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Early days

Calderdale Theatre School has been in existence since 1968. It was formed by Joyce Davidson, the then drama advisor for the Halifax Borough Education department. After reorganisation in 1973 it was funded and run by Calderdale Education department as part of the peripatetic arts and sports provision. At first the school met at the Halifax Playhouse but soon moved to Ostler Secondary School.


Closure threat

In 1991 the Education department decided to stop funding Theatre School and close it. The students and staff were devastated and led by Gillie Kerrod, who had been on the teaching staff since 1982, they set about saving the school. To raise funds and garner support Gillie organised a 'theartrethon' in Square Chapel, then little more than a derelict shell. The students stayed overnight with no heating or running water and in 24 hours rehearsed and performed Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milk Wood'. Theatre School was saved and became an independent voluntary organisation based first at Queen's Road Neighbourhood Centre and then at Heath Training and Development Centre with Gillie as the Artistic Director, a position she held until her untimely death in 2018. In 2013 Theatre School became a registered charity and moved to the newly built Orange Box Young People's Centre.

50th anniversary

In 2018 Theatre School celebrated its 50th anniversary, sadly without Gillie. In the spirit of that earlier 'theatrethon' past and present students got together and in 24 hours (sleeping this time at Orange Box) rehearsed and then performed 'Nightmare on GIbbet Street' and 'Five Go Mad in the Calder Valley' as part of a 50th anninersary celebration event at Square Chapel. 

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