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2023 A milestone year
Stamford Shoestring celebrates 80 years of amateur drama!

In 1943 a new Stamford drama group performed 'Man of Destiny' in the High School Hall. Membership of Stamford Music & Drama Club was 7/6d for adults and 3/6d for junior members. The group performed two plays each year at a variety of venues - Stamford School, George Hotel Gardens, Bourne Corn Exchange before finally working mainly from the Darby & Joan Hall in Stamford’s Broad Street.

In September 1959 Stamford Music & Drama Club became Stamford Amateur Stage, performing up to five productions a year. In March 1963 the company's name was changed again to Stamford Shoestring Theatre because it seemed that every production was run on a shoestring budget! Shoestring finally established a permanent home in the delightful Georgian Stamford Theatre in 1978 where it remains to this day as the resident company at Stamford Arts Centre.

We offer a wide range of drama from classical to contemporary and try to incorporate a rich variety in our annual programme. We stage four productions a year together with occasional roadshows, workshops and play-readings. We are lucky enough also to be part of the roster of visiting companies to the beautiful Minack Theatre in Cornwall, and in summer 2019 we had a sell-out run with our 40-character play set in the plague village of Eyam, The Roses of Eyam. We look forward to being back at Minack in the fourth week of July, 2024.

During the Covid lockdown we did a rehearsed reading of extracts from Under Milk Wood via Zoom in March and another Zoom film based on extracts from Ariel Dorfman’s play, Widows for the launch of the Stamford Festival of Social Justice on May 19th 2021

Our first live theatre production after the lockdown was Richard Bean’s version London Assurance, performed to sell-out socially-distanced audiences from 19th-24th July 2021. In September 2021 we returned to full-capacity with My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley. Our production of A Christmas Carol by John Mortimer ran for two weeks in December 2021. In March 2022 we produced I Am a Camera by John Van Druten and in June, Blackbird by David Harrower. Our September 2022 production, curtailed by the Queen's death, was California Suite by Neil Simon, and our pre-Christmas production was Rules for Living by Sam Holcroft.

The productions for 2023 are: March -The Thrill of Love by Amanda Whittington; June - California Suite by Neil Simon, September -The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh; December - Shakespeare in Love by Lee Hall.

We like to ring the changes and our public seem to like it too: the leading actors in one production will often be found selling programmes or sweeping the stage in the next. We are proud of the wealth of talent amongst our members; not just in acting, direction and stage management but also in stage design, set construction, lighting, sound and costume. To find out more about Shoestring email us at stamfordshoestring@gmail.com

Readings & Auditions    
  • General Information
For each of our productions, a play reading evening is held some four to five months before the production opens.
Auditions are normally held on a Tuesday or Friday evening in the Arts Centre a few weeks later. The director and members of the production team will be on hand to welcome you and answer any questions you may have.
An Audition Notice is sent to members in the Newsletter. but is also available for downloading from this site via the link on this page. The Audition Notice contains a synopsis of the play, a description of the characters and relevant dates and contact details. It may also contain a list of audition pieces so that any potential cast members can prepare for their audition. Scripts and audition pieces will be available to borrow at the Reading.
  • Open
Auditions are open to anyone, irrespective of membership or experience.

We pride ourselves on being a company of skilled individuals, encouraging our members to take on roles in all aspects of theatre. Technicians in all disciplines are as crucial to a production as any actor. An ASM (assistant stage manager) can become a star, likewise a star can become an ASM in consecutive productions!

  • Advertising
Auditions are advised on our Facebook Page:

Please follow us and select ‘notifications’ to be kept up to date with auditions and late casting news.

  • Commitment
There are usually 12 weeks rehearsal of three evenings per week (Mon, Wed & Thu) in the Arts Centre, plus occasional Sundays for large cast shows, depending on the role. Get-in, technical rehearsal and a dress rehearsal take place on the Sunday prior to the production week. There will be a full-dress rehearsal on the Monday of the production week. All cast and crew will be expected to attend the final week of rehearsal, then both Sunday and Monday of Performance week. Lack of availability must be advised to the Director as soon as possible to avoid wasted rehearsal time.

  • Membership
If successfully cast, and not a current member, you will be expected to pay your Membership Subscription before full rehearsals begin. C’mon it’s only a fiver!