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On with the Show

There’s a new performing arts precinct in town – Charles Darwin University (CDU) has reignited its performing arts appeal with the redevelopment of its cherished theatre. More than just a building, this performing arts precinct provides a fundamental link between education, the arts and its artists and the community.

Since its opening in 1974, the CDU Theatre has provided a vital space in which students, lecturers, soloists, ensembles, choirs, orchestras, theatre and dance companies can perform, rehearse and educate. It has seen events and performances by the likes of Yothu Yindi, the Darwin Festival, Darwin Chorale, Darwin Youth Orchestra, Gondwana Choirs, Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre, CDU Stage Door Club, the Essington School, Marrara Christian College, the Indian Friendly Society, Pakistani Cultural Society, Amnesty International and the Leukaemia Foundation – to name just a few.

As a home to the Darwin Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Centre for Youth and Community Music, the theatre has provided thousands of hours of creative joy to both audience and performer. The Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the DSO, Matthew Wood, spoke to Off The Leash about the importance of such a venue to the community.

“The Darwin Symphony Orchestra has a long and cherished history of uniting a community through music across the entire Northern Territory. As our principal sponsor, Charles Darwin University contributes significantly to the life and Charles Darwin University’s new Performing Arts Theatre success of our much-loved orchestra. And it is in the Charles Darwin University Theatre where the orchestra prepares for the concerts we bring to thousands of Territorians every year.”

The newly designed CDU Performing Arts Theatre boasts an expansive entrance foyer complete with bar facilities. Opening out into a beautiful garden courtyard to capture the balmy Dry season evenings, we recommend patrons arrive in time to enjoy this magical setting before the show. The stage has been widened, storage space has been expanded, the back stage facilities thoughtfully upgraded and the latest in audio and visual technology installed. The installation of comfortable and retractable seating means this really is a multi-purpose venue, keeping the wooden sprung floor available for dance companies and cabaret style shows.

The new CDU Performing Arts Theatre opened for business late last month and has already proved its diversity, hosting a wide variety of performers, performances and events in its first two weeks including the inaugural 2016 Professorial Lecture, nationally renowned a cappella vocal ensemble The Idea of North, the DSO Family Proms, a career advisors day and a solo flute recital.

CDU is appealing for donations to support this vital community resource – the most ambitious single fundraising campaign in the university’s history. From snapping up a seat to becoming a cornerstone donor, naming rights are also up for grabs.

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