In 2002 Cally Phillips had an idea.
The opportunity (indeed it might be more accurate to say the necessity) of forming a Theatre Company to promote work in Dumfries and Galloway during her residency (SAC/DGAA Dramatist in residence) saw the foundation of Bamboo Grove Theatre Company
Inspired by Daoist philosophy, where the Bamboo Grove is a place of peace where The Immortals go to commune, the idea was to establish a new kind of Theatre Company. One which was truly inclusive and which allowed creative expression to flourish in non-standard ways and non-standard theatrical environments, ‘taking drama out of the theatre’
Over the following 5 years the Bamboo Grove developed and this site will give you a flavour of what happened there.
In 2006 Cally Phillips moved away from Dumfries and Galloway, and Bamboo Grove Theatre Company ceased to exist.
If you are interested in the story behind the story of why Bamboo Grove came into existence it is recounted by Cally Phillips as follows:
I was given a stipend for the residency but there was no money for productions and when I queried how it would be possible to encourage people to write for theatre with no end point (production) the funders scratched their heads uncomfortably. I offered them a solution. I started up a theatre company using the part of my stipend which was meant to be for my ‘own work.’ I view this period as me subsidising the Arts Council rather than them subsidising me. Bamboo Grove Theatre Company was born. Stealing mercilessly from the Traverse ‘lizard’ idea, we had monthly performances at ‘The Bamboo Grove’ in Dumfries and in 3 years well over 150 pieces were written and performed. I think this may have put me up there amongst one of the largest producing companies in Scotland? We had monologue competitions and I did rehearsed readings of 3 of my plays (some more than once) and finished the residency with a production at the Swallow Theatre of Chasing Waves (soon to come out as an ebook). ABC Drama group, who were born out of collaboration with Bamboo Grove Theatre Company, continue to go strong and I still write for them as well as direct when circumstances allow. In 2012 they move into their 10th year and I’m very proud of my part in helping people who were desperate to perform, but excluded from traditional, mainstream drama activity, to have gone on their own dramatic journey.