Well, it does! Hay-on-Wye has a professionally-led community theatre company, involving forty local people aged 5-80, who meet to explore all things dramatic.
Hay Theatre CIC was set up by professional writer, actor, director Janine Sharp and volunteer Business Director Sue Hodgetts in 2013 as a not-for-profit company. Janine started Hay Junior Youth Theatre in 2009, Hay Senior Youth Theatre in 2013 and
Hay Adult Theatre Studies (HATS) in 2011. The base was at The Globe in Hay, but now they have no base, no home... “ahhh,” we hear you say in true panto style!
“We like to think of ourselves as a bit like Banksy.” says Janine, “We pop up here and there with amazing shows and then vanish again.”
Not even the pandemic stopped them - they moved outdoors performing promenade, site specific shows in St Marys Churchyard Cusop. Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2021 and Alice in Wonderland in 2022 were exciting and challenging requiring the audience to move from yew tree to yew tree.
Funding may be scarce and they still have no permanent base, but what they do have is an amazing team, with skills in stage management (Debbie Leary), set/prop construction (Keith Hodgetts, Larry Harris), costumes (Sue Hodgetts, Pauline Harris) graphics/
design (Pauline Harris) and music (Larry Harris).
Hay Theatre now have a band too.
“Theatre by the people for the people” says Janine, “I can’t seem to retire, it’s too good. Theatre skills build confidence, alleviate anxieties and create a non-competitive and supportive team. We are a drama family.”
Hay Theatre employs other professionals; Johnny Cartwright, local film maker (Bamboozle Films) and magician www.mrbamboozle.co.uk; and Professional actor/drama teacher Gemma Lord recently moved here from London. Gemma and Johnny will be running
some exciting sessions in 2023.
“We will apply for funding for another show, a warm space winter production.” So watch this space, what space? Where will they be? Who knows, but try and catch them if
you can, you won’t regret it.
Hay Youth theatre resumes Saturday 14th January at Cusop Village Hall.
Juniors 10-30-12-30 and Seniors 1-3pm.
£10 per person per session on pay as you go basis. Call Janine on 07733 055430 to book a place or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org