Amateur dramatics have been at the heart of town entertainment for well over 100 years. Since its inception in 1930 Sturminster Newton Amateur Dramatic Society (SNADS) has been one of Sturminster’s most energetic groups. In the early years the regular venue was the Comrades Hut (now the British Legion), where a portable stage would have to be assembled before each production. SNADS put on its first locally written pantomime, Dick Whittington, in 1955, thus starting a tradition which has seen most of the pantomimes penned by local writers.
SNADS has also been a stalwart of the Carnival, frequently winning the coveted Championship Rose Bowl. In 1967 SNADS moved into the then new Sturminster Hall and for the first time had a permanent stage on which to perform their usual offering of two plays and a pantomime every year. There have been festival entries and the occasional touring production - two plays have been taken into the local prison, Guys Marsh.
A new chapter has opened for SNADS since their current home, The Exchange, opened in 2007. Now, for the first time, the society has a professional-sized stage and storage for costumes, scenery, and props, all under one roof. SNADS has a large and enthusiastic membership which brings together a wide variety of people who enjoy each other’s company as well as putting on entertainment to a very high standard.