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Anna Scher in fight to regain the theatre she founded

Patrick McCrudden / Member of Anna Scher Theatre | 05.12.2003 02:15 | Education | Health | Social Struggles | London


Anna Scher, founder of the Anna Scher Children's Theatre established her school 35 years ago, since which time she has had a profound effect on the lives of thousands. The publicity usually associated with the school concentrates on the careers she helped launch , of which there are many. But the real story of Anna Scher and her methods is that she has helped thousands of children around the globe build self-confidence, tolerance and understanding through improvisation and drama.
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 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
- e-mail:


Hide the following 30 comments

Anna Scher to fight for theatre she founded

09.12.2003 12:53

I'd like to get involved in this campaign, I was a member of this theatre back in 1978 I found the method at Anna Scher's very useful in my present work, it has made me much more confident in speaking up for myself when I see all that is wrong, I am a teacher in a Hackney School where drama is used not only for perfoming plays, but also to re-enact situations where bullying takes place, showing students how this effects the youngster being bullied as well as the effects upon the childs parents, we have on several occasions gone to the extreme which has effected many of the former bullies at our school. There is no longer any place for bullies at our school, I would never have been able to do this sort of work with the children at the school I teach drama at if it had'nt of been for the training I'd recieved at the Anna Scher Theatre under her tuition so to Anna I say I will be intouch shortly via your e,Mail address to give my support to your campaign.

Yours Sincerely Sophie Ward.

Ms S. Ward

Totally Demoralising if you ask me

18.12.2003 01:03

I have been a Member of The Anna Scher Theatre for several years,
I cant believe the Current News about Anna's situation with the Board of Directors at The Theatre...I find it totally Demoralising that a Woman who started a dream (and a successful one) in 1968 and was still going strong until when she became Ill in late 1999 is being pushed from The Theatre she Started.


Anna Scher to fight for theatre she founded

19.12.2003 15:49

J.P. Steven Dawson and the board of directors at the Anna Scher Theatre in N/London are a bunch of power crazy wankers, working class actors should stand up to these no good bastards and give em an early morning wake up call with a samba band. they have totally discriminated against the founder of the Anna Scher Theatre due to a former depressive illness which I can tell you is no longer the case, Anna Scher knows who her friends are and we won't walk on by, one of your members was so angry on Thursday, but due to his respect for you he remained calm, he told me his story and I know what ever blows come his way, he'll keep on fighting they the board of directors have messed with the wrong type of protestor, this man will when the time is right will organise mass opposition to the ways of these undemocratic directors who hadn't until recently registered that there had been a change on the board, fucking leeches using one's name to keep raking it in. Your student has the right idea to go, out to raise cash by performing in the street to raise cash so that Anna and her friends can continue this battle and I call on all your supporters to get out there and organise, talk, to theatre pubs etc and get a few shows together so to raise further awareness and cash to keep up this fight, we know your 100% Anna Scher and we're behind you 100% Where are all you speaker/activists from MAD PRIDE then this is one battle you should be out fighting a bunch of parasites on a board who have again and again done there very best to destroy Anna Scher, telling lies starting controversy, you want to look at yourselves for a change, under your administration you've created more debt than ever Anna Scher did, thats why the fee in the new year will be a pound extra than it is now. Steven Dawson you should be ashamed of yourself but your not like that your a bit of dog shit on the ground, if you were on fire and it took a tiny bit of my piss to put you out, I'd walk on by and leave you burning, what good are you? Talking about mis-management how comes your daughter kept recieving awards at the theatre when there were so many better actresses than her there, she was crap like you. All parents and current members should be asking questions like where's all the money we pay for classes going? Where do you stand Evelyn and how about you Marcus or is that little £1,000 this christmas to much for you to let it go? How much will you sell your soul for? How much silver does it take to stab another well loved teacher in the back?

Mystery Max

be at the theatre on the 29th of dec 11am not 10am

20.12.2003 12:59

just a reminder...the meeting at the theatre on the 29th of dec is no longer taking place at 10am.

we have decided to bring it forward an hour to 11am. yes 11am

dont forget to bring paint with you, any colour.

pass this message on pass this message on pass this message on

mail e-mail:

Mr Will...we are right behind you

26.12.2003 19:31

Mr Will, where av u been.
great to hear that you are onboard for this one...
the boys are also behind you, we av tons of paint...
lock fence and eyes will be there early...
sue is bringing food and drink with her...
enough to feed an army...cant wait.



mail e-mail:

Leave andy marcus and Eve alone

08.01.2004 17:30

Leave evelyn marcus and andy alone. they have upkept all of annas teachings as well as some of their own giving anna acher variety and adding to it in their on little way. We all respect what anna has done but the teachers and staff have only bin trying 21 help and now they are being scape-goated (one of the things anna protests about) for the trouble of the theatre. leave the staff alone and have some respect. Happy new year and lets hope all is resolved peacefully.

andy's eve's and marcus' friend

Leave Evelyn, Andy and Marcus alone! Give then the Respect the diserve

08.01.2004 18:42

I think it is sick to be doing this 2 eve marcus and Andy they have been behind Anna 100% of the way! Every1 has been trying 2 find a way of etting a scapegoat if your going 2 do that blame the bored intirely NOT EVE MARCUS or ANDY they are all great teachers! And deserve alot of respect so DONT blame them 4 whats happened! The love Anna as much as all of us do! All the were doing was doing what anna wanted, them 2 tach us in her way! and thats what she wants and they will carry on, but they r all being put under extreme perasure so just leave them alone i will say it againg they are great teachers they teach us 2 respect peoples veiw and understand the are 2 sides 2 a story so maybe people should think before they slag people off! Every1 wants Anna 2 come out of this well and most of all eve and marcus and andy do!
I hope this all ends peacefuly for Annas sake and for eve marcus andy and all of the Anna Scher Members!
good luck 2 Anna

mail e-mail:

Annas children

08.01.2004 18:58

Anna has taught all of us , not to 'walk on by'. We cant let this wonderul woman's dream and work just fall, she has taught us so may lessons wich we use everyday, morals so true... I for one am not going to stand by and let anna be prevented from her vocation. She has stood out against discrimination all her life and now she is being discriminated against and that is just DISGUSTING. For those of you who have ever been to the theater with Anna you will surely know this speech:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the communists
and I did not speak out — because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me —
and by then there was no one left to speak out for me.

Let this remind you not to just 'walk on by'; Anna is an amazing woman all she wants is HER theater back so she can teach HER children! I hate the idea of being part of a theater that anna is not in control of, she is the rightful principal and the ONLY principal in the eyes of her students.
How can she be told she cant teach in the theater SHE founded and put all HER heart into, it makes no sense!
That one class a week is full of love, eduaction and enjoyment. I have made friends at anna's that i will keep for life, and anna will NEVER lose the respect and devoted love of her pupils. Eve and Marc have grown up at Anna Scher Theater and they are doing the best for the theater by providing a reliable, loving and familiar face for the pupils. They are carrying on the work of Anna while she is being prevented from fulfilling her dream. I will not have bad word sed against Anna, Eve, Marcus or Andy. The board are a disgrace and i hope they realise the error of their ways!

anaas scher theater member

bring anna back

09.01.2004 09:44

I attend the anna scher theatre young professional class,and as everybody knows that
was anna's class,
ive been going to the theatre for 7 years this september,
and ben in yp's for 6 of those,
so i had anna for a long peroid of time unitl she got ill,
and can i add i think the illness was made worse,and could have been easier
and maybe anna would have got better if she didnt have all this stress then
she was going thru a breakdown,then to be told her theatre was no longer hers!????
i think it is just pathetic.
i must add that marcus and eve are great,they are brilliant teachers,
and wonder y?they learnt from the best,Anna taught them,
andy has done a bit for this theatre and is taking a bit more crap
than he should,
so e deserves a little pat on the back for waiting around,
but he is leaving soon,
so if anna cant come back,
what will happen!?
this board who are a bunch ov ignorant ppl that are suposed
to be annas "friends"
need to take a good look at exactly what is going on,
because do they not realise anna is planning to set up somewhere else?
and i no the majority of members loyalties are with anna,
mine defiently are,
so who will be lef in the lurch!?
casting diresctors?
will they want to go to the anna scher theatre to cast annas children,
knowing anna isnt their,n neiva are her children?!
this has gone too far,
hopefully the fight will be ended soon,and we cn all smile at the day
anna walks in that theatre and says "im back"


I've put me name down

09.01.2004 22:18

I put me name down to act at the famos anna sher therte but i sor the articel in the newspaper the other day so does that mean that anna shere wont be able to teach me so is is woth me still waiting to here if i can go iam 17 years old and i have wanted to be a famos actor all my life since i was little i was in my scool play and my maths teacher mr rennolds told me that i was good i aplide to go to silvia yungs when i was 12 and i done an audition in front of 6 people but i dident hear anything they said that i should build up my comfidense first then try again in 6 months but my mum and dad moved to blackpool to live so i dident bother going back to silvia yungs iam now living in camden town with my mum my dad has married some one else and he dosent live with me and my mum but he told me 2years ago too put my name on anna sheres books,

so is it woth me going to anna sheres if she aint there?

Simon knowles


Anna's fight to be re-instated

11.01.2004 20:10

I have attended classes at the Anna Scher theatre for ten years, like everyone else I am disgusted at the way that Anna has been treated. Anna is a wonderful, unique woman who has taught generations of children morals and respect for others; I only wish that she was shown the same respect that she deserves. Anna taught us not to be bystanders but she also taught us to do things peacefully like Martin Luther King and Gandhi so I hope any protesters and friends of Anna will remember that!

As for the abusive messages that have been written about Andy, Evelyn and Marcus, I think that people should get the correct facts before making accusations and assumptions. They are all doing their best to keep the theatre running in the hope that Anna will return. My experiences of all three people are that they are dedicated to doing their best at this difficult time, so give them a break?!?

I hope that a decision is made soon, the RIGHT decision, and that we'll see the Anna we know and love back where she belongs.


Anna Scher in fight over theatre she founded

17.01.2004 21:52

The original piece posted up on this site was from a leaflet handed out by the Friends of Anna Scher campaign, I posted it up for others viewing this piece to make comments concerning the way Anna Scher was treated by the board of directors and I now wish to make my own comments clear, I believe that the board of directors were out of order wanting to continue to use Anna Scher's name and reputation and not wanting Anna back herself and I understand that there are many out there who are disgusted by the way she has been treated and one or two of you posted up remarks concerning the former Chairman of the board of directors, I cannot condone the use of aggression in any form, the threats and insulting words towards the former chairman did not assist Anna's cause, and I can not stop any of you from posting up comments to the original article (Freedom of speech/Freedom of expression, what I will say is to those of you who posted up in my name, please refrain from doing so. If your not prepared to stand up and speak out as yourselves then don't stand up at all.
The fact is if I had wanted to say something about or to the former Chairman, I would have walked up and said it to his face and I wouldn't have hidden behind a computer keyboard using other peoples identities. Anna Scher asked all her members to keep this protest peaceful from the very start and I'm asking you all to do the same until this has all been sorted out in a peaceful manner.

I thank you for your patience.

Cyber Master (P.McCrudden)
mail e-mail:

GET A REAL JOB YOU MUGS..................................

17.01.2004 23:47

All you little people mean nothing "NOTHING" your lovely Anna will not be back, the board have decided to employ someone else once Andy goes, then we'll weed out all the followers of Anna.
She gave up the right to her name years ago to the Charity Commission when they decided she could turn the place into a charitable establishment.
It's time for new blood, a fresh perspective, Anna and her ways are old fashioned and out-dated.
It's about time Anna retired anyway, are we going to allow a former nutcase teach your children, how do we know she won't relapse?
We who work here can use the name all we like, your precious Anna gave up the rights to her name along time ago and who the hell do you think you are threatening our former Chairman, insulting and abusing him, your the first on our list once this is over to be weeded out of this theatre, you and all those that turned your backs on us to support a fruit cake.
Why don't you lot get real jobs? None of you can act, what we want is to bring in talented people who'll stand out and make something of themselves, unlike the rest of you who couldn't really act to save your lives.
Finally once again, leave Andy, Evelyn and Marcus alone, they've done more in the last few years than Anna's done her whole life.



18.01.2004 11:59

The last notice placed here has obviously been placed by a complete ignorant foolish person who is only trying to draw others into an arguement where others may become angry and abusive towards the remaining members of the board of directors at the Anna Scher theatre, whoever this person is they are only trying to make waves so that the public will turn away from Anna should they think (WHICH THEY WON'T) that she has got more aggressive fans.
We ask all of you who want to post up comments supporting Anna Scher to keep them in line with what Anna asked for to keep them polite.
It is obvious due to the board fighting a losing battle here that someone supporting their views on Anna returning to the theatre she founded is only trying to bring out the worst in us who love and support Anna's return.
Today we should make a commitment to everyone that has stood by Anna's side throughout this awful experience and if one is weeded out then we should demand their return.
Anna's winning this fight to return to her theatre so lets keep our comments nice and polite that way we will win this battle for Anna's re-instatement.
See how these people have no idea what clinical depression is, how it affects people's lives and through the right treatment and kindness it can be turned around.
Anna Scher loves us with all her heart and we love her.
Someone else said on one of the posts that if they wanted to say something to the former chairman of the board of directors they'd say it to his face and not hide behind a keyboard, so the person or persons responsible for posting the comment above why dont you come and say it to our faces as it is obvious to the rest of us that you are indeed a foolish employee.
Most of you who posted up leave Eve Marcus & Andy alone; lets not forget Bernie Burdis who was the one who kept all the classes going after Anna became ill and before Andy marcus and evelyn got on board.
The comments made above show us that we have already won the day so if you notice the notice above this one you'll notice it's not worth noticing.


Independent View

19.01.2004 11:59

Congratulations "Not In My Name" Militant parisites only have their own agenda at heart and not Anna's, so well done for standing up and speaking out in truth. As for the rest of us A.S. members old and new I think it is quite shamefull that in a country of free speech (the hell it is) that no one from the A.S. has mentioned or discussed with us all what is going on. I was at class last week and it was obvious that many were anxious and wanting to talk openly about the current and future situation at A.S., but it was buisness as usual and no one spoke out, I find this a stange contrast to what is promoted at A.S., the keyword being RESPECT, but to be honest all I ever see at A.S. is a bunch of ego's with their own interests at heart, therefore its all a farce, even the festival of plays, for which the rewards are token. I have seen Real talent at A.S. over the years, sadly these talents go unoticed. Many plays have been written, some brilliant and worthy of further attention, but the system runs like a hamster wheel and good plays are trodden down.So the point is that A.S. has been stuck in a time warp, run down and as faded as the pictures of all the stars that attended there way back in the 70's that are proudly paraded at the entrance to the theatre. So I have opened my eyes and woke up and smelled the coffee and I think if any of you out there know what I'm talking about will agree that 75% of the people who attend A.S. think by joining its a mealticket to stardom, only to discover once their Ego's have deflated that A.S. is only interested in running itself to pay the bills. Anna Schers is meant to be a community theatre, yet is neither serves or benifits the community, as no shows are performed for the public ,in or out of the theatre. Anna Schers is not a acting school either as you are not taught any skills in acting, all lessons are based on improvisation only and as a result it has become a therapy theatre for people to express their true selves, which can be very straining when having to deal with people who like the sound of their own voice. I shall not be attending A.S. anymore, to be honest I knew Anna and she is a really nice person, but I dont think her return will change anything at the Theatre for the members,life will carry on as usual,because there never was any vision there to begin with. The likes of Linda Robson and Co were already talented the first day they all walked into Anna Schers and they were all just lucky enough to have a lucky break, it was not down to teaching, it was down to confidence and fate. And there have been thousands more since then, who have walked through A.Schers doors, only it shut on them a long time ago, due to lack of vision.

Anna Schers is now left to fate also.

Wise Owl

Wise Owl

Re. get a real job you mugs

19.01.2004 12:24

As a member of Annas family I was upset to be told by a friend that the negative comments had been left. All I have to say to this idiot is, if you don't have anything supportive to say don't say anything at all. You are clearly a biggot & a fool. I have grown up aware that Anna loves people for who they are & not what their label is. in the time that I have known Anna (my whole life!!!) I have never know her to intentionally hurt anyone or anything. She deserves to be treated with the same respect.


SOME PEOPLE CAN BE REAL STUPID (Re; Get a real job you mugs)

20.01.2004 12:04

In response to the comment "Get a real job you mugs" What is your problem? Did you not have a decent up-bringing to respect others? Before you make a bigger idiot of yourself, I want to point out a few facts, so I'll start where you ended.
You mention Evelyn, Marcus, and Andy, and how they've taught members of the theatre more in the last couple of years than Anna's done in a life time, tell me do you actually live on this planet, it was Anna Scher who taught Evelyn and Marcus what they know, and I'd also like to remind you that it was Bernie Burdis who kept Anna's classes going until both Evelyn and Marcus got on board doing the classes, how easy it is to forget the one teacher that kept all the classes going originally. Your comment was indeed out of order and upsetting and what you have done is united us all in our determination in closing ranks with Anna so that she will return. (Oh by the way you can phone my mobile all you like and stay quiet or mumble whatever you want, if thats your idea of intimidation then its pathetic)Anna Scher has done more for the theatre that holds her name than anyone.
I feel sorry for you to feel so much hate and be so ignorant in your comment, are you a member who couldn't accept a little constructive critisism, is you ego bigger than your brain? Whats all this about weeding those who support Anna out then? You don't live in the real world do you, maybe it's you who's got the illness not Anna and I'll tell you this, I,d sooner have a proffessional like Anna teaching my children than anyone else.
How people like you can come here and make negative comments like you have done thinking Anna will throw the towel in, well you must be completely out of your mind, didn't you read the papers, it's Anna's dream to continue and we'll go back to the days when we the members were really creative, having 20 minutes to put a play together, where everyone had some input, and no one with large ego's to fill. All those who attended back in 1987 will know exactly what I'm talking about, for instance how many members really know how to do SOUND and LIGHTING these days? Back in 1987 it was everyone, Anna Scher through her method made the least confident person come out of their shell and no one tried to be better than anyone else, or maybe your angry that there are members who continue to do stuff with the same old people and you feel left out, well heres a little info for you Mr Angry, many times I,ve sat there and have been left out from finding someone to work with yet I've never worried about it, I just got stuck in and gotten on with it and I'll work with anyone and everyone, we all make mistakes and in the Barnsbury Road theatre is where we learn from our mistakes, that is how we develop our skills, thats the Anna Scher method working, Practise makes Perfect, Talent thrives through training together, if you are a member don't you look at all the notices around the theatre its all based on FIVE easy to learn and managable, why don't you get rid of your negative vibes and get down to learning something useful that way you'll get a life.
Finally in response to WISE OWL if you are waiting for someone to say something in class you'll be waiting forever, either say something yourself or walk over and sit by my side when I say something because I won't be prevented from speaking out.

P.S. To those who keep posting up in my (PATRICK) please refrain from doing so, I do not condone the use of threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour towards any person involved in this campaign to re-instate Anna Scher to her former position at the theatre.

To Anna,
Best wishes from Patrick, Brenda, Kelly and baby Shannon XXX.

mail e-mail:

RE: Get a real job you mugs

26.01.2004 22:46

I find in very funny that you can write such harsh word about Anna Scher and HER Theatre. Everybody has their own view on things, I find it funny that you view is obviously very clear and you are strong minded, full of threats to the current theatre members, however, you fail to leave your name at the end of your stupid message.

Coe on be a real person , stand up and say your name .... i'm sure you won't cause you'd look just as stupid as you sound! ...... we are all waiting.... so, whats your name 'friend of the board'

P.S i hope you suffer from a nervous breakdown and never break free of the deppssion that comes with it!

Stacey, a current memeber


Foolish People

06.02.2004 16:40

All i can say is that i doubt very much that the idiot that made them bad comments even knows anyone on the board. It is probably someone with no life who's idea of excitement is trying to cause friction in a serious debate. Why even accomodate fools like that just leave them to get on with it.

I hope this whole situation is resolved soon in the good of the Theatre, for its members,
and its Teachers so that we the students can go back to enjoying a place that has become full of negative energy. You can sense it as soon as you walk in that door now, surely the answer is to give back the theatre its heart, i am sure anyone with sense can work out what that means.


At Last The Truth

09.02.2004 01:44

As no doubt many of you are aware, Anna Schers Job has been advertised in the newspaper, how low can the board of directors stoop, must they add insult to injury by carrying on this awful display of betrayal, Anna Schers is finished under their rule, so they may as well take her name down from the theatre and think of a new one if they mean to carry on, maybe The Cloak and Dagger would be more appropiate. Its very sad to conclude from this sorry state of affairs that when your at your lowest, like Anna was during her illness, no one really looked out for her and instead looked out for them selves ? The closest people to Anna who remained within the theatre also betrayed her by keeping silent and this situation could have been exposed long ago, rather than just recently. Anna's only true friend is her work and I am aware that she is involved in many positive projects at present and I know the path she is now on is a truly enriching one and also where she may be needed most. The war at Anna Schers has already been won by the Board, but in truth they have not won, because everyone knows the truth now and they will have to carry on knowing that what they have done cannot be forgiven.

A Member

A Member

Response To Get A Real Job

21.02.2004 12:49

In response to the comment "Get A Real Job" posted anonymously (surprised!), I would like to say the following.

You say you would like to "weed out the followers", would this be the people who have dared to question the board and it's decisions?

Anna has not "given up the right to use her name", and this seems to be a rather silly notion. Anna Scher is her name and she is free to use it in any capacity, and indeed is doing so. It is far more questionable that the board chooses to use her name and it is obvious, from your comments, that this is potentially very damaging for Annas reputation. The board has recently written to someone stating that they are indeed considering changing the name. A very good idea from Annas point of view, however, slightly worrying for the current benefactors as once this happens it becomes what?

The state certainly would not agree that "Anna should retire", as she is not of retirement age. Perhaps you could spend time lobbying for a change in our retirement laws.

Your use of the word "nutcase" is probably the part of your comment that causes the most concern. This is certainly not a medical term that would render you incapable of work. You seem to feel nobody should cause offence to anyone currently involved in managing the theatre, (something that Anna has publicly spoken out against), but yet you have the right to be unforgivably rude to and about Anna.

As for her campaigners "getting real jobs". I am not willing to put names on this site, but if you are as involved in the theatre as your comment suggests, might I reccommend you ask, when next in the office, the names of some of the heavyweight industry figures who are supporting this campaign. Believe me when I say they are top in their fields of casting, writing, producing, directing, acting and advertising. This is to say nothing of the people around the world who are either ordinary members of the public, ( a preferable phrase to "nothing"), or leading world renowned figures.

I should also point out that the theatre is such a wonderful place without Anna that it is having to cancel classes, while Annas are at full capacity five minutes down the road.

I can only assume from the content of your letter and the fact that you were not brave enough to add your name, that you in fact know nothing of Anna, her theatre or the current campaign to have her reinstated, and that your comment is purely for mischief. However I hope this response will enlighten those who read it.

Catherine Clarke

Catherine Clarke
mail e-mail:

RE: Get A Real Job.....

22.02.2004 01:49

I feel I must respond to your comments on Anna Scher and the campaign to have her reinstated.

Firstly her supporters include parents, members, ex-members, casting directors (heads of departments at major TV companies), producers, directors, writers and Arun Ghandi, Desmund Tutu, and today support was pledged from Yolanda King. Which of these would be the little people who are nothing that you refer to?

None of us refer to ourselves as Anna "followers", please get a grip, she is not Christ or Buddha nor Allah, we are merely friends and supporters of the campaign to have her reinstated.

As far as "giving up the right to her name" the IP laws are extremely complex and the mentality of your comments would suggest that it would be presumptious of me to expect you to understand them but in idiot language here goes. Anna Scher is her name. She and only she can use it in whatever capacity she likes. The board, currently and only currently, have the right to use it as The Anna Scher Theatre only.

I am afraid that the industry on the whole does not agree with your comments on Annas method being outdated. The Friends have e-mails from leading figures in the business supporting Anna and her values.

Onto her retirement. I am afraid you must take this one up with parliament, as Anna is not of retirement age.

Most decent people would yes allow Anna to teach their children, and lets not forget that the board thought it perfectly fitting for Anna to teach after her recovery. As for a relapse. Well there is clearly no way of knowing. No more than we can know if you will ever suffer from a mental health problem.

I could not agree more with your comments on Mr Dawson and the current staff. Nobody has the right to abuse anyone. And that I am afraid applies to you also.

I will agree with your remarks about Andy Eve and Marcus doing more in the last few years than Anna has in her whole life when they are as globally recognised and respected as Anna. Knowing all three I am sure they would agree with this comment before they would with your rather silly one.

I think the proof is in the fact that while adult classes at the theatre are poorly attended (and have I am led to believe been cancelled due to lack of interest) Annas are at full capacity. This fact alone speaks volumes.

Your comment leaves me rather dubious about how well you know Anna or the theatre and I have a feeling you are somebody without a life just making mischief, but if not then please feel free to contact me at my mail address (I, unlike some, have the courage of my convictions and am not afraid of including that and my REAL name on this comment).

Good luck to Anna and the pending meeting. Lets hope it is as fruitful as it promises to be.

Catherine Clarke

Catherine Clarke
mail e-mail:

I can not believe it

22.03.2004 12:28

I have just reacently joined the Anna Scher Theater and I have wanted to get in for a long time. Now that i have got in all this happens. i was really looking forward to be tuaght by the best (Anna Schere). All this is imoral i can not believe some people have the haert to do what they did to Anna. I want to let Anna now that i am behind her. she really has got a good heart and i trust you!!!

Tunji Lucas
mail e-mail:


28.03.2004 21:16


Starting from Monday 5th April 2004


One and All - Up against the F***ing Wall

07.05.2004 09:23

I agree with the above comment they should all be humiliated, each and everyone of them.
I got my break having gone to that theatre and having trained under such a great teacher like Anna, these peoplem are the scum of our society and each and everyone of them should be shot at dawn.

The Guillotine Man

anna scher

12.05.2004 15:26

I think it is despicable the way anna has been treated by the board
and have started a petision to try and get her renstated as the director of anna`s home her theatre on bansbery rd the thing is if anna was a money orentated person this would have never hapened in the first place.
god bless all anna`s suporters
friend and sudenet of anna schers
marc shears

mail e-mail:

Dodgy Trustees & Managers Vendetta Against Anna Scher Continues.

21.12.2004 23:54

We have been made aware of the way drama teacher Anna Scher has been treated by the board of directors and management from the Anna Scher theatre at 70-72 Barnsbury Road, Islington, London N1 0ES.

Members of our forum have been checking out what has been going on and have discovered that several board members have gone in the last few weeks, we have also learned that whenever trustees on the board attend meetings concerning the theatre they only work with what information they have recieved from the management and it appears that several of those who claimed to support Anna and her aims to be reinstated to her rightful place within the theatre she had founded over 30 years ago.

We also have information concerning the previous poster to this one causing in fighting with current and former members, making up stories at the last night A Midsummers Nights Dream, the above poster attempted to cause trouble by telling a tissue of lies to other performers backstage that our vice chair had only attended to heckle the performers inside the theatre which turned out not to be the case at all so Mr Mark Shears would have any comment to make concerning your tissue of lies and deceit?

Do you wish to make any comment concerning how you were involved with the Friends of Anna Scher campaign going out and collecting petitions in support of Anna Scher's reinstatement, then go behind her back and invent more stories concerning Anna and her real friends?

The facts as we have learnt are that back at the end of 1999 Anna Scher became unwell with a severe depressive illness and was admitted to hospital and by 2001 she had been given a clean bill of health and returned to the theatre she had founded to teach refresher classes each Thursday between 11am and 1pm to proffessionals, current and former members of the theatre and each time in the background there was a member of staff writing down everything that was said during Anna's class which we consider harassment, then at the end of 2003 Anna Scher was informed that if she wished to return to 70-72 Barnsbury Road in 2004 she would have to sign a document which in reality prevented her from teaching in the way she had done so for many years and which had led to many former members becomming household names now, so to say her method was old fashioned and outdated when so many had made careers for themselves and many are still doing so.

We have had members of the board resigning and later being reinstated after holding meetings where three members (Two of them being Anna Scher and Charles Verrall) were not informed about until the last minute, we have knowledge about the meeting held at the Business Design Centre in Islington where members of the board had pre arranged the outcome of the meeting with Anna Scher which was to inform her that she wasn't being reinstated, yet those same board members wouldn't share any details as to whom would replace Anna at the theatre after the previous Andy Smith resigned.

We know at no time did the board members formally chaired by a Mr.Dawson state why they wouldn't allow the founder of the theatre to return to teach what she had taught for so long and we feel that this type of dispicable discrimination due to a person having previously suffered with a depressive illness is an attack on anyone who has had the misfortune of becoming unwell with depression and we aim once we have had our meeting in the new year to contact service users who use facilities provided by the Mind charity to write letters of protest and to organise rallies outside the theatre as an attack on one is an attack on us all.

To Anna Scher we say this,

Our vice chair has mentioned that he has been one of your students and has himself suffered with a depressive illness in the past, he has stated that any demonstration outside the theatre should be peaceful and we intend to keep it so, our vice chair has been unwell recently due to everything building up on him but since he has been attending Mind in Tower Hamlets out of hours group he has found new strength to continue to campaign for your return to the theatre you founded and we hope to take part in any demonstration you are holding outside the theatre in 2005.

To those of you who have spread rumours and lies about any of those supporting Anna Scher remember this "WHAT A TANGLED WEB YOU WEAVE, WHEN FIRST YOU SET OUT TO DECIEVE" so we'll be contacting all the Mind office's around the United Kingdom so that there service users know exactly how we are still stigmatised by so few who discriminate on the grounds of health.

Would anyone from the theatre like to comment on any of the issues concerning how they conspired to get rid of such a wonderful and respected person like Anna Scher in favour of a few clowns running the theatre at the moment?

Reps From Mind in Tower Hamlets Members Forum
- Homepage:

Do you want to act or just pay for someone's trips around the world?

25.01.2005 17:56

What do you people really want? Do you want to act or do you want to listen to the same old story week in, week out?
All of you who attend Anna Scher's in exile classes at the blessed Sacrament RC church must have cottened on to how your paying a fiver to listen to someone moan on about how a board got rid of her and loads of stuff about religion and yet not one of you realise that all you really get for your fiver is less than 2 minutes on the floor to do an impro.
Isn't it about time that all you who are attending these classes wised up to the fact that all your actually going to learn is nothing whatsoever to do with acting and that your money is going to assist Anna in her trips around the world so she can visit her many friends like Desmond Tutu?
If you people really want to be actors then you had all better get yourselves out of there and get yourselves over to Sylvester Williams's class at Chats Palace, Chatsworth Road, Hackney, London E9 every Tuesday evening from 7.30pm as there you'll actually have the chance to get yourselves a proper agent and get parts on various projects for television/film and theatre which your not getting right now.
There's no point in joining the former Anna Scher theatre in Barnsbury Road as they're dead in the water with only six to seven turning up for a class and their funding being withdrawn making it even harder for those who can't afford high fees.
If any of you are interested in real drama classes then email and we'll get you sorted out with proper classes and an agency that will find you work.

Look forward to hearing from you all very soon

The Whistleblower.

The Whistleblower
mail e-mail:

We Are The World

07.11.2006 11:36

Anna has many friends she is amazing young people need her teachingxx

emma russell

Anna's work is being continued

01.05.2008 02:03

Among other things, the job of the charity commission is to regulate how charitable donations are dispersed, which necessarily involves mechanisms for ensuring that individuals do not become more powerful than the stated goals of the organisation. One of the methods employed is to ensure that a group of trustees sit over the management and have to power to remove them. In the case of the Anna Scher Theatre, those trustees exercised their power believing that the work of the theatre was better served by changing who exerted day-to-day control. This should not be interpreted as a political struggle to victimise specific people. Anna Scher remains free to pursue her goals in a regular business arena, which she is doing, but both she and her supporters have to accept that charities cannot be left to the whims of individuals and require outside controls. This is both legally and morally the case. Anna Scher was free not to convert her business into a charity but chose to do so and, as a consequence, must accept the verdict of the trustees. This battle should stop, being, as it is, about personalities. Anna'a work continues. The Young Actors Theatre is thriving and many young people are benefiting from her vision. It is only the desire to be in control that obscures some people's ability to recognise it.

Best wishes,

Paul Jones