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Rebuilding of La Mama Theatre commences

Rebuilding of La Mama Theatre commences
November 21, 2019

Construction to rebuild Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre has begun, 18 months on from the fire that destroyed the home of independent theatre in Australia.

Victorian Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley today joined the La Mama team in Carlton to mark the beginning of the rebuild.

The project was made possible thanks to a partnership between the Victorian Government and philanthropy, as well as an outpouring of support from Australia’s arts community.

The Victorian Government contributed $1 million to kickstart the fundraising campaign, which was matched by a philanthropic alliance comprising Gandel Philanthropy, John T Reid Charitable Trusts, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund and a fifth anonymous donor.

Hundreds of other donations large and small helped La Mama reach its target.

The design for the Faraday Street site will see the beloved heritage theatre rise from the ashes with the replication of unique features like the internal staircase, fireplace and trapdoor.

Minister Foley noted that “La Mama is the birthplace of independent Australian theatre and it continues to support the careers and ideas of our artists, writers and theatre-makers.

“Over the last 18 months we’ve seen just how beloved La Mama is by the community – the unprecedented philanthropic alliance, the generosity of so many donors and our government’s contribution all reflect that.”

“It’s been a tough few years for the La Mama team but today we look to the future, to seeing the theatre rise from the ashes and to the exciting next stage of La Mama’s history.”

A new purpose-built building will nestle in front of the rebuilt theatre to complement the main site, delivering a much-needed rehearsal space and facilities for artists and staff.

The project will also improve accessibility and amenity across the whole site, and considers environmental impact with solar panels, a water tank and double glazing.

The team behind the project includes lead architect and former La Mama staff member Meg White and construction firm Cottee Parker.

La Mama’s Faraday Street theatre will once again welcome audiences in 2021 when the project is due to be completed.

Images the concept for La Mama's rebuild.

Related Articles

19th November 2019 - Creative Partnerships Australia survey shows private sector increasing donations to the arts

29th April 2019 - La Mama Artistic Director Liz Jones to receive Sue Nattrass Award

5th November 2018 - $1 million grant to help rebuild Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre

28th September 2018 - Melbourne Theatre Company announces major partnership with ANZ

19th May 2018 - Historic Melbourne theatre destroyed by fire

8th July 2016 - Musical theatre has a major impact on Victoria’s economy

14th June 2016 - Artlands Dubbo Conference to emphasise the strength of regional arts

21st April 2016 - Live Performance Australia calls for Federal Government to hand back arts funds

14th December 2014 - New minister aims for a more creative Victoria

16th April 2014 - Closure of Melbourne’s Palace Theatre confirmed

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