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Back to where it all began: Kate Mulvany is Hayman Theatre patron

Media release

Curtin University has named award-winning Western Australian playwright and actor Kate Mulvany the Patron of the Hayman Theatre, the associated Hayman Theatre Company and the Curtin Theatre Arts Program for a three-year term.

Kate Mulvany named as Patron of Curtin University's Hayman Theatre

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the University was delighted to recognise Ms Mulvany’s significant contribution to the arts and welcome her return to Curtin.

“Theatre Arts at Curtin is the longest established tertiary theatre course in WA and we are proud to have Kate Mulvany – a celebrated playwright, screenwriter, librettist, social activist and stage, film and TV actor – as one of our alumni,” Professor Terry said.

“During one of her recent visits to Curtin where she was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Letters, Kate met with our current theatre arts students, who are greatly inspired by her achievements both on and off the stage.

“She was keen to support students studying theatre arts so we are very pleased to officially welcome her to the role of Patron of the Hayman Theatre, where she will be able to continue to inspire and encourage future generations of Theatre Arts graduates from Curtin University.”

Ms Mulvany said her career ‘started at the Hayman Theatre’ while she was a Curtin Bachelor of Arts student, where she spent time writing, directing and performing at the ‘theatre on the hill’.

“I used to write scripts in class and then head up to the Hayman Theatre to ask the staff there if I could stage my plays. They would give me an $80 budget; I’d audition actors and direct them,” Ms Mulvany said.

“I then put on a couple of those plays at The Blue Room Theatre in Northbridge and after I graduated, I took those same plays to Sydney. So, it basically all started for me at the Hayman.

“To return to Curtin University as its Patron fills me with pride, joy and inspiration. The education and friendships I found at the Hayman provided me with all the necessary skills to forge my career. To see today’s Hayman Theatre students honing their craft to become writers, actors, directors, producers and designers is an absolute honour. I’m thrilled to be able to assist them on their journey as Australian artists.”

Born and raised in Geraldton, Ms Mulvany has gone on to write more than 20 plays and take on a variety of screen acting roles including appearances on TV in Secret City and the upcoming Foxtel series Fighting Season, and feature films including Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and Tim Winton’s The Turning. In September 2017, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Curtin University, recognising her contribution to performing arts in Australia.

As a recent venue for Fringe World Festival 2018, the Hayman Theatre will host over 100 performances in 2018, ranging from major productions to class performances to various student shows such as the Sunday Night Theatre.

The full 2018 Hayman Theatre program can be found online at https://haymantheatre.curtin.edu.au/

About the Hayman Theatre

 A stage for theatre arts students since 1973,  the theatre was originally known as Hayman Hall and was supported by two theatre companies – a study company Theatregoround and a professional company WATC (the Western Australian Theatre Company).  In 1977 the building was restructured into two performance spaces known as the Theatre Upstairs and the main stage downstairs. In response to University’s Bentley Campus expansion, the theatre was relocated in 2017 to Building 302, where it is located today.

Over the years Curtin has produced many successful theatre professionals including popular film and TV actors France O’Connor (Mansfield Park, A.I.), Jessica DeGouw (These Final Hours, Dracula), Mandy McElhinney (House of Hancock, Paper Giants: Magazine Wars), Rohan Nichol (Home and Away), Kelly Paterniti (Home and Away) and Kate Atkinson (Wentworth, The Bank) and comedienne Claire Hooper (Good News Week, The Great Australian Bake Off). Local successful theatre actors Whitney Richards, Caroline Mackenzie, Gibson Nolte and James Sollis also spent time on stage at the Hayman.

Program alumni also include playwrights such as Mary Morris, Luke Milton and Ingle Knight.