In the last six years Bernard has been able to establish the Theatre as the centre of a prosperous and exciting part of social and cultural life in Salchester. All the facilities of the old Theatre complex have been renovated and now house special rooms for music, theatre groups, a small coffee bar and a book shop. The main theatre has been extensively re-furnished and decorated.
The council have also made available the building next to the Theatre and this now has a restaurant, a wine-bar and an auditorium for diverse cultural activities and exhibitions. This new combination has been named as: The Salchester Arts and Cultural Centre (SACC)
With its new name, the reputation of the SACC has grown and attracts customers and visitors from all the surrounding towns and villages and even attracts people from South London. In fact SACC is now the town’s foremost attraction and a very important source of employment.
Because of these developments, The Town Council have thought it necessary to create an Advisory Board to guide and promote the activities of SACC. They are to work closely with Bernard, the Director of SACC.
On the Advisory Board are two Town Councillors, the vice Chancellor of the local University, the CEO of the large electronics company, a representative of SACC’s Bank, 2 local media celebrities, the president of the local Chamber of Commerce and two representatives from the theatre. The board is there to represent the interests of the community and many members of the Board have already had good working relationships with Bernard.
During the 5 years since SACC was created, Bernard has successfully been able to 1. Extend the range of Theatre productions
2. Successfully create a strong business culture in the centre which has made the shops, exhibitions, theatre productions and other cultural events very successful and profitable. 3. Create very strong links with the University Drama Department and the Students. 4. Move the majority of the full-time actors onto temporary contracts which encouraged them to work in London during the busy summer season. Achieving these goals had placed great strain on Bernard and six years after he had started these initiatives, he was forced to retire on grounds of ill-health.
But with every gain there is often potential loss!
These activities that Bernard introduced had not pleased many of the local residents as they felt that whilst Bernard had raised the profile of the town through these activities, the interests of the local community had been ignored. The needs of the schools had not been met whilst the connections with the University had benefited the students and the community during term-time but the Christmas plays and pantomimes had not been given enough attention. Summer events and the plays for the schools had also suffered as had the careers of many of the full-time actors. But in those 6 years the University had doubled in size and the students are now the main users of the Centre.
As an Employer, the centre had also grown and now employs 60 full-time and 120 part-time employees as well using the university students as temporary employees when special events are held.
Salchester also experienced a growth in the numbers of people and families moving from the suburbs of London to work in the University and local firms.
But the first major issue for SATT and the Advisory Board was to find a suitable replacement for Bernard. Here the Advisory Board were able to help and at great expense the City Council with sponsorship from local businesses were able to appoint Calvin Spacey as the Artistic and Managing Director of SACC. He had an established global reputation through his work as Director of a large Cultural and Performing Arts Centre in Chicago and is famous for his innovatory approach to the cultural...