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Curtains open at Curtin’s new Hayman Theatre

Media release

A new stage has been set for Theatre Arts students with the unveiling of the new Hayman Theatre at Curtin University’s Bentley Campus.

Officially opened last night by The Honourable David Templeman, Minister for Heritage, Culture and Arts, the event also included the opening performance of ‘Masquerade,’ a play written by Curtin Theatre Arts alumna Kate Mulvany.

Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry explained the relocation was in response to the expansion of the University’s Bentley Campus and she was looking forward to ushering in a new era for future theatre arts professionals.

“The Theatre Arts course first opened in 1973, based in Hayman Hall, and supported two resident theatre companies – a study company Theatregoround and a professional company WATC (the Western Australia Theatre Company),” Professor Terry said.

“In 1977, the building was restructured into the two performance spaces known as the Theatre Upstairs and the main stage downstairs.

“Since then, the Hayman stage has seen many artists take their first steps as actors, directors and playwrights, experiencing their first scripts being brought to life.

“Theatre Arts at Curtin is the longest established tertiary theatre course in Western Australia. Having a theatre on campus provides a great opportunity for students to put their studies into practice for a public audience, providing the important link between classroom learnings and real world experience,” Professor Terry said.

The new Hayman Theatre is located in Building 302 at Curtin University’s Bentley Campus.

Minister for Culture and the Arts David Templeman said the new Hayman theatre would serve theatre arts students for decades to come.

“The Hayman Theatre has nurtured theatre arts students since 1973 and produced many fantastic actors and artists,” Minister Templeman said.

“I look forward to following the successes of students using this new facility over the coming years.”

The relocation of the Hayman Theatre takes place during the University’s ‘50 Years of Innovation’ celebrations, recognising the combined history of Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT), which opened its doors to students in 1967 and evolved into Curtin University in 1987.

The Theatre’s namesake, George Hayman, was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of WAIT, campaigning vigorously for an institute that would meet the State’s demand for skilled workers.

When WAIT was approved, Hayman had the task of choosing a suitable location and developing a plan for the campus. He produced a detailed report of the requirements needed to build WAIT, drawing on his experiences travelling to colleges abroad. The Collier Pine Plantation in Bentley was ultimately chosen as the site for WAIT after a large bushfire in the 1950s cleared the way for the land’s development.

The 2017 Hayman Theatre program can be found at http://haymantheatre.curtin.edu.au

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 Notes to Editor

Theatre Arts at Curtin has produced many successful theatre professionals, including popular film and TV actors Frances O’Connor (Mansfield Park, A.I.), Mandy McElhinney (MDA, Love Child) and Kate Atkinson (Blue Heelers, Sea Change) and successful local theatre actors such as Michael Loney, Caroline Mackenzie, Gibson Nolte and James Sollis.

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