The Pitlochry Festival Theatre has submitted its plans to create a second performance space on its 11-acre campus, along with an extension to its front of house area.
This new area will be a flexible 175-seat studio showcasing writing and performance from all over the UK and allowing more options for performances in future.
Talking plans for the new addition, Colin Liddell, Chair of Pitlochry Festival Theatre, said: “In technical terms, we call it black box, it’s just an open space, and you can drop seating in any configuration that you like, or really have very little or no seating at all.
“You can have theatre where the audience is around three sides of the actors and so there’s quite a lot of opportunity for smaller stage performances, other activities whether it’s dance or mime or puppetry.
“And if the main stage supports our main financial income, then it allows us also to be a little bit more risky in the second performance space, to do things that are a little bit more different.”
Susie Bridges Architects are behind the new plans to create a new innovative space for the theatre which will allow for many more possibilities in future.
This new design will help make the theatre a safer environment in future for measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Looking ahead, Mr Liddell said: “It’s informed not only the second performance space, where we have more than one way of getting in an out, and therefore can have a separate entrance or separate exist, but also the new entrance to the new theater.
“We will have two different doors, and again that allows us to have an entrance which allows us to goes specifically to the second performance space and an entrance which goes specifically to the main auditorium. Or, in COVID times, to have an entrance or an exit that are separate.”
This work is funded by Dunard Fund and Gannochy Trust who’s funding forms the theatre’s part to match-funding of the £10m capital funding committed to the Theatre through the Tay Cities Deal.
Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre added: “We are excited to share our plans to grow the Theatre. At such a critical time for theatres all over the UK, we know it’s important to make positive plans in Pitlochry and to focus our attention on the future and towards a time where we can serve more audiences and artists from across Scotland.
“We pride ourselves on being a theatre that grows three things – plays, plants, and people. This project will help us continue this mission and to be a true theatre for a lifetime sharing Pitlochry with the world and the world with Pitlochry.”
This news come not long after plans for a development of 85 new houses in Pitlochry were put forward to the council, despite the COVID downturn investment is still keen in the town.
Kris Bryce, Executive Director at Pitlochry Festival Theatre said:“I’m delighted that we’ve reached this milestone. Our capital project has been developed over a number of years as part of the Tay Cities Deal. By investing in this work, at a time when theatres have been forced to close, we’re sending a clear message that we believe in the future of our theatre, of the region, and the jobs which we support.”