Playgoers started its Annual Play Festival in 1949 and the Full Length Festival ran from 1966 to 2005. In 2006 we re-introduced One Act Plays on one of the six nights. Over the years Skegness Playgoers have tried to foster an interest in the theatre for young people by encouraging them to take part in readings, pantomimes and productions. This interest, plus the healthy growth of youth sections in many of our competing teams, prompted the introduction in the 50th Festival of a Youth One Act Play Festival. This took off in its own right as the October Youth Festival, and, as there were in 2006, there are usually six entries in the two-night Festival. All credit to Skegness Town Council for starting the ball rolling and to ELDC for bringing in the funding.
In 1998 we started planning for the Millennium and decided to create a play which would involve as many people and community groups as possible. We asked our local author, Margaret Dickinson, to write it for us and gave support and feedback throughout. We then employed the services of Act Theatre Company to direct the play. Formed in 1990, Act Theatre Company centres its work in the heart of the community and creates artistic programmes relevant to their particular needs, experiences and aspirations. In 1995 the company came to Spalding having secured the South Holland Youth Community Arts Development Contract. We wait 40 years for support for the arts and two huge events arrive within months.
I am delighted to be the new Chairman of Playgoers and to welcome the stalwarts on our Committee and our new members. I hope to continue what we have and to introduce new ideas to our group. The National Drama Festivals Association - which was formed primarily for reasons of mutual assistance and encouragement for local festivals. We are also members of NODA, The National Operatic and Dramatic Association which celebrated its Centenary in 1999.