The Sewell Barn Theater is a small local auditorium which has historic ties to Anna Sewell, author of the beloved children's book, Black Beauty. Built in the 19th century, it originally belonged to Philip Sewell, brother of Anna, who used it as a barn for his horse. A mare owned by him called Black Bess is believed to be the inspiration for the famous novel. After the owner's demise, the building was used as an open air school, a bicycle shed and even a theater staging performances for soldiers during World War I. Today, the theater is owned and managed by the Sewell Barn Theater Company and puts on a wide variety of plays every year, from Shakespeare to Alan Ayckbourn. It also conducts free workshops on drama, speaking techniques and acting. The auditorium of the theater seats only a 100 people and is built in such a way that the audience can experience the plays in an intimate and lively setting.