The chairman of the Thame Players has stepped down after working in the role for the past 13 years.
Tony Long was given a great send-off by over fifty supporters, members and friends of Thame Players at the Theatre on Friday evening.
Mr Long’s hard work as chairman included transforming the old theatre in 2002 from a converted church hall into the modern theatre with a new stage, auditorium, bar and foyer facilities which theatre-goers enjoy today.
Tony led the drive to get funding through a mixture of sponsorship and grant funding from South Oxfordshire County Council and Thame Town Council, commissioning the work and seeing it through to completion.
He said: “The refurbishment of the theatre back in 2002 was undoubtedly the highlight of my stint as chairman. Now we are looking to make further improvements and it’s an ideal time for a new chairman to be at the helm.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being chairman of such a vibrant drama group, but now I’m happy to hand the reins over to Pat Shepherd who will, I know, continue the development of the theatre for the enjoyment of future audiences.”
Tony also played a leading role in improving the variety and frequency of programming that the theatre has to offer: as well as five Thame Players’ own productions each year, including a much-loved pantomime, the theatre hosts visiting productions by other theatre groups and a range of celebrity appearances, and it also hosts a thriving cinema club.
Tony will remain an active member of the committee, as well as continuing to take part in plays, whether acting, directing, or helping with the production behind the scenes.