STARS Theatre Group began its life in 1978 through the efforts of some of the members of the successful amateur group the Slack & Tight Minstrels. It seemed a logical progression to develop a theatre society to go alongside the many charitable one-night shows we provided at that time across Yorkshire and, sometimes further afield.
This resulted in our first production, ‘Boeing-Boeing’ at St Pauls Church Hall in North Leeds. We followed this with ‘Don’t just Lie There, Say Something’ in 1979 and, though both productions were successful we were limited in the physical space to continue at that venue. A search for more suitable premises resulted in us being fortunate to negotiate entry to continue productions at our current venue at Adel & Ireland Wood Community Centre.
From our first production there of ‘See How They Run’ through to the present day we have seen STARS grow from a producer of primarily farce and comedy to a much wider range of themes. A particular innovation was to attempt theatre-in-the-round which began with our highly-acclaimed version of John Godber’s ‘Salt of the Earth’ and has been repeated at varying times over the last twenty years. This form received its highest accolade when ‘According to Hoyle’ won awards both at the Wharfedale Drama Festival and the Leeds Arts Guild annual awards in 2006.
In other areas STARS have developed a junior section, ‘STARBURST’, which has flourished in giving a focus for 11-18 year olds and the opportunity to learn and perform theatre arts. Their annual summer workshops and pantomimes or shows have led to many youngsters going on to take drama as degree courses and to remain involved in other drama work.
STARS’ aim has always been to produce the most professional productions possible and this has seen us develop many skills in set design, lighting and sound, direction, costume and properties. As founder members move towards old age and retirement our investment in people and equipment will, we hope, secure many more years of successful performances at the Community Centre.