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Major renovations planned for Drama League’s Playhouse

Major renovations planned for Drama League’s Playhouse

The South Canterbury Drama League today announced a major upgrade of its premises in Church Street, Timaru.

“We are planning a significant re-development of the theatre, stage and costume hire facility”, said Kevin Foley, President of the League.

“These changes have been in the wings for some time and now they can be staged. We have finally got everything lined up to go through with this major investment” he added.

The proposal is to carry out the renovation over two stages.

“The first stage involves major improvements to the stage area, with the addition of full height wings on the east and west sides of the stage and improved audience access to the auditorium” said Mr Foley. This is scheduled to begin around the middle of the year.

“As the auditorium will be out of action for about 15 weeks, it was important for us to timetable the work carefully to fit around our very busy production schedule.”

“We have cancelled one planned production, but other than this we should be able to carry on business as usual with rehearsals and preparations for other forthcoming shows.”

Phase 2 of the project will see the existing brick wardrobe house demolished and a new Costume Hire showroom and workspace built adjacent to the existing buildings.

The South Canterbury Drama League is unique in New Zealand. It has five different sections which each year undertake a variety of productions.

The Playhouse is widely used by non-profit and youth groups such as travelling theatre companies, small concerts and recitals, schools, the Timaru Glee Club, and holiday programmes. Around 4,000 people watch shows at the Playhouse each year and it is the base for further productions at the Theatre Royal and Theatre Restaurant.

Overall, the project is expected to cost $750,000 and about half of this amount will need to be obtained through various fundraising initiatives.

“We have already started a funding programme including a one-off performance “Showstoppers” – a concert of hits of the major musicals from the last 25 years. This will be staged at the Theatre Royal on July 26th.”

“We are confident our audiences and the wider South Canterbury public recognise that The Playhouse is a hugely valuable community asset and they will support our efforts to improve the venue and enhance live theatre in the region,” said Mr Foley.

The project is due for completion later this year.

About the South Canterbury Drama League

The South Canterbury Drama League was first established in 1927. It was incorporated in 1935 and is the heart of amateur theatre in Timaru and throughout the surrounding region.

The League has its own theatre– The Playhouse – in Church Street, Timaru. The premises have been developed and added to over the last three decades as the League has grown.

The Playhouse complex includes a theatre with a 100-seat auditorium, a lounge, a full size rehearsal room, a second rehearsal room/set building facility, costume hire, workshop and significant storage areas.


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