Entertainment

New look for historic theatre

At the Noosa Arts Theatre’s official opening of Stage 1 revamp, from left Liza Park, David Williamson, Marea Brown, Len Daddow, Andrew McKellar and Damian Davidson.
At the Noosa Arts Theatre’s official opening of Stage 1 revamp, from left Liza Park, David Williamson, Marea Brown, Len Daddow, Andrew McKellar and Damian Davidson. Contributed

YOU'VE come a long way baby.

In 1971, a tin shed called Noosa Arts theatre hosted its first performance, 41 years later a gala evening celebrated its sophisticated new look.

It's taken years of fundraising and the love of a loyal bunch of volunteers to come up with the money and vision to shape the building into the modern, community theatre it is today.

Last Wednesday evening theatre stalwarts gathered at a sparkling gala evening to celebrate the completion of Stage one renovations and acknowledge the numerous people who made it possible.

A round of applause went up for founding member Marea Brown as she cut the red ribbon and declared the new theatre open.

Noosa Arts patron David Williamson spoke at Noosa Arts Theatre gala evening celebrating the opening of Stage one renovations on Wednesday and reminded the capacity crowd of the theatre's humble beginnnings.

"In 1970 a group of interested locals decided to form a theatre group," he said

"The first performance was given on the back of flatbed truck, parked next to the Scout den at Peregian Beach - that was in 1971."

The first show was a pantomine, Puss in Boots performend in a tin shed.

Len Daddow recalled how his football club organised the theatre site to be cut off from the football grounds and how the tin shed was generously donated by real estate agent Roy Osborne.

"He had the shed up near the Tewantin Noosa golf club and I asked him if we could buy it - he said we could just have it."

President Liza Parks praised the volunteer effort that made it happen. "Especially the various committee members who continued to drive the project when major grant funding applications failed time after time," she said.

Liza said big donations included $25,000 from Michele and David Mackay, a grant of $35,000 by the Gaming board for the roof and more than $10,000 worth of plumbing fittings by Reece organised by plumber Matt Keillor also brought it together.

Noosa Council waived all fees in the development application.

An all time favourite play by David Williamson, Travelling North, was staged on the opening night

Topics:  community noosa arts theatre performing arts renovation theatre


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