Media Release: ARCHWAY 1 THEATRE LEFT OUT OF THE PLAN. PUBLIC RALLY 12 DEC 2:30pm
City of Sydney intent on shutting down an Annandale/Glebe visual and performing arts space.
On the boarder of ANNANDALE & GLEBE are the two suburbs very own and most unique theatre company, which seems certain to lose its home after notification from the City of Sydney to stop all theatre productions. Cutting short the company’s 2015 Season of Women Playwrights and Directors. This comes on the back of the theatre being left out of the master plan for the Johnstons Creek precinct. The company, headquartered in one of the archways beneath the light rail viaduct between Jubilee Park and Rozelle Bay, has used the venue as an arts space for ten years and as a theatre for 3 years. They now expect to eventually receive notice to vacate when development in the area commences.
Artistic Director RACHEL JORDAN said, “The city councillors seem to be talking to everybody except to us. We know CLOVER MOORE has even communicated with a theatre & arts space overseas that wrote to her in support of us, she replied to them, but we have yet to actually hear from her. We have reached out to her so many times but we were denied a meeting with her. Clover, please call us.”
The Archway 1 Theatre operates without any government or external financial assistance, all staff are volunteers, providing self-funded arts initiatives for the local area, twice being part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. The initiative provides opportunities for a constant stream of actors, directors, playwrights, set builders, exhibition space for visual artists…Local residents and supporters established a group Friends of Archway 1 when it became apparent that the theatre and arts space were being ignored and sidelined by the City. Over 1,100 signatures were collected in a recent petition. The community group Friends of Archway 1 have been mobilising community support for the theatre to be re-considered to be integrated within the masterplan for the area.
“We also use the space as an educational training centre, operating art, drama, improv, film & salsa dance classes and workshops for children, teens and adults. We have art exhibitions, poetry nights, film screenings, artist talks…the decision to get rid of us, is a huge loss for the community. Our last production featured a very diverse cast, which allowed for opportunities to actors from African descent for example, yearning for opportunity to work in theatre, the chance to do so. We’ve been here for ten years. I grew up in Glebe and Annandale, so it all seems quite unfair, dismissive and contrary to what I expect from my years contributing to my city. It’s also puzzling considering we tick every box in the City’s Cultural Policy and their Theatre Pilot program, which could allow us to continue theatre operations.” Rachel added.
Co-founder of Archway 1, STEFAN Von REICHE said. “For years, locals and the wider community have been our audience, enjoying shows performed at our unique and much loved venue, many attending our art exhibitions or brought their dogs to our FREE Dog portraits and yet we’re to be replaced with a skateboard park, we are not anti-skatepark, but there’s no provision for us to remain here, why is that?.”
The Friends of Archway 1 will hold a public rally outside the Theatre on Saturday December 12 at 2.30pm. Local state MP JAMIE PARKER will speak as well as social change advocate EVA COX and others.
Founder & Chief Artistic Director
Archway 1 Theatre Company
0449 227 498