Dunedin Theatre Network

The Dunedin Theatre Network is a community-led, collaborative solution to Ōtepoti Dunedin’s need for performing arts infrastructure.

The owners of the Playhouse Theatre, Athenaeum & Mechanics Institute and Mayfair Theatre propose a staged programme of investment in the three venues over 6-8 years.

This would be funded using money Dunedin City Council (DCC) has already set aside for a theatre, supplemented with other central government, philanthropic, community and private funding.

Between them, the network of refurbished venues could achieve at high level the functional brief set in the work DCC commissioned from Charcoalblue, and save three heritage buildings which are otherwise at risk of closure.

The network would offer a total of 4x performance spaces ranging in capacity from 70 to 400 seats, plus a suite of other supporting spaces. The venues would offer a range of styles of performance spaces, and provide a geographic spread across the north, centre and south of the city, each with good public transport links.

We envisage a collaborative model to manage the refurbished venues, supporting continued sharing of resource into the future.

We shared this idea with the community and DCC in May 2022, and are now working on fleshing out the proposal with a view to reporting back in a few months’ time. 

This is a community-led proposal, so we want to engage widely and have plenty of input. We're currently reaching out to performing arts organisations and practitioners for their views on the Theatre Network concept. We would love to hear from anyone who wishes to share their thoughts on the proposal. Please email us at dunedintheatrenetwork@gmail.com to arrange a chat.  

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