July 25, 2007

Theatre Venues

Marc      posted 28 Jun 2007, 06:02 PM

Question; Do people out there think there is a lack of theatre space available in Wellington to stage their work? Discuss….

t opiate                posted 28 Jun 2007, 06:42 PM / edited 28 Jun 2007, 07:43 PM

Anyone know if there are any plans for the old Il Casino?

Marc      posted 29 Jun 2007, 08:23 AM

I believe it has been sold to build apartments on the site. And not before time, we desperately need more apartments.

Laurie Dean        posted 16 Jul 2007, 04:34 PM

Generally for me the lack of venues has never been a problem. It has always been a periodic lack of ideas and/motivation. A suitable, or even unsuitable, space can always be found. Getting people to go to said space to watch can be an issue…

Gavin McGibbon               posted 20 Jul 2007, 01:50 AM

I myself would welcome a new theatre space in Wellington with open arms. Bats I understand (and I could be wrong here) have this year received more submissions for works to be staged there than in recent years. Which is fantastic that so many people have work they want to put out there but also at the same time somewhat frustrating because with so many of us trying to fit into that one place there is obviously only so many works Bats can stage in one year.

Now I think Bats is an amazing place and they do an incredible job of providing people with a place to stage their works but it would be nice if there was another venue of a similar nature. Obviously there would need to be the demand from audiences rather than practitioners but I do believe there is room for another regular venue.

And yes I’m far from impartial on this I’ve got three plays I think that are ready to go out there but that said I feel for the people involved in the dance side of things because as far as I can tell (and once again I could be real wrong on this) “Dance Your Socks” off is their only real chance to stage new works.

John Smythe      posted 20 Jul 2007, 01:39 PM

I dream of a theatre space and core company dedicated full time to the production of New Zealand theatre. It is the ‘go to’ space for NZ work.

While maintaining a regular repertoire of full-scale productions of premieres, revivals and return seasons, this theatre also employs its resources – and contracts in, as required – to develop new work, through readings, dramaturgical support, workshops, try-out seasons … (a wonderful logistical challenge here). Ideally anything that is do-able gets a hearing in some form, if only to show the originator where the potential lies … 

Then I wake up – and daydream on … This is achieved by blending the development part of Playmarket with Downstage Theatre (which spawned Playmarket in the first place). That next door space where The Costume Cave started out – or something similar nearby – is acquired as the workshop/tryout venue. Or the mezzanine bar space is resurrected as ‘Halfway Up’ and the offices are relocated

BATS continues to do its thing over the road and closer creative ties evolve, as with Circa and production companies and venues all over the country, who will soon discover that whole new sectors of the community are attracted to their theatres by homegrown work …

What a humming, vital place this dedicated NZ theatre company would be: the Risk Capital of homegrown theatre; the Share Ourselves Market for adventurous yet wise investors … 

Am I still dreaming?

Bert Smith           posted 20 Jul 2007, 02:25 PM

Yes. I think you are.

Louse    posted 20 Jul 2007, 03:28 PM

I dream of genius

Lin          posted 21 Jul 2007, 08:19 AM

Yes John, properly funded of course that could work; it has basically worked before (tho without the exclusively NZ component.) A mutually beneficial partnership with Taki Rua would be the icing on the cake. So who has to talk to who to make this happen??

neil furby             posted 22 Jul 2007, 12:52 PM


Dust down your Sunday best outfit, hold your head high, and go knocking on the doors of the big New Zealand Corporations to inquire if they would support a National Theatre.

We have the WestPac Rugby Stadium and the Vector Stadium so now might be the time to try for such sponsorship

Avery    posted 22 Jul 2007, 02:07 PM

The boards/directors of Downstage and Playmarket need to talk to each other; work out a preliminary season and budget and make a proposal to CNZ. Start small for gods sake.

rogerthedodger max      posted 22 Jul 2007, 05:52 PM

Perhaps we get all the thespians together to have a mass debate about this.

Anon#3                posted 23 Jul 2007, 11:44 AM

Yes, great idea; hire a cruise ship say and organise a big conference (or ‘forum’ – whichever word appeals most); invited guests Robert LePage, Caryl Churchill, David Hare and Taika Waititi should capture everybody; then all the thespians and arts administrators and related hangers-on can be shipped out into the harbour to drink and bicker and party. Meanwhile the handful of people who actually get things done can sneakily stay ashore and make it happen. Ship engine failures can be organised to ensure they have all the time they need.

neil furby             posted 25 Jul 2007, 11:42 AM    

Yes Anon #3 why not use a ship and convert it into a Theatre and moor it up in the Wellington Harbor .It would probably be the worlds first ship National Theatre . You could even cruise the ship to all the other main centers and even take it abroad 

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