Pat Shanks in Centrestage Theatre’s new rehearsal space.
Supporters of Centrestage Theatre will gather this weekend (September 5) to officially open the much-needed and long awaited extension to the facility in Orewa.
The occasion also marks the theatre’s 25th anniversary.
The actors of Centrestage Theatre Company and its Youth Theatre are already using the spacious new rehearsal room, which is fully insulated, sound proofed and large enough to contain a full set.
Next to it is a workshop where sets can be built – something that previously had to be done on the stage itself.
It’s been a long process to raise enough money to build the extension – it is nine years since resource consent was first obtained for the project.
Orewa Theatre Trust secretary/treasurer Pat Shanks says that the new spaces free up the auditorium for other activities and create new opportunities such as dance lessons, workshops or small productions.
“The sound proofed rehearsal room means that the society will be able to rehearse on site when the auditorium is being used by hirers such as Orewa College, Kingsway School and dance schools,” Mrs Shanks says. “It also means scenery can be built over a longer time span in the new workshop and the rehearsal room as previously the only area large enough to do this was on the stage.”
The upgrade includes wheelchair accessible toilets, a meeting room available for hire and improvements to the backstage kitchenette.
Mrs Shanks says that storage is always a big problem for the theatre, and while there is some storage in the extension, it is hoped that more can be built in the rehearsal space – this will be dependent on funding.
All up, the extension coupled with re-roofing and partly refurbishing the theatre cost close to $740,000. Funding for the project came from the Lottery Board, the ASB Community Trust and the now-defunct Auckland Regional Services Trust, along with other donations.
The need for a fireproof wall added $20,000 to the cost, the majority of which came from the Lion Foundation and Pelorus Trust.
On the other side of the ledger is almost $6000 in building consent fees, which thanks to guidance from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board, were refunded.
The extension to the theatre is to be opened on September 5 at 10am by Hibiscus & Bays Local Board chair Julia Parfitt.
Take a walk through the new Centrestage Theatre extension below.