Just a few miles outside Whithorn, tucked away down a country road, is Scotland’s smallest theater with an audience capacity of just 50.
Housed in a former cow barn in Dumfries and Galloway, actors may literally reach out and interact only a few feet from the stage with their intimate audience.
While some venues are desperate to find a way to put on a show, however, the Swallow Theatre knows that its unique size makes it difficult to suggest opening while restrictions on corona virus remain. They set a date that is feasible and they plan to try to open in the spring.
That has not prevented them from looking to the future, however, and reopening the doors of the country’s smallest theater.
Hundreds of experienced and amateur performers have entertained thousands of residents and tourists since it opened in the mid-1990s. The theater has seen attendance grow in recent years and has increased its offerings and number of events. However, because of the ongoing pandemic crisis, the theater, like other entertainment venues across the world, has been closed since March. The theater had to search for new ways to collect funds for required work with no revenue from ticket sales and donations.
With the money from Kiltwalk, the campaign for the theater is halfway to its £ 50,000 target.
One of the initiatives planned for this year was a fundraising effort to repair the agricultural-style roof of the venue, which has been exposed to the fiercest winds, rainfall and summer heat and is now showing its age with rising damage and wear and tear and needs to be replaced, a spokesman for The Swallow Theatre said.
The theater is run independently and does not receive any normal funding or external financial support.’ It depends entirely on public ticket sales, donations and sponsorship. We have managed to keep ticket prices as affordable as possible for as big a group of people, but we have no reserves to finance this excellent job. The theatre, like all similar venues, was not allowed to open during the Covid 19 pandemic and had to cancel all shows for the near future, including scheduled fundraisers for the roof.
For £ 20,000, the Swallow Theatre has opened a crowdfunder.
The theater is actively involved in the national #SaveOurTheatres crowdfunder initiative of the Theatres Trust, which seeks to help theaters collect much-needed funds to help them through this crisis and when they will reopen, look to the future.
For many people and organisations, it’s a very tough time, and so far the call for help from Swallow Theatre has had a fantastic response,” the spokesperson continued. “We would like to thank anyone who has donated or pledged one of the incentives on offer, or sent messages of encouragement, which are a real moral booster. So far, we have already raised almost £ 10,000 of the £ 20,000 needed for the roof repair, despite donations earned before the current campaign.
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The theater takes its name from the birds that originally roosted in the theater and continue to nest in the different buildings around the property. The theater has been a beloved part of the community since its opening.
“We present a select program of activities, including touring professional theater productions, world-class music, workshops, family activities, play readings and other events,”Programming also includes adaptations of literary classics and modern novels, exciting and thought-provoking feel-good shows, and new works and writings. “Programming often includes adaptations of literary classics and modern novels, entertaining and thought-provoking feel-good shows, and new works and writings.”
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For 12 years, comedy actor Dominic Goodwin has been on the theater boards and is a complete promoter of the movement.
“I walk on stage and all you see are rows of very happy, smiling, beaming faces,” Mr. Goodwin said. Being at the Swallow Theatre is such a pleasure and we will strive to raise as much money as we can so that this place will continue to entertain the people of Galloway with the help of a new roof.
The campaign for the Swallow Theatre Roof Appeal runs through November 3. For pledges and donations of 25