Dunedin Collaborative Theatre Trust

New Athenaeum Theatre development

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New Athenaeum Theatre - a brand NEW black box theatre right in the Octagon, re-using the historic Athenaeum Theatre.

Run by a Charitable Trust, the NAT has been established to provide an easy-access, affordable venue for performance practitioners.

Already, we are hosting shows with limited resources, and have started providing courses that engage with the theatre community. We aim to become a hub for performance artists, and a resource for collaboration.

We are solidly booked for Dunedin Fringe Festival 2018, and will be hosting the Dunedin Theatre Awards in December. In between all that, we need to raise the funds to improve the facilities we can offer as a modern, flexible, supported performance space.

In order to continue to develop, and achieve our goals, we need to upgrade elements of our historic building, and kit it out as befits a modern theatre.

We are fundraising to upgrade the elderly (historic!) power supply to the theatre, and install heating. The Trust also needs to purchase all the essentials - lights, sound, safety equipment.

A new theatre with a long history

The theatre on this site has a long history in Dunedin; it has served as an education setting for the Mechanic's Institute in the 1800s, the location of the Otago Cinema Club in the 50s to 70s, and more recently as the founding home of Fortune Theatre (1974) and as a tertiary theatre training facility - Otago Institute of Television Theatre and Radio (1990s).

Despite being empty for several years, many people retain a connection to the building, and are excited to see its future potential as a hub for Dunedin performance activity.

What we've achieved so far...

The Dunedin Collaborative Theatre Trust has coordinated many volunteer hours to tidy and paint this incredible space. Facilities on offer include foyer workspaces, a large green/dressing room (also good for rehearsal!), and the theatre itself - seating 50-90 (depending on configuration). This has all been done with donations of time, goods, and money, involving people who are as excited as we are to make this happen!

On the limited resources we have, we have hosted two productions, a standup comedy show, and a children's drama class recital for Mums and Dads.

You can be part of it!

We invite you to be part of this very special project - please donate to the campaign, and spread the word!

If you're a fan of theatre - especially, new, developing and innovative companies in an old, historic, and renowned building, this is the project for you!

The NAT is just beginning its incredible journey - this campaign is the foundation of creating an affordable, accessible, supportive venue for emerging and professional practitioners.

Our target represents the bare essentials of sound, safety equipment, and comfort essentials, but with your full support beyond that, we know we will be ready to give our Fringe artists the very best in March. Supporting us supports them, so if you know someone at the NAT for Dunedin Fringe 2018, get amongst!


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    We are so lucky to have artists lining up to use the NAT! A couple of exciting projects for next year are on the go - it's great that people are finding out we are here, and are coming in to see how we can help them out.

    In order to provide our artists with a safe, accessible space, we need to continue improving aspects of the historic theatre. Take the floor, for instance! We needed to cover the old, splintery t&g with something insulated, smooth and safe.We have received support already from the DCC Heritage Fund specifically for this purpose; and so, last week it happened! 5 days and approximately 50 hours of volunteer labour means that performers and audience are warmer and safer.

    There is much more to do, though, so keep in touch to see what we are up to.

    Can't Stop Won't Stop