Last year’s AGM was held on 19th March 2015 at Jeff and Barbara Hart’s house to review the year October 2013 – September 2014 and elect officers for the following year.
The website remains the main means of keeping members and followers informed of our activities. Regular Mailchimp newsletters are also sent out and members are emailed with relevant news and dates of specific events.
- Thus 2014 – 15 was a consolidation year for the group, particularly in securing the ACE grant and continuing to develop ideas through research for the World War One production. We also continued the work of the group through two series of workshops and participation in the Hiroshima Dispersed project as well as raising funds through three events to help finance the group.We are grateful to supporters who come along to events and fundraising activities.Gill Horitz continues to do a wonderful job in promoting the group’s work and her successful application to ACE. We continue to be extremely grateful to Tuppy Hill for her excellent work as our Secretary and to Adrian Williams for keeping us financially on track as Treasurer.
- Jeff Hart