About Us

First Production Team 2008

First Production Team 2008

Centre Stage Theatre’s history started with an idea in 2007.

The founders Judith Johnson and Chris Jones have been actively involved in theatre for many years.

Langholm Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society decided to stage a community pantomime “Panto Pandemonium” in 2007 directed by Judith. It had been many years since the society had staged a pantomime and it was a great success encouraging many younger actors to the stage.

NODA Scotland Youth Award

NODA Scotland Youth Award

Following the success of “Panto Pandemonium” Chris & Judith discussed the idea of producing shows to showcase local young talent.

Early in 2008 they approached the Langholm & Eskdale Music & Arts Festival to suggest a musical as part of the Festival be considered. The rest as they say is history! “Little Shop of Horrors” was chosen and the group was formed. After much hard work by many on and off stage “Little Shop of Horrors” ran for three nights to much acclaim.

Centre Stage Youth Theatre (CSYT) became a registered charity in 2009, encouraging the participation of young people in the performing arts for their personal development and the benefit of the wider community.

In 2009 we were delighted to receive the news from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group that CSYT had been granted permission to perform the musical ‘The Likes of Us’ becoming one of the first groups to perform the musical written by the legendary duo Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The show was a challenging opportunity to create our own production style. The show attracted packed houses and the cast received well deserved standing ovations.

CSYT were nominated for the National Operatic & Dramatic Association – Scotland Youth Award and were delighted to be receive the award at the national conference in October 2009 recognising the value to the local community.

Judith and Chris continued to produce pantomimes for LAODS with ‘Trouble in Pantoland’ in 2008 and Cinderella in 2009.

In 2010 Centre Stage took over the production of the annual pantomime with Show White. Since 2010 Centre Stage Theatre has produced the ‘The Muckle Toon’ Pantomimes each year that have become a sell out seasonal entertainment.

Centre Stage has also collaborated with professionals ‘The Tide Machine’ for the Annan Habour Regeneration and Dumfries Waterside Festival, The Lockerbie Jazz Festival and in 2012 was part of the Royal Shakespeare Company ‘Open Stages’ where Centre Stage were partnered with The National Theatre of Scotland. A number of Centre Stage members attended a residential workshop in Glasgow with The National Theatre of Scotland.

In 2012 two of our founder members Hannah Cumming & Daniel Scott directed the Scottish Premier of ‘Through The Looking Glass’  with great success.

2014 onwards saw Centre Stage facilitating a production as part of the First World War Commemorations based in Gretna. The work will draw on archive material, social history, music and entertainment of the period.

Centre Stage Theatre is part of The First World War Centenary Partnership, a network of  cultural and educational organisations led by Imperial War Museums.

In autumn 2014 a group of our members were selected to appear in Scottish Opera’s MacBeth tour.

During 2014 two of Centre Stage’s long serving members Glen Cavers & Beth Smith wrote a new pantomime which was selected at our 2014 pantomime production. Glen also directed the pantomime after attending the National Operatic & Dramatic Association Summer School at Warwick University which was match funded by Centre Stage. The 2014 pantomime ‘It’s Panto’ was a sell out success.

In 2015 Centre Stage toured a new musical drama telling the story of the thousands of munitions workers in the First World War.