Cumbernauld Theatre was founded in 1960, making the theatre one of the oldest professional producing theatres currently working in Scotland.
With the founding of Cumbernauld new town in the late 1950s, the first residents arrived to discover that the town planners had designed and built new roads, houses, schools, sports facilities – and of course a shopping centre – but absolutely no cultural facilities.
A small group of highly motivated local residents persuaded the Town Council to lease them an abandoned set of farm cottages in the local park and began the process of turning this unlikely building into a small cultural centre and 55 seat studio theatre. Completed in 1960 by a team of talented volunteers, supported by community goodwill and hard-work, the theatre was an immediate success and reflected the New Town residents’ desire to build a vibrant, successful and creative community.
The theatre flourished throughout the 1960s, and this success led to expansion in 1972 with the addition of a new expanded 250 seat three-sided thrust theatre. This enabled the theatre to present larger scale work and to re-purpose the studio for workshops and classes.
In 1978, the professional Cumbernauld Theatre Company was created to manage the arts centre and to create new productions as a professional producing theatre. Today, some 50 years since the small studio first opened, Cumbernauld Theatre Company still manages all aspects of the theatre’s work. This includes creating professional productions at Cumbernauld Theatre and on tour, running a broad range of adult community workshops and youth theatre classes, supporting a range of professional artist development programmes and presenting the best of drama, music and dance form visiting artists from within Scotland and across the world.
And in April it will host some of the best talent in the Scottish Teen Reads Scene for Yay! YA.