About Cumbernauld Theatre
A CENTRE FOR CREATIVE COLLABORATION
Cumbernauld Theatre originally began in 1961 when a small group of determined residents persuaded the Cumbernauld Development Corporation to lease them a set of old abandoned farm cottages. Throughout the 1960’s, this committed team rehearsed and presented many new plays raising money to renovate the old buildings as The Cottage Theatre.
In 1969 the main arena theatre opened and in 1978 the name of the theatre was changed from the Cottage Theatre to Cumbernauld Theatre and the first professional company with an Artistic Director appointed.
That’s 31 years in which we’ve presented thousands of performances, ran thousands of workshops with young people, developed countless community projects and seen over 1 million attendances.
In all that time there have been just five Artistic Directors – beginning with John Baraldi followed by Robert Robson, Liz Caruthers, Simon Sharkey and now Ed Robson.
Ed Robson was previously Associate Director of Northern Stage Ensemble, Resident Director at The Old Vic, Studio and Assistant Director at Birmingham Rep, and previously an actor and director for many touring companies.
Throughout a succession of directors, the Theatre has always developed new artistic productions and projects that reflect the changing nature of the times. It is the Artistic Director that decides and develops our artistic aims, developing policies and directing productions and projects that enable the theatre to continue to grow.
Over the past 2 years the Theatre has been successfully developing its artistic role as a Centre for Creative Collaboration. So, alongside our professional acting company and our varied programme of quality touring drama, music and dance we also now support emerging and mid-career professional performing artists and companies by investing new ideas and partnerships, commissioning new plays, providing help and resources, and co-producing new work at our home theatre and on tour across Scotland.
Alongside this we also deliver a comprehensive range of community activity. Our theatre and drama workshops work with up to 250 young people each week – we’re almost the size of a primary school! We have an adult drama group, two music performers groups, a new writers group, and a Studio Arts Forum for older people. We regularly work with schools, colleges and community groups to develop projects for people to participate in the arts.
It’s an enormous programme of work but there’s one key ingredient that binds these strands together: You, our supporters.
Thousands of people come to Cumbernauld Theatre each year to see wonderful shows, to enjoy a great night out, to celebrate, to join in, to be entertained, to discuss (and occasionally to enjoy a good argument!), to share a night with friends, to enjoy a good conversation, to be part of your community.
Our Theatre rightly has a national reputation for excellence and innovation matched with a commitment to our community. Right now, we’re starting the process of building a partnership of consensus to establish Cumbernauld Theatre as the premiere central belt theatre in Scotland.
This is an ambitious project to enhance and develop our creative work and the services we provide to our communities. We aim to become a leading force in culture and creativity in Scotland. There will be many challenges ahead if we are to make sure that our wonderful theatre builds for another 31 years of success.