Wimborne Community Theatre was conceived in 1991 by community arts and educational theatre practitioners: Tony Horitz, Sharon Muiruri and Gill Horitz.
The concept of community site-specific theatre grew out of work with schools in 1989/90, undertaken by Tony Horitz and Sharon Muiruri, (Bournemouth Theatre in Education), at National Trust property, Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, Dorset.
Middle school children, studying local history, role-played in costume as Edwardian servants in 1905. Actors, Tony Horitz and Sharon Muiruri, role-played as key characters, providing a narrative structure. Passing members of the public were fascinated by what they saw and commented that the drama seemed to bring the site to life.
The Edwardian servants’ story became the basis for a scene in the first play, Voyages. Apart from the involvement of schools, a group of local people took part in workshops and rehearsals. This group became the core of what became known as Wimborne Community Theatre.
With a number of key partners, we set up ‘Arts in the Community Events’ under the auspices of Wimborne-based, East Dorset Heritage Trust, to develop and manage the productions.
The inaugural Steering Group reflects WCT’s partnership approach: Jeff Hart (Chief Inspector for Schools, Dorset Education Authority), Gill Horitz (Project Manager), Tony Horitz (Bournemouth Theatre in Education), Barbara Webber (Education Officer, Kingston Lacy) and Alan Wilson, (Director, East Dorset Heritage Trust)