The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury is launching a brand-new crowdfunding campaign, Buck Up Backstage, to make the popular arts venue accessible to all.
It is hoping to raise £40,000 to make significant changes to its backstage area, which will allow it to welcome both professional disabled performers and Roses Young Creatives.
Describing its backstage area as 'firmly stuck in 1974', the space requires asbestos removal and extensive renovations and refurbishments, such as installing new showers, bathrooms and storage, as well as work to make the area fully wheelchair accessible - with a full list of the jobs required and the subsequent costs listed on its Crowdfunding page.
The appeal is fronted by the cast of its family pantomime Snow White, with the dame Nanny Mac - played by Jolyon Dixon - delivering an impassioned speech at the end of the performance on Thursday 1 December 2022 about how the funding will make The Roses accessible to all.
The Tewkesbury theatre is already leading the way for inclusivity in many ways, with Snow White featuring a heart-warming gay romance between Ted the Hacker, played by Murray Andrews, and Jim Cutter, played by non-binary actor, Elliott Wooster.
Its new crowdfunding appeal aims to extend that inclusivity to disabled performers, too.
There are a variety of donation options starting from £5, to include raffle entry to win tickets to the press night for the 2023 panto, as well as pizza and prosecco; right up to £1000, where five benefactors will be treated to the best seats in the house and a drink with the dame!
Making the backstage area accessible will allow the venue to work with more disabled professional artists - a key goal for 2023 - as well as expanding its activity offering to include a new monthly club for children with autism; work with community groups and elderly people; and its innovative new Roses Young Creatives initiative, to reimagine youth theatre and create opportunities for local children.
For more information, or to make a donation to the Buck Up Backstage appeal, visit rosestheatre.org/support.