About Bench Theatre
Bench Theatre is an amateur company that has been running since 1969. We are committed to producing a wide range of quality drama, both modern and classical, to the highest possible standards.
We try to offer our audiences as wide as possible a range of drama; some pure entertainment, some thought-provoking. As a charity we are free from having to concentrate solely on profit, and so can chose to produce plays which we believe are interesting or challenging or just deserve to be seen. Bench Theatre is a regular award winner in The News "Guide" awards and has secured prestigious awards for original plays written and performed by Bench members at the All-England Drama Festival.
Bench Theatre also involves itself and its members in the surrounding community. We have been involved with the Havant Literary Festival since its inception in 2008 and Bench plays, performances and sketches have been contributed to enhance the Festival and benefit its charitable status. We occasionally tour the local area with our productions and regularly contribute to the Totton Drama Festival at the Hanger Farm Arts Centre.
We don't ask you to audition to join the company and being a Bench Member is so much more than just having fun on and back stage. It's about having a say in what goes on, and we're certainly not afraid to welcome brand new members on stage to act, if that's what you're interested in. If you do well at the auditions for a specific play, there's no rule which says you have to have been a member for a certain time. Many of our productions involve those who have joined us very recently.
While amateur dramatic companies often concentrate on recruiting acting members it's also important to remember that those who appear on stage are but a small part of the overall company. If you already have an interest in the technical aspects of stagecraft, such as sound, lighting or set construction (or indeed you would like to learn), we're always on the look out for people who would like to take part back stage too. You don't have to be an expert to join us.
Bench Theatre is a director-led theatre company. That means that the plays we decide to perform are initially suggested by a member who has a passion for that particular work - and would like to direct it. However, we are above all a democratic company which means that it's the members who choose which plays we eventually produce. The voting system is open and independent. We have a committee which deals with all the admin and paperwork required to run the company, and an artistic panel which undertakes to get everyone in the company thinking about plays, to encourage and support directors and to organise our regular meetings or 'club nights'. But at the end of the day, it's the members who decide which plays we will stage.
More information, as well as some useful contact details, is on our 'contact us' page. You can find out most things about us from our website too; reading about our history and our productions will give you a feel for the sort of company we are.