WHO ARE WE?
Director: Terry Mills
Assistant Director: Valerie Mills
Musical Director: Diana Baxter
Choreographer: Pat Seal
Stage 1 was formed with the backing of St. Andrew’s Players in 1986. Catering for Children between 8 and 13 years of age, we try to maintain a constant membership of 40 (26 girls & 14 boys) and present a variety of Musical Entertainment, Concerts, Reviews and Pantomimes etc.
We meet on Thursday evenings (6.15 to 7.30pm) during school term time in the Hall at St Andrew’s Church Blenheim Crescent Luton.
We are an independent organisation. Unlike some other children’s theatre groups we do not charge fees, we are not theatrical agents, and we do not undertake a course of tuition although we are very proud of what the children learn through membership and very proud of our achievements!
Stage 1 is run entirely by unpaid volunteers and as a consequence our membership subscription is at present only £20.00 per term with a £5.00 joining fee. Our running expenses are very largely met from the proceeds arising from the sale of tickets for our Annual Pantomime presented over the first weekend in February. Members and their family are asked to help us by selling as many tickets as possible.
Our other regular performances over recent years have included our involvement in the Annual Festival Concert at St. Augustine’s Church, Limbury Luton, usually at the beginning of May and a bi–annual ‘singathon’ in aid of Comic Relief. We also regularly support productions presented by St. Andrew’s Players (with whom we remain closely associated) particularly their regular pre-Christmas special ‘Christmas-is-a-Coming’
When performing in concert we wear ‘Stage 1 Uniform’. This consists of a Stage 1 ‘T’ Shirt (which we provide for each child), plain white leggings or trousers with lightweight plain white shoes with plain white socks. We do carry a stock of white trousers and shoes but cannot guarantee to help everyone so that it is helpful if children have their own.
Terry is a retired Lawyer. He is an experienced Producer and has been involved with Amateur Theatre for over 50 years. He has written all six of the Pantomimes that we now present on a regular basis and for 11 years produced the Luton Children’s Variety Show for Luton Borough Council.
Valerie is a retired Primary School Teacher. She also has a very long association with the Local Amateur Theatre scene and has taken many leading roles with St. Andrew’s Players.
Diana is another retired teacher specializing in Music and has worked with Stage I since 1992.
Pat has her own dancing school The Pascal School of Dance She is a registered Teacher with The Royal Academy of Dance and has over 25 years’ experience as a Choreographer for local Amateur Theatre Companies.
We are also regularly joined by our Assistant Musical Director Jonathan Mills and Terry and Valerie’s daughter Jo Yirrell, who is Head of Drama at a local High School and helps out with Stage 1 whenever she can.