Free ‘Behind the scenes’ tours by Joseph Rowntree Theatre for York Residents’ Festival

Live theatre continues to grow in popularity in York, with the Joseph Rowntree Theatre on Haxby Road experiencing its busiest year in 2014, but anyone who wondered what goes on behind the scenes will have a chance to see for themselves during the York Residents’ Festival, 31 January and 1 February 2015.

Guided tours of the theatre – which is entirely run by volunteers – will take place on both Saturday and Sunday every hour from 10.00am to 3.00pm, including a look at the dressing rooms and other back-stage areas which normally remain hidden from the theatre-going public. Participants will learn about the roles of the different people involved in staging a live production, from the stage manager to the spotlight operator, and discover how so much scenery can be stored for the larger productions.

On Saturday 31 January, younger visitors (aged 10 – 13) are also invited to join free theatre craft workshops, including games and activities which will introduce children to the joy of acting on stage. There will be two workshops during the day – the first from 10.30am to 12 noon, and the second from 2.00pm to 3.30pm – run by the theatre volunteers.

“The Joseph Rowntree Theatre is a real hub for amateur performers from throughout the city and beyond, with many of the groups that perform here – including the Rowntree Players, Flying Ducks Youth Theatre, New Earswick Musical Society and York Musical Theatre Company – regularly looking for new members,” comments managing director, Dan Shrimpton. “These workshops will provide younger ‘players’ with a chance to see if they enjoy being on stage, and if they do, can put them in touch with some of the groups so that they can audition for one of the many shows that are staged here!”

Children wishing to sign up for the free workshops should do so online at www.jrtheatre.co.uk , as places are limited, and they should be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult. There is no need to book places on the tours, which will run every hour from 10.00am to 3.00pm.

For more information on the tours, workshops or any of the forthcoming productions at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre – which include The 39 Steps , The Wedding Singer , The Wiz and Oliver! – visit www.jrtheatre.co.uk