Careline Theatre was founded early in 1996 and its constitution was formalised in the Spring. It was agreed from the outset that the new group would be affiliated to Careline/Com-Sanit, a registered Spanish charity formed in the early 1990's to support the local medical service based in Orba.The indulgement of interest in theatre could, it was realised, not only provide an entertainment for the people of the area, but generate additional funds for the charity. The group could not have been more fortunate than to receive a generous and enthusiastic response from the Director of Fontilles to their request for the use of the sanatorium's largely unused theatre. In return, the Group offered to install their equipment in the theatre which would bring the technical facilities up to the required standard. Much of 1996 was, therefore, devoted to raising the money necessary, not only to put on a show, but to acquire the equipment to make the theatre work.
Using a kilometre of rope, the stage was completely re-roped to allow scenery to be 'flown' and scene changes to be effected in a professional manner. The on-stage lighting was rewired and improved. First-class sound and lighting control equipment was purchased and installed. New spotlights were brought from England and mounted in the theatre. Not only did this work require a considerable investment but it involved many hours of hard work by the members of the group. Attention was also necessary to improve dressing room and toilet facilities.
All the development work in the theatre came from John A. Booth, one of the founder members, who recently retired from a lifetime in professional theatre in UK. His experience and enthusiasm, together with that of his very experienced choreographer wife, June, ensured that every aspect of the group's work was approached in a professional manner. Not least, this applied to the first production, "Cinderella", which opened the eyes of even the most experienced amateur members of the company.
Having instituted a professional attitude, every effort was made to apply this to every aspect of our presentations. This included the attention to detail in such areas as wardrobe, tickets and programmes, front of house management and publicity. We aimed to set a very high standard in all that was done and were confident that this would reflect in the enjoyment our audiences would derive from their visits to Fontilles theatre.
The intention was to build upon our first presentation. We planned to produce a play, a comedy, in May and other productions later in the year.
As a result of our efforts we hoped to benefit, not only our parent organisation, Careline/ ComSanit, but also the sanatorium of Fontilles which is still mainly dependent upon charitable donations.