St Jude's Players History
The following is a brief history of the St. Jude's Players Theatre Group:
- Christmas Eve 1948: A group of St Jude's parishioners staged a nativity play in Grundy Hall. This was the beginning of St Jude's Players.
- February 1949: The parishioners who had staged the nativity play became known as the St Jude's Dramatic Society.
- March 1949: A constitution was drawn up and adopted. The Dramatic Society became officially known as St Jude's Players.
- June 1949: The newly formed St Jude's Players presented a programme of one-act plays - for one night only!
- June 1950: Actual performances had increased to two nights with three one-act plays on the bill. Also the programmes featured guest artists who performed vocal selections.
One-act plays still dominated the programming and 1950 saw the presentation of two more such programmes. They were presented for three nights with an average of 500 persons attending each programme - the Saturday night being the most popular.
- November 1951: A Ben Travers farce "A Cuckoo In The Nest" was the first full-length play to be presented by 'The Players'.
- The 60's and 70's - saw one-act comedies and dramas mixed into the overall programmes. These presentations gave newcomers to the group the opportunity of expressing their talents for acting, directing or contributing to the all-important technical area of production.
- The first twenty years were over - years which saw the emergence of St Jude's Players as a reputable, accepted member of the Adelaide amateur theatre scene. Difficult plays had been staged and, in most instances enjoyed critical and audience praise. Experienced directors from other groups were offering to work with 'The Players'.
- From 1970 through to 1989 - saw no less than sixty-one major productions including several musicals and the presentation of four shows in the Adelaide Festival Fringe.
- As the curtain rose on the 1990s - it was obvious that the achievements of forty years would help to mould future planning and development. A group of experienced directors has now been established at St Jude's. Open auditions have now become the norm, giving directors a wider choice in selecting casts.
- Since 1990 - Australian plays have begun to have a stronger role in programming. And plays not previously staged in South Australia are being sought. In fact, St Jude's is fast developing a reputation for presenting 'a first for South Australia'. Since 1990, at least ten plays have had South Australian premières. "Kid Stakes", "Light Up The Sky", "Hotel Sorrento" and "Communicating Doors" are just some of these.