A new website celebrating the colourful history of the Open Air Theatre.
With over 80 years and 300 productions to cover, this archive will be added to as resource becomes available. Our summer musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, has been nominated for an Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. In celebration, we have focused on Artistic Director, Timothy Sheader’s, musical history at the Open Air Theatre.
The JCL Trust is a Founding Sponsor of the Open Air Theatre Heritage Project. Funding has also been provided by an anonymous donation and money raised from staff members participating the in Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon.
How you can help
With such a wealth of collateral still to digitalize, donations to help fund the project can be made here. We are also very interested to hear from trusts or foundations who may be interested in helping to fund the project.
However, it is not just about money, we really need your help to fill in the gaps of our archive. If you have any material from your past visits to the Open Air Theatre – perhaps a programme, photographs or theatre tickets – we would love to hear from you. We are particularly interested in material from the 1930’s-60s. To donate an item, simply send it to:
Stage Door Gate
Open Air Theatre
Alternatively, e-mail or call 020 7467 4956 to discuss how we can scan your item for use in the project. This is your chance to add to the theatre’s history.
About the Open Air Theatre Archive
The Open Air Theatre Archive is located at the Shakespeare Institute Library in Stratford and comprises items dating largely from 1962, with a few items relating to productions given at the theatre during the 1930s. Material includes prompt books, show reports, scrapbooks, reviews, programmes, posters, production photographs, costume and set designs, ground plans, music scores, and production administration files. A small amount of archive material is also located at the theatre site in Regent’s Park, London.
Want to know more?
Items from the Open Air Theatre collections can be accessed on request by contacting Karin Brown from the Shakespeare Institute Library in Stratford. For enquiries regarding the material located at the theatre site in Regent’s Park, please e-mail us.
A timeline marking the key moments in the theatre’s history can also be found on the History page of the website here.