The Ambassadors Theatre opened in 1928 and could seat 2000 patrons under its dome painted with stars and had projected moving clouds. Entertainers performed on stage to the music of a Wurlitzer organ with glamorous costumes. It closed in 1972 and the building was demolished as film and television replaced live entertainment.
The Museum of Performing Arts (MOPA) has an amazing collection of theatre programs, costumes, photographs, press clippings, scripts, scores and other historic pieces.
The current display has 200 photographs, posters, programmes and recordings from the Ambassadors Theatre and is well worth a look for a gold coin donation.
MOPA is situated downstairs in His Majesty’s Theatre, Hay Street Perth. The display is open Monday – Friday 10am-4pm, until 31 August 2010.
The State Library of Western Australia also has a range of photographs of the Ambassadors Theatre in it’s online catalogue.
Internet Broadway Database is a fabulous theatre database for every Broadway production. It includes dates, opening night cast, production credits, number of performances, awards and songs. The home page has links to current shows.
Visit Doollee: http://www.doollee.com/index.htm a useful British website on plays and playwrights post 1956 (since John Osborne’s major work “Look Back in Anger”) created by Julian Oddy in his spare time. The website has a database of playwrights which includes brief biographical information, a list of plays and literary agent. At last count the database included 715 Australian playwrights. The website lists 60,000 play titles in alphabetical order with author and genre, if known. There is a database that searches for the number of cast members by gender in a play. It has listings of literary agents, including agents of Australian playwrights. There are links to major play publishers and theatres worldwide. Whilst some of the databases are not well set out such as the “theatres and theatre companies”, it is an excellent resource not readily available elsewhere.
If you are thinking of auditioning for a drama institute eg WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts), VCA (Victorian College of the Arts) or NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) the State Library has most of the plays listed for audition. The plays are held on closed reserve on the second floor in the Music and Performing Arts Library. The plays are not available for loan but can be read in the library. Please ask at the enquiry desk on the second floor.
You can join the Music and Performing Arts Library and borrow other plays and filmscripts not listed for audition from the Prompt Copy collection. To join the library you will need proof of address eg a driver’s licence and a name and address of a contact person. Please bring your local library card too if you have one. Joining the Music and Performing Arts Library also means you can borrow music scores.