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Original concept design for the exterior of
the new theatre at Airedale High School
Work was completed on the new Castleford Phoenix Theatre at Airedale High School in the autumn of 2008. The Phoenix held it's first performance in November 2008 with Airedales first Arts festival. The theatre brought a state of the art entertainment facility to Castleford for audiences to enjoy and use.
The theatre has a larger auditorium, foyer and back stage areas than the previous arts centre theatre as well as new Drama studios that can be used as rehearsal space or additional changing rooms.
The 300 seat auditorium is the main performance area and while the old theatre had two levels of seating it was decided to install a single raked seating bank. This offers intimacy, with the performers and audience sharing the same space, unbroken by any barriers and giving an excellent view of the stage action from any seat.
The foyer allows the audience to arrive, purchase tickets and enjoy refreshments and hospitality in a dedicated specialist welcoming space before they move into the auditorium.
Following a year of consultation with our local arts partners as to what they would like from a community theatre, the high school, local business and several design revisions construction began mid 2007.
The Phoenix was conceived to be more than just a local theatre. It was intended to be able to be used as a centre for performing arts, conferencing and education and this P.A.C.E. centre was intended to become a resource for the whole community of Castleford. This work continues to this day with our programme of events becoming fuller every year.
As well as hosting performances that have seen over 50,000 people come through our doors the Phoenix has helped train young technical students who have matured into capable and sought after technicians busy within the industry, introduced thousands of young people to being on stage for the first time and provided a venue for courses, classes and conferences for both local, regional and national agencies and business.