The Manning Entertainment Centre’s new Beryl Jane Flett Studio was officially opened this week by Minister for the Arts, Ben Franklin and MidCoast Mayor, Claire Pontin.
The new theatre space provides an accessible and affordable performance space that will allow for a greater range of performance options for the MidCoast community, Mayor Pontin said.
“The Beryl Jane Flett Studio is an exciting new multi-purpose performance space that provides performers with a professional and accessible space, and audiences with a diversity of performances,” she said.
“The studio complements the existing 500-seat main auditorium, and is a wonderful opportunity for the MidCoast to draw world-class performers to the region.
The local project was made possible thanks to a generous bequest from the estate of June Neruda Flett, in honour of her mother Beryl Jane Flett. This enabled Council to obtain further funding from both the NSW and Australian Government.
Connected by an extension to the existing Manning Entertainment Centre foyer, The Beryl Jane Flett Studio seats up to 159 people and can accommodate smaller scale events such as intimate theatrical productions, children’s entertainment, choral performances, classical and contemporary music as well as meetings, events, conferences and trade fairs.
The studio also supports large events and performances that require multiple spaces for rehearsal, break-out or performance activities.
Minister Franklin travelled to Taree to officiate the opening on behalf of the NSW Government.
“This stunning, state-of-the art studio is a testament to the community’s passion for the Arts. I’ve no doubt the people of Taree, Midcoast region and beyond share my immense pride in opening this wonderful new venue, where they will enjoy performances and events for many years to come,” Mr Franklin said.
“The addition of the Beryl Jane Flett studio to the existing Manning Entertainment Centre facilitates both local performance arts initiatives and touring productions.”
The NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund provided $1.57 million for the project.
The first public performance in the studio will be Banjo, showing from 23 – 26 February.