“cover it in gold leaf, drape it in bunting, and celebrate a Pegasus Day with fireworks.”
Philip Pullman (Award Winning Author & Patron of Pegasus Theatre)
For almost 50 years, Pegasus has pioneered theatre and arts education work with young people, the local community and professional artists at the start of their career. We have a track record for delivering high quality, accessible and inspiring activities that encourage people to take part in the arts. Pegasus is indeed a special place for creativity.
The history starts long before the current theatre. In 1962 Oxfordshire County Council set up drama work with young people in the old Schools Meals Service canteen in Magdalen Road. Under the name Oxford Youth Theatre (OYT), the initiative attracted local support and in 1969, when our activities had expanded beyond the capacity of the site, a fundraising campaign to create a purpose built space was launched. The result was a breeze block building, christened Pegasus Theatre – it became the new home of Oxford Youth Theatre and was opened in 1975.
From the early 1980s onward, our national reputation grew for work which brought young people and professional artists together to produce high quality performances. Today we play an active role in supporting companies in artistic, technical and marketing matters and have been instrumental in launching the careers of companies such as Théâtre de Complicité, The Right Size, Peepolykus, Network of Stuff and Gelede Dance.
In 1995, with activities again beginning to outgrow this site, we established the Pegasus Theatre Trust to prepare for a future capital development and independence from Oxfordshire County Council. Independence and the start of the capital development scheme came in 2004.
In September 2010 the new Pegasus was opened to the public. Built around the existing but completely refurbished original auditorium, the redeveloped venue now boasts a dance studio, offices, greeen room, dressing rooms, meeting rooms, media suite, production workshop, cafe and foyer. The main performance space has been re-named in honour of its most generous donor The Pullman Stage.
November 2011 sees the start of a year celebrating 50 years of youth arts on the East Oxford site, starting with a series of intimate concerts with Radiohead drummer Philip Selway and ending with a special performance in November 2012 with youth theatre members from the past and present in a massive intergenerational production.
We believe in long term engagement with young people on in-depth projects where they can grow and have fun. Pegasus holds a special place in the hearts and minds of all who cross its path. It is a place where life long friendships are made and where young people are able to enjoy growing up and learning about the world through cultural activities as well as achieve amazing creative results.