|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (January 2012)|
|The Crescent Theatre|
|Other names||The Municipal Players|
It houses one of the oldest theatre companies in the city: The Crescent Theatre Company. The Crescent also plays host to numerous visiting companies every year, both amateur and professional.
The company began, as the Municipal Players, in 1924. The first theatre was a converted building, formerly Baskerville Hall, in The Crescent, Cambridge Street. The first production was Edmund Rostand's "The Romantics" in 1932. The theatre moved to newly built premises on Cumberland Street in 1964, designed by Graham Winteringham of S.T. Walker and Partners, with a seating capacity of 296. The apron stage and first seven rows of seats were on a revolving platform to turn the interior into an arena theatre. The two-storey building was faced with London stock bricks and black-framed windows. Phase Two of the construction would have included a restaurant and a rehearsal stage.
The present theatre was opened in 1998 by Celia Imrie. The theatre it replaced was demolished in the same year. It houses two performance spaces: The Main House, and the Ron Barber Studio. The Main House seats up to 340, and the Studio up to 120. The building was designed by Terry Farrell and John Chatwin.
The theatre is run by a board of directors elected from the membership including chairman, secretary and treasurer. They oversee the general direction of the theatre and all the membership activities. The paid staff look after the day to day running of the building and supervising the visiting companies. The team is headed up by the theatre manager supported by the assistant manager, senior technician and his two deputies. Throughout the year they play host to a variety of companies of different sizes including Birmingham Royal Ballet, Midland Opera, Stage2, Birmingham School of Acting, Birmingham Conservatiore, Bournville MTC, The Arcadians, Tinker's Farm Opera, Midland Theatre Ballet and The Rep.