$68,277 builds a new ‘spill-over’ deck around Armidale Playhouse Theatre with committee members Carolyn Shepherd, left, Margaret Sims, Michael Gibson, Greg Quast, Marney Tilley, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Stuart Pavel and Dr Benjamin Thorn celebrating the additional space to gather.
Monday, 14 February 2022
A NEW deck will star in the second act of the refurbishment of The Armidale Playhouse Theatre, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $68,277 State Government grant to add a deck around part of the historic building on Beardy Street.
The State Government has provided almost $680,000 in funding to restore the building as a functioning community theatre space.
Mr Marshall said a ‘spill–out’ deck would provide additional area for audiences and performers to interact.
“Since its return to the stage last year, The Playhouse Theatre has been overflowing with locals, excited to enjoy a live production after two years of COVID-19 restrictions,” Mr Marshall said.
“The popularity of the venue has shone the spotlight on the limited space available for patrons to gather and relax before and after a show.
“To address that, Stage 2 of the Playhouse’s refurbishment will see the addition of an architecturally designed deck and bullnose verandah around the southern and eastern aspects of the theatre.
“Armidale builder James Paliadelis, who completed the Playhouse restoration in 2020, has been recast as the lead contractor, with work hoped to be complete by the middle of the year.
“This is an exciting development which will improve the venue’s external appeal and make for an all-round more enjoyable experience for all.”
Playhouse Management Committee Chair Dr Bruce Menzies believes the addition of the deck will further enhance the functionality of the venue.
“Thanks to generous State Government funding and community fundraising the Armidale Drama and Musical Society has restored the old Playhouse into a beautiful 101 seat working space,” Dr Menzies said.
“The restored theatre was reopened in March 2021, and has since then the society has been busy hosting performances, along with acts from other community and professional groups.
“It is apparent however that the current foyer and bar area are too restrictive and do not adequately accommodate audience members during an interval or after a show.
“The society has consulted with its architect and designs have been drawn up for a deck which offers a significant functional asset which keeps with the heritage appearance of the 1900’s schoolroom.
“The return of the Playhouse has been well received by people of all ages, interests and backgrounds and has provided a great home for live theatre of every kind.
“We welcome this next stage of works, as we continue to contribute to the energy and vitality of the Armidale community.”