QTheatre celebrates five years of arts
Q Theatre has blown out its birthday candles, celebrating five years in Auckland.
First opened on September 8, 2011, the multi-theatre venue at 305 Queen St has become a staple and central feature of the Auckland arts community.
With 577 performances last year Q saw 89,000 audience members through its doors -a 7500 jump from the previous year.
It consists of three theatres - the main Rangatira, the smaller and intimate Loft, and the underground workspace Vault.
Marketing and communications manager Candice de Villiers says plans for the not-forprofit company were born as far back as 1996 when a theatre on the waterfront was shut down to make way for the America’s Cup Village.
‘‘So when that happened the independent theatre community looked at the venues around and realised there wasn’t a purposebuilt space specifically for them,’’ she says. ’’A mid-sized theatre that wasn’t owned by council, that was independently owned and was specifically for the performing arts and not a multipurpose venue for other things.’’
A group of well-respected performing arts practitioners came together and formed an initiative to begin lobbying to find a site, funds and required council permission. It took more than a decade of lobbying and fundraising with a group from the arts community committed to making it happen for no monetary return, de Villiers says.
‘‘It’s that unrelenting dedication to making it happen.’’
‘‘There were lots of moments where things could go either way… there were really important council meetings where pretty much the entire theatre community turned up to and said ‘no this really really has to happen’.’’
Like any business or new business venture, the first five years were critical, she says. ’’There can be a bit of hit-and-miss, you don’t want things to go wrong … if you haven’t got a lot of reserves things can fall and you might not still be here.
‘‘So the fact Q has made it to five years is pretty impressive.’’
This year alone the theatre has seen 63 different arts companies work within the spaces. Chief executive James Wilson says the theatre is now at the heart of the arts precinct in Auckland and acts as a hub of creativity and collaboration.
Q Theatre marketing and communications manager Candice de Villiers.