The Bille Brown Studio is undergoing a multi-million-dollar transformation and in October will take on a new life as the 351-seat Bille Brown Theatre – a state-of-the-art corner stage, designed to be the perfect place for stories, artists, and most importantly – audiences.
The Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Leeanne Enoch visited the Bille Brown Theatre marking three months until it will be the home of playwright David Williamson’s new work,Nearer the Gods.
This is another major coup for Queensland Theatre, which under the artistic leadership of Sam Strong is kicking serious goals. In 2017 Queensland Theatre reached its largest audience ever in the 50-year history of the company - over 188,450 saw a Queensland Theatre show in 55 theatres around the world and the season included the highest grossing show ever in Queensland and a 20-year high for season ticket holders.
The company is making good on Strong’s ambition to lead from Queensland – Launching the Bille Brown Theatre is a major part of this commitment.
“The Bille Brown Theatre is a once in a generation transformation for Queensland Theatre. It’s a rare opportunity to build the ideal theatre experience from the ground up,” said Strong.
“The transformed Bille Brown Theatre will provide the hub from which we can continue to share the work of Queenslanders with the rest of the country – I’m also incredibly proud to be opening the new theatre by personally directing the latest play by Australia’s greatest storyteller,David Williamson.”
“Finally, the theatre will be a very welcome addition to Brisbane’s arts infrastructure. It will be the city’s first corner stage - creating the uniquely intimate experiences that contemporary audiences crave. It will also form the centre from which we can engage more with regional Queensland, as well as increasing the resources that we can commit to small to medium companies and independent artists,” said Strong.
The total cost of the renovation project is $5.5 million. Of that, $4 million has already been raised through a $2 million grant from the State Government. The company has embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise the final $1.5 million and has already raised over $1 million from enthusiastic and generous donors.
Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch praised Queensland Theatre’s efforts to leverage the Queensland Government investment and lock in final funding for the Bille Brown Theatre. “Queensland Government’s $2 million investment will help give Queensland Theatre the space it needs to foster Queensland artists, present innovative new work and take a leadership role in partnering with some of our smaller companies,” Minister Enoch said. “This government continues to advocate for the arts and supports Queensland Theatre as it secures additional investment.”