Welcome to the website of our two research projects, the first fully funded academic studies of amateur theatre in the UK.

My Story: Kim Parmée of Woodchurch Players

Added on by Helen Nicholson.

Post updated by: Erin Walcon

Kim Parmée has sent us her experience with Woodchurch Players in Kent.  Kim's story echoes many others we've heard - with inter-generational family participation, and a sense that being involved in amateur dramatics can help to get you through the tough times.  Her story is below. 

Kim: 'I joined Woodchurch Players in the summer of 2013 when I went to audition for the Jan 2014 Pantomime ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

My life at that time wasn’t at its best, we had sold our house and moved into Woodchurch village into my in-laws, whilst renovating our new house also in the village, I had to give up my home based job, so lack of money too, my nan passed away in October and a friend in November. Giving such commitment to months of rehearsals, I wasn’t sure I was ready. No experience and very nervous!

Everyone was welcoming and really nice at the auditions, I got a part in the chorus, as did my daughter (8 years old). Rehearsals were such good fun. Already I felt part of the group, my daughter and I practiced the dance moves together at home and sung the songs in the car. Doing this together, sharing the same experiences is something special.

Putting on performances was a great buzz. I loved every minute of it. You get a sad feeling on the last one, knowing you wouldn’t be seeing these people – cast, backstage, everyone involved. I can honestly say, joining the amateur dramatic group has been one of the best things I have done and has pulled me through a not so good time.

I have met and got to know a lot of people, all different ages, who I can now call my friends. My daughter gained a friend who also lives in the village, being new to the area this was a bonus.

We had all met up during the year to watch our wonderful acting on dvd! The group held a summer fair on the village green for members and the community. There was a spring play ‘She Stoops to Conquer’, I had a few lines (scary!), but with the wonderful support and patience from the cast and director I got through it!, We have just finished the 2015 Pantomime ‘Treasure Island’ again my daughter now 9 years old was in both the spring play and the pantomime. Our confidence has really grown over the last year and a half and feel really lucky to be part of the Woodchurch Player’s family.'

 Thank you to Kim for sending us her story, and please do consider sending in your own!  All contributions are very welcome - you can email them to amdramaresearch@gmail.com.