For those of you that don't already know Anna became unwell at the end of 2000, and the year after the board of directors replaced her. Now that she has recovered, she is being kept at arms length from the theatre she founded. She is allowed to teach some classes, but has little or no influence over the school or the actors' agency which helps to fund it. Whilst the theatre trades on the Anna Scher name, reputation and her approach. We the actors believe that her treatment at the hands of the board leaves much to be desired.
For this reason a large number of her students have launched the Friends of Anna Scher Theatre, in order to achieve two objectives:
1. To protect the unique A.S.T. methodology and values.
2. To reinstate Anna Scher as principal.
We have made a reasoned approach to the board. If they do respond, and are prepared to engage in constructive dialogue, then we hope we can move towards achieving our objectives. If they do not then we plan to step up our campaign both publicly and legally.
The facts are these, at the end of 2000 Anna Scher became unwell due to depression and was admitted to hospital. The following year the board of directors had Anna Scher replaced with the understanding that once Anna was well enough she would return to her former position at the theatre and to this day Anna Scher has not been allowed to return apart from teaching a few classes here and there because the majority of us actors were taught by Anna Scher for many years and would have it no other way, we respect the woman who made us what we are today, out-going, out-spoken, confident, and talented. The work of Anna Scher doesn't stop in the United Kingdom, she has taken her drama workshops around the world bringing together Arab and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Black and White together in unity and peace through improvisation, many young people around the globe have come together and have worked together and have learnt through Anna's drama workshops that we are all one race, the human race, no matter what Colour, Race, Creed, Nationalality, or Sexual Orientation people are they'll always be welcomed by Anna Scher who herself is of ethnic background, born in Cork, Eire of Irish/Jewish parents, she came to England many years ago and was a teacher of English and Drama. 35 years ago Anna started a Drama club at the Ecclesbourne School situated off Essex Road, Islington N1 some of her first students are household names now like Martin Kemp who had the role of Steve Owen in Eastenders and portrayed Reggie Kray with his brother Gary playing the role of his brother Ronnie, Kathy Burke who has been in many comedy programmes including GIMME, GIMME, GIMME, Kevin and Perry go large, Harry Enfield and Chums, Linda Robson, Birds of a feather, Phil Daniels, Scum, Quadropheinia, Goodbye Charlie Bright are to name but a few, there are many more who we see on many television programmes, in theatre and in films that were taught by Anna Scher over many years. The majority of actors these days are from working class backgrounds who may never have had the chance to be where they are today if it wasn't for this one true wonderful kind woman who set up a school in a London borough to give disadvantaged children a chance to achieve something and now this oppertunity to continue this work is being prevented by a board of directors who couldn't care less for anyone but themselves, they discriminate against a person due to an illness described as a mental illness, who hasn't at sometime in their lives suffered with depression? The board throw a life times work out on to the streets, they litrally stab Anna Scher in the back making false promises they never intended to keep and if it were not for people like myself and many other actors at the theatre this injustice would continue and Anna Scher would be discarded like the litter we see on our streets. Anna Scher taught me well and the one thing I shall always remember is when my tutor told her class of an experience she had in her college days concerning the Nazi death camps in Germany six million Jews died in those camps and Anna stood up and said "How could this happen? What was everyone else doing?" She's right what was everyone else doing? I personally learnt alot from that and it was to stand up and speak out against all that is wrong and I am doing that now and I'm appealling for your help all you out there to get up with us and bring an end to this injustice. I Patrick McCrudden owe Anna Scher my life and I will stand by her and I ask you all to do the same? For those of you who wish to know more information on this matter e,mail firstname.lastname@example.org If there is anyone out there who could help out to raise cash for this campaign by holding Jumble sales, or have a free space to put on performances/shows, we'd greatly appreciate it.
I thank, respect and love you all...
Patrick McCrudden (Actor and current member of the Anna Scher Theatre)
Patrick McCrudden / Member of Anna Scher Theatre