Membership: Venue, Festival, Art Organisation
Number of shows
A little bit about us, we are a smallish theatre based in Dalbeattie. That provides family entertainment in the form of a cinema and theatre. We are a SCIO (SC048107) with a two tier constitution. The group itself has never needed funding before, we have been in existence in some form or another since the 1940s.
Our membership consists of around 30 young people from 8 years old to 18 years old. In order to provide a input into the service we provide, we have two sitting trustees who are from our youth membership. We provide a weekly youth drama night, in which we help the young people overcome any confidence issues, teach them about theatre and stagecraft. A positive result of the service we provide is that we have found several of the young people who come to the youth nights at Birchvale enjoy theatre so much that they go on to study it in further education in college or university. We have also started having the older % of the youth section help with the running of the theatre, involving front of house duties and serving customers. This we hope will give them a little experience in what it is like in the service industry. Several of our youth members use our service as an escape from their home lives, we provide a safe inclusive space where they can be who they want to be. Using theatre to express themselves in productions which they act and direct throughout the year. We have members with autism who do not come to act, but really enjoy backstage craft including painting and set building. Our young people see the theatre as a friendship group, which can stretch into the school environment.
Rural isolation is a very important factor in Dalbeattie, it is quite often overlooked as it does lie on A75. With a reduction in services provided by the council, our members feel that services like ours in Dalbeattie are very scarce. We aim to provide our activities at a low reasonable cost to allow anyone to access them.
We have a adult membership of around 30, with members aged 25 stretching right up to people 65+. Many of whom have been involved in the theatre since a young age themselves. Our adult members perform throughout the year in several productions. They are also responsible for the general running of the theatre.
We are working quite a major project at the moment. Our current building (a single brick thick hut) has reached the end of its lifespan, we had a building survey carried out in 2017. The outcome of which proved that a move would be crucial for us to carry on our work. The decision was made to try and find a new home for the Birchvale Players, who have been in existence in some form or another in Dalbeattie for almost 80 years. The building we are trying to asset transfer is the old St Peter's Primary School, which is now surplus to council requirements.