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Sam Neill To Open Refurbished Ngaio Marsh Theatre

The University of Canterbury Students’ Association’s extensively refurbished Ngaio Marsh Theatre will be re-opened on Tuesday by New Zealand actor and Canterbury alumnus Sam Neill.

First opened in 1966, the theatre was named after Ngaio Marsh (later Dame) who lectured in drama at Canterbury and directed a number of productions at the theatre, including one featuring Sam Neill. He has said his interest in acting was fuelled by working with Dame Ngaio.

The UCSA applied last year to the Community Trust for funding to refurbish the theatre, which had not been upgraded since its opening, and received a grant of $160,000.

The money has been used to replace curtains, repaint walls and restore floors in the auditorium and on the stage, re-upholster seating, improve lighting and upgrade backstage facilities.

UCSA president Richard Neal said the Ngaio Marsh theatre was an important part of the local community and allowed for expressions from primary schools to the University.

The Students’ Association had long worked hard to support both students and the community. The refurbishment would show that they were continuing to show that support for the future, said Neal.

Supporting Arts and Music showed Canterbury was continuing to offer a lot more to it’s students through the Students’ Association, said Neal

University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Professor Daryl Le Grew said the upgrading substantially improved the theatre interior, and meant it would be an even greater asset in encouraging and expanding the performing arts both on campus and within the community.

The official re-opening will be held at the theatre on Tuesday afternoon at a function attended by the UCSA President Richard Neal, the Chancellor Dame Phyllis Guthardt, Vice Chancellor Professor Daryl Le Grew, members of the University Council and representatives of the Community Trust among other invited guests. All Press Welcome Tuesday 16th April 90 Ilam rd. Ngaio Marsh Theatre.


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