Established in 1914, The Altrincham Garrick Society aims to present Drama, Comedy, Musicals and Pantomime – and is happy to consider presenting other forms of the dramatic arts ! The Playhouse was built through membership donations in 1932 – its main auditorium seats 401 and is typically in use throughout September to June. A Garrick Academy of the Performing Arts runs term-time Saturday classes for children aged 5 to 18 as well as a week-long Summer School in August.
The Society typically produces 13 mainstage productions per year, including the Pantomime and the annual GAPA (Youth Academy) production. The Playhouse also hosts productions from visiting amateur societies, along with many one-night shows from professional individuals and production companies. In addition, the Garrick Picturehouse comprises a large screen, which is used to show cinema films and “as-live” recordings of professionally-staged productions. The Lauriston Studio is a 49-seat venue, in which more experimental or more intimate theatre is staged.
The theatre is staffed and managed mainly by volunteers, with a small number of employees in specific areas such as the Artistic Director, Operations Director, Box Office, Accounting, Maintenance and Workshop. The Members’ Committee helps with the day to day operations of the theatre; the membership of that committee is made up from a number of elected officers and the heads of the various departments – most of whom are volunteers. The theatre is a registered charity, so the management of the theatre finances and legal issues is governed by a Board of Trustees. Together this makes up the Garrick Theatre family.