Guild History

Formation and Early YearsWWII and Shakespeare StreetPost-War and the Purchase of the TheatreThe Guild and the Theatre RoyalRedevelopment and the 21st Century


Post War and Purchasing the Theatre

Post-War, the Guild was quick to return to form, with full rehearsals for a new production underway just three months after the end of the conflict. These years were also full of Tuesday Evening productions, many of which were one act plays. The Studio was used to its full capacity and potential for these plays along with Festival productions and a series of prize-winning plays in competitions promoted by the Guild. It was also during this time that the Guild first instituted the member application policy, due to the high numbers of interest being generated.

By 1959, Dumfries was being re-developed. Older buildings were being demolished and 15 Shakespeare Street was among them. The Guild began to look for a new home and considered various alternatives – including a church, a synagogue, a mill and an old wash house on Burns Street. An offer had actually been submitted for the wash house when a member of the Guild’s Council heard, through a mutual friend, that the owners of the Theatre Royal were willing to sell. The Council members took advantage of this opportunity and the Guild purchased the Theatre in April 1959 for £1,700.


WWII and Shakespeare StreetThe Guild and the Theatre Royal