Radio star Margot Boyd left enough money in her will for "hundreds" of Bath residents to stage a production of Ben-Hur at the city's Theatre Royal.
Ms Boyd, who grew up in Bath, was best known for her role as Mrs Antrobus in the Radio 4 series, The Archers.
She died in May aged 94, but left the gift with the strict instruction that it be used for local people to feel the excitement of the theatre.
The production will be staged in October 2010.
Theatre Royal Bath spokeswoman Jill Bennett said: "Everyone we see on stage next October will be an unknown local person.
"We would give them professional training over the 12 month period."