Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre, Ashford Road, Tenterden, Kent. TN30 6LT
T: 01580 764222 | F: 01580 766267
The Sinden Theatre is located within the grounds of Homewood School and is at the heart of the Arts College.
Opened in 2004, the 231 seat venue is named after its patron, actor and local resident, Sir Donald Sinden CBE.
The theatre was created from a pre-existing school hall when Homewood achieved Arts College status in 2003, enabling funds to be made available for the year-long conversion to take place. The Sinden provides facilities for both the school, which has a strong Performing Arts Department, and for a wider audience in its role as a professional receiving theatre serving The Weald and south-east Kent.
As well as hosting many school productions, The Sinden provides a wide diversity of entertainment for the area. Artists who have trod the boards of The Sinden stage include Phil Cool, The Fureys & Davey Arthur, Maddy Prior, Dave Lee, Jimmy Jones and Donald Sinden. Popular tribute bands also make regular appearances at the venue including The Bootleg Shadows and the superb ELO Experience. The Sinden also provides facilities for number of local amdram groups including Tenterden's own operatic and dramatic society (TODS), The Staplehurst Drama Society and The Chandeliers Drama Group from Maidstone.
A regular Saturday morning theatre school is run by The Academy who, usually, put on two or three shows each year in the theatre. They can be contacted via their website at: http://www.theacademystageschool.blogspot.com
The Sinden frequently offers its facilities to local charitable organisations on a 'no-fee' basis. Among those that have taken advantage of a free venue to mount fund-raising shows have been Macmillan Cancer Relief, The Canterbury Oast Trust, Cancer Research UK, The Red Cross and the Tenterden Lions.
From time-to-time the theatre teams up with the school's excellent vocational restaurant, The Balcony, to offer a three course pre-show dinner. The menu is usually themed to go with the particular show for that night. Bookings for the restaurant can be made through the theatre box office when booking seats. Although there is not a purpose-built bar in the theatre, we are fully-licensed and pre-show and interval drinks and snacks are available on most shows.
The theatre is licensed for a maximum 231, 131 being accommodated on tiered seating, the remainder at floor level. The venue is equipped with a Sennheiser infra-red induction loop system for the hearing-impaired. There are also facility boxes with tie lines for sound, video and DMX lighting control around the auditorium. In addition a facility box which allows the use of a laptop computer at the front of the auditorium to be fed to the video projector for presentations and films.
A pre-wired lighting grid is installed across the entire roof of The Sinden allowing complete flexibility. A Zero88 Fat frog desk allows up to 48 DMX channels, 36 of these being on the pre-wired bars. A good selection of luminaires, up to 1200w, is held in stock with a 1200w follow-spot completing the inventory.
A professional standard Antari Haze machine and a Gem Pro smoke machine are also available to add visual lighting effects, along with various DHL gobos.
Width: 12.2 metres, including wings & Depth: 8.5 metres from front of apron to rear wall.
The prosc arch opening measures 7.16 metres wide by 3.88 metres high. Because of the thrust stage, there are no FOH tabs. A 4 metre wide projection screen can be lowered from behind the prosc arch or the white back wall can be used as an alternative in conjunction with the Sanyo 1400 lumens video/data projector. This produces a maximum screen width of 10 metres (subject to satisfactory lighting conditions).
A Canford talkback station is located at either side of the stage, linked to lighting and sound control, together with a video monitor fed from a camera located at the rear of the auditorium. There are two flying rails for cloths or scenery and the usual black legs to either side of the stage.
The Sinden is equipped with a 36 channel Soundcraft Spirit Live desk and an optional Spirit Folio 16 channel desk with Lexicon effects.
16 XLR channels, 4 Speak-on, and 2 Video tie lines run between the stage and control area. Minidisc, CD and cassette are all available as play-in sources. A Behringer digital FX unit is also installed. A selection of cabled and radio mics is available together with a range of stands, boom arms etc.
The auditorium is equipped with a five-speaker system with bass-bin located under the trust stage. A mic above the stage feeds both the induction-loop system and show relay to the dressing rooms. A dedicated PC offers a library of over 60Gb of music for audience play-in and general FX.