The blog

Heritage Project 16
Oct

By Open Air Theatre

 

Judi Dench directing The Boys from Syracuse, 1991

Judi Dench directing The Boys from Syracuse, 1991

We are delighted to announce the launch of our Open Air Theatre Heritage Project. This is the first stage of the project which gives access to our fascinating 83 year history through a new website, www.openairtheatreheritage.com.

Currently held at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, our archive includes programmes, posters, photographs and production designs and, once digitalised, these will be accessible to view, and search, via this new website.

With over 300 productions, the collection is vast; we have therefore focused on four of our alumni for the launch: Judi Dench, Benedict Cumberbatch, Janie Dee and Hugh Bonneville. Judi Dench has been on our board for over 20 years (and directed an Olivier Award-winning musical), and Hugh Bonneville made his theatrical debut here as the alternate for Ralph Fiennes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1986. Benedict Cumberbatch first appeared here in 2001 as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Janie Dee met her husband whilst performing in Romeo and Juliet in 1993. Their stories are the first that we will tell through this website.

The JCL Trust is a Founding Sponsor of the Open Air Theatre Heritage Project. However, with such a wealth of collateral still to digitalize, donations to help fund the project can be made at www.openairtheatre.com/donations-booking.

We are also looking for donations of historic material, especially for the period 1932 – 1962, where current archives are limited. Please email heritage@openairtheatre.com to make contributions to the archive.

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