With a 400 seater main auditorium, and 100 seater studio space, the New Wolsey Theatre is nationally renowned for its producing work both as a sole producer and in collaboration with a diverse range of UK artists and companies and has a particular reputation for musical work, often employing actor-musicians. It is increasingly acknowledged as a leading player in the development of new musicals staging the world premieres of It's A Wonderful Life, 20th Century Boy and Mods & Rox. In 2013, they produced a national tour of the Tim Firth and Madness musical Our House, using the same actor-musician formation; in 2014 they co-produced Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera alongside Graeae Theatre Company, Nottingham Playhouse, Birmingham Rep and West Yorkshire Playhouse, and in 2015 produced the blockbuster hit Sweet Charity. They have recently joined forces with 6 midscale venues and a consulting partner to create Ramps on the Moon, an Arts Council funded strategic touring project with the aim to increase awareness and participation of D/deaf and disabled actors, artists and audiences.
Alongside the extensive work undertaken with their musical production, the development of new talent is a priority for the New Wolsey Theatre. The annual PULSE Festival acts as a spring-board for fresh new artistic voices, as well as providing a home for risk-taking and cutting edge performance from more established artists.
Behind the scenes, the New Wolsey Theatre runs an extensive Creative Learning programme which aims to provide opportunities for individuals to access innovative high quality arts provision and develop their creative, personal and social skills. They stage 3 productions a year, as well as touring work for primary and secondary school ages to schools in and around Suffolk. They have recently launched more opportunites for young people to explore the arts as a career with their Young Directors, Young Communicators and Young Techinican schemes starting in 2016.
The New Wolsey Theatre has a proven track record of championing disabled led theatre and in 2013 launched 'Agent for Change' an initiative to create a freelance post to extend its engagement with disability arts and artists in the eastern region and to provide a support network for artists and arts organisations. They have worked with 3 Agents so far who have all bought their own invaluable advice
The New Wolsey received the 2012 TMA award for Most Welcoming Theatre, and was nominated as The Stage Award's Regional Theatre of the Year 2014. They have received the Trip Advisor Certificate for Excellence three years running for their customer service, and have a Silver Award from Suffolk Carbon Charter for their environmentally friendly procedures and policies. As a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity, they rely on a variety of incomes streams such as part funding from the Arts Council, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council as well as donations, individual giving and corporate support; all of which are invaluable.