For organisational purposes the AETF is divided into four areas (North, Central, West and East - see map), each with its own organisational structure. An executive committee of 12 trustees (3 from each area) co-ordinates the work of the festival as a whole. See ‘brochure’ and ‘dates’ for details of all the current affiliated festivals of the AETF and its Area and divisional structure and points of contact
Statistics are gathered from all festival taking part in the AETF.The stats that we collect cover:The number of festivals taking part:The number of performers taking part:The number of audience viewing:The names and authors of plays being performed.To view the stats collected in 2015 click hereTo view the stats collected in 2016 click hereTo view the authors and plays performed in 2015 click hereTo view the authors and plays performed in 2016 click hereTo view the authors and plays performed in 2017 click here
The AETF organisation celebrated a £9300 Heritage Lottery Grant in 2012.The AETF was one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Al Our Stories, a brand new small grant programme, was launchedin support of the BBC Two’s The Great British Story - designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage. With HLF fundingand support, community groups can carry out activities that help people explore and share their local heritage. The popolar series presented by historian Michael Wood and supported by a programme of BBC learning activities and events got thousands of us asking questions about our history through the eyes of ordinary people. Stage Writes is an opportunity for some of the many thousands who take part in amateur drama in small theatres and halls across the country to share their stories. The project preserves stories from amateur performers, both actors and back-stage and also helps to locate photographs, old films of performances and other memorabilia. The collected materials are being stored for the future on a ‘Stage Writes’ website.TV presenter and historian, Michael Wood, said, “We British loVe our history, and no wonder; few nations have such riches on their doorstep, and so much of it is accessible to us. It is really tremendous that the All-England Theatre Festival has been inspired to get involved to tell its own story and to dig deeper into the past”.Ann Aplin, past chair of the AETF said, “Those of us involved with amateur theatre spend our time telling stories on stage and interpreting other people’s words. This is a marvellous opportunity to share and preserve our own words and stories”.To find out more about the project contact Ann: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2017 British Final of One-Acts Plays at the Mac Theatre, Belfast 7th & 8th Julywinners:England: Total Arts Community Theatre with ‘Lear’s Daughters’ by Elaine Feinstein2018 British Final 6th & 7th July at the Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ALL-ENGLAND THEATRE FESTIVAL
The All-England Theatre Festival (AETF) traces its origins to the founding of the British Drama League (BDL) in 1919 whose first list of illustrious officers included the millionaire landowner and arts patron Lord Howard de Walden, the lecturer and author Geoffrey Whitworth and the painter, art critic and Bloomsbury group member Roger Fry. The BDL's avowed purpose was 'the encouragement of the art of the Theatre, both for its own sake and as a means of intelligent recreation among all classes of the community'.Between 1919 and its public inauguration at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 1927, the BDL had acquired premises at King Street, Covent Garden, a library of play-scripts (which was to grow to over 32,000 volumes by 1938) and 400 individual members spread across 54 societies. Geoffrey Whitworth edited its house journal 'Drama'.Under the auspices of the BDL 'The Festival of Community Drama' was born in 1927. It was a competitive festival on a national scale. Great Britain was split into six areas and the winners of each of these events competed in the final festival held in London. In 1931 the Scottish Community Drama Association broke away from the BDL to establish its own national competition.At its zenith in 1943 the BDL boasted over 5,000 individual members. However, by 1972 the need for 'an improved image' led to its being wound up. It was replaced by the short-lived (and professionally staffed) British Theatre Association (BTA) which administered the festival scene under the 'National Festival of Community Theatre' (NFCT) which split the country up into three Areas - North, East and South.By 1978 the BTA decided it could no longer support the festival movement. In September 1978 the NFTC was renamed the All-England Theatre Festival and in 1981 it broke away from the BTA to be reborn as an entirely amateur-run organisation responsible for the one-act festival scene across England.The AETF was awarded charitable status in 1995 by which time its structure had acquired a Central Area component. It is now overseen by an Executive Committee of 12 trustees (three from each of its four Area constituencies). Its flagship event is the annual Grand Final, the culmination of over 40 separate competitive events (preliminary rounds, divisional quarter finals and area semi finals) held across England from Cornwall in the south to Cumbria and County Durham in the north.