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In August 2011 we, Jack Drum Arts, were awarded ACLF funding to help drive a consortium project to develop a community play. The story behind the play was of huge significance to the people who would become involved in it. When the play finally was performed in an agricultural shed converted into a theatre the Northern Echo said:
"TWO years will linger in the memory of Stanhope, County Durham – 1818 and 2012"
1818 is the date of the story our play was based on and 2012 refers to the date that the journalist saw the play.
On the opening night Councillor Dennis Morgan, Chairman of Durham County Council, said:
"The community endeavour benefit of Drama in the Dale cannot be measured it must be counted as priceless."
This project has been a massive undertaking and everyone has learned a great deal along the way. Despite many problems and challenges, the project was a huge success in many ways. In bottom line terms the community play enjoyed 3 sold out nights. But there's more to it that that: several people made significant personal journeys, problems were surmounted, lasting bonds were forged and a story was told that participants have taken to their hearts. Best of all, an energy was created that could well have a lasting effect and bring us more Drama in the Dale productions.
We knew where we were going and most of the time we knew how to get there. We were not afraid of diversions and adversity and in the end it all paid off. This, our "Project in a Box", will tell you how we did it, the lessons learned and the obstacles surmounted. If you, dear reader, should wish to embark on a similar journey then please read these pages. Take along with you our good wishes for the journey.
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