Crowthorne Amateur Theatrical Society was founded in May 1978, following an initial meeting in November 1977, to "provide theatre and theatrical presentations for the people of Crowthorne and the surrounding area". Aided by a grant of £25 from Bracknell District Council, the Society put on it's first play, Fool's Paradise by Peter Coke, in October 1978. Since then we have prospered, staging many highly successful shows.
The CATS' philosophy is that just because we are amateur it doesn't mean our shows need be "amateur" too, so we always strive to stage the best shows possible, in a dedicated and professional way, but also to always have a good time while we are doing it.
We always stage at least two shows a year: usually our Spring production is in April or May, and our Pantomime is at the beginning of December. Between these, we are usually involved (in some way or other) with the Crowthorne Carnival, as well as often staging a smaller summer show. Pantomimes are usually great fun for all involved, and our Spring productions have gained a reputation locally for being ambitious, but highly successful, and we have a reputation for imaginatively overcoming the many obstacles our lack of resources impose upon us.
As well as the shows, we have a number of other dramatic activities. Amongst these are theatre workshops, demonstrations by various specialists, theatre trips, and so on.....
Last, but by no means least, we are a very social Society. After meetings members often congregate in a local pub, and we have various organised Social events throughout the year, such as meals out, barbecues, quiz nights, car treasure hunts, etc.
We meet every Wednesday in either the Parish Hall or the Methodist Hall in Crowthorne, and we also have extra rehearsals (by arrangement), for cast members, only in the weeks leading up to a show.
We always try to ensure everyone is involved and everyone has fun, and that those working behind the scenes are recognised as much as those "in the limelight" on stage. The hardest work (and the most fun) is often had by those working backstage, in the jobs that are not as visible as being on stage but of real importance to any show's success.
Examples of the people involved in putting on a show are :
Director, Assistant Director, Producer, Costume designers, makers and manager, Set Designer, Scenery builders, Props designers, makers and manager, Prompt, Stage Manager, Assistant Stage Manager, Sound designer & engineer, Lighting designer & engineer, Make-up, Musicians, Front of House manager and assistants, etc, etc......
So you see, it's not all about acting, and we welcome anyone who'd like to perform or to turn their hand to any of the jobs above, no matter how much or how little experience they've had before. Some of our current "stars" hadn't acted since they left school, and some of our backstage "experts" hadn't done anything like this ever before! If you're interested in joining CATS, or simply want a bit more information about us....