Over the years the club has undergone various changes of title ranging from the somewhat grand Dollar Athenaeum to Dollar Association Dramatic Club and our historical records date back to 1886 with the Minute Books for the 1920s era proving particularly fascinating reading with their references to long gone village personalities, press cuttings of J.M. Barrie and John Galsworthy productions, lists of unusual properties owned by the group and details of lectures on a variety of topics given by famous people at club social evenings.
Unlike other Scottish clubs it has been virtually impossible to celebrate a centenary as its early history appears to have charted a course of reformation, years of frantic activity followed by short spells in abeyance when obviously support and interest dwindled away.
However the present regeneration occurred in the spring of 1966 when a group decided to re-launch the club, which has now managed to keep continuously active for fifty years.
The style of presentation has varied from early play readings in the Castle Campbell and Masonic Halls to full scale performances on the stage at Dollar Academy and eventually the new Strathdevon Primary School.
From 1973-1985 the club regularly participated in the Association’s One Act Play Festival but gradually an influx of talented new members enabled the group to be extremely ambitious in both its choice and volume of productions. For the next twenty years its regular supporters were treated to an array of quality drama which included four Shakespeare plays, three Oscar Wildes, and a varied mix of Turgenev, Ibsen, Wycherley, Sheridan, Rattigan and Somerset Maugham three times a year. Coward and Ayckbourn have also featured regularly in the club’s repertoire.
In 1985 Brian Freeland, then Administrator of MacRobert Arts Centre, suggested the club use the floor of the school hall to perform his production of Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’ creating a thrust stage with audience raised on three sides and providing a variety of entrances and exits for his cast.
Eventually a new lighting rig was created and this became the group’s favoured style of presentation through its moves to the less theatrically designed Civic Centre and finally the club’s new home in the Academy Studio Theatre.
Dollar Youth Theatre was also established in the early 1980s premiering some of playwright Mike Tibbett's youth scripts, with several youngsters eventually finding employment in the world of professional theatre including Martin Sutherland, currently General Manager of the Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton.
In 1992 the club launched its successful series of Theatre Dinners taking a selection of one act plays on tour to hotels and restaurants across a wide area of the Central Belt and in 2002 were given the privilege of staging the premiere of Christopher Rush’s ‘A Twelve Month and a Day’ adapted for the stage by Brian Freeland.