What is a Community Play?
It’s a powerful piece of drama written for and about a specific town and its history. Dorchester has a proud legacy of community plays and none of them would have been possible without the passion, talent and time given by our community.
Uniquely, over the past 30 years we have staged 6 community plays, each one involving more than 100 performers, plus musicians, performing to an audience of 200 a night for 11 performances, many of them had never performed before. Now we are gearing up to bring our newest production to life in 2020 – Spinning the Moon by playwright Stephanie Dale.
Previous plays have become part of the fabric and heritage of Dorchester and over the past three decades thousands of locals have been involved and each time something truly unique has been experienced and created.
The purpose of a community play is to bring together the entire community, involving as many people as possible as actors, musicians, technicians and, of course, audiences.
The community play is open to all, led by a professional team, it's not just about acting or singing, but about everything which makes each production possible. This includes historical and social research, workshops, costume making, stage design and construction, props, sound and lighting, stage management and front of house activities.
Everyone involved has something unique to offer and taking part is a wonderful way of making friends and finding out more about other people and about yourself. We all have hidden talents and abilities, and a community play will draw them out.
Tell me more about Spinning the Moon…
Set in early 16th century Dorchester, based on real events and brought to life by playwright Stephanie Dale, our next community play promises to be one of our most ambitious yet!
Like Shakespeare’s history plays, Spinning the Moon takes a snapshot of what was happening nationwide shortly after the bloody Wars of the Roses and weaves it into a local story of rural disturbance, social change and witchcraft.
Central to the action are the Trenchard family of Wolfeton House near Dorchester, desperately trying to stop their estate, and the lives of those who work their land from spinning into despair and destitution. Formerly wealthy and now facing hard times, the advice they take from a monk leaves their community fractured to the point of violent disintegration.
Characters in the play include the Trenchards, local farmers, shepherds and their families and the cunning – or ‘wise’ - women who live in the hills.
I want to donate towards this cause but how will the money I donate make a difference?
Without this funding, as a registered charity we simply cannot get this incredible initiative off the ground. Alongside our community we need to raise £25,000 to make Spinning the Moon happen.
The essence of the community play is that it involves the community, but it is run by professionals. The professionals cascade their skills throughout the whole community. Funds will also be used towards the set design, build & installation, materials & lighting.
Together we can:
- Tackle loneliness in Dorchester
- Inspire a community
- Encourage new talents in our local area
- Give our community the opportunity to work with creative professionals
- Give people of all abilities the chance to discover what they love
- Continue a tradition that has shaped our community for over 30 years
- Change lives
Although our board members are all volunteers, each community play has a professional Director, Playwright, Stage Designer, Musical Director and Technical Director – giving our community the opportunity to learn from industry experts and produce a professional, polished performance.
11 shows have been planned with an anticipated audience of 200 each evening.
Donate today to help us keep the legacy alive.
How do I get involved with Spinning the Moon?
Actors. If you audition – you get a part and all you need is the enthusiasm to be part of something special. Workshops will be held towards the end of the year.
Workshops and casting will take place in Autumn 2019. Rehearsals will begin early 2020 with the production being performed in Spring 2020.
Sponsors. We’re also looking for businesses to get involved in supporting the production. Our plays are seen by over 2000 and it’s a chance for you to support the community whilst cementing your place in the legacy of Dorchester.
Be a part of something special.
If you’d like to get involved, please contact email@example.com