|Fremantle's Deckchair Theatre to Cease Operation|
|Friday, 12 October 2012 17:32|
Commenting on the cease of trading, Chair of the Board of Directors, Dr. Dorothy Wardale said: "Deckchair Theatre has a proud 30-year history of commissioning and producing outstanding contemporary and award-winning new Australian theatre.
"But the cultural and economic landscape has changed greatly since Deckchair's establishment 30 years ago, particularly post the GFC, making it difficult to maintain a sufficient level of income through box office and sponsorship. This, when combined with continuing restraints on funding levels across the three tiers of government, as well as rapidly changing audience behaviours unfortunately means the organisation's future has become unsustainable.
"Today, the Board of Directors has taken the enormously difficult decision to close Deckchair Theatre's doors.
"On behalf of Deckchair's Board, its staff and artistic collaborators, I thank all our audience members - past and present - for embracing our productions. Deckchair would not have existed without them, or the support of the Department of Culture and the Arts, the Australia Council, the City of Fremantle and our generous private donors, philanthropic supporters and corporate partners."
Commenting on the cease of trading, Artistic Director Chris Bendall, said: "It has been a privilege to lead Deckchair Theatre for the past four years along with my dedicated and loyal staff. I have been immensely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some of Perth's finest actors, designers and technicians on new plays by leading playwrights from Western Australia and right around the country.
"Of course we are all hugely disappointed by the situation, but I know that we have done everything within our limited resources to further consolidate Deckchair's proud and distinguished history in producing outstanding contemporary Australian theatre. We have been one of only two companies in the country dedicated to exclusively developing and presenting new Australian plays and of this I am extremely proud.
"While the journey for Deckchair ends, the story continues through the staff, artists, crew, and creative minds that have contributed to this, our final chapter. Since 1983, we have delighted audiences across Western Australia and elsewhere in Australia and overseas; produced over 100 works, the most recent of which include the critically acclaimed The Fremantle Candidate and The Magic Hour, the award-winning productions Checklist for an Armed Robber (Best Director, 2009 WA Equity Awards) and The Modern International Dead (Best Production, Best Director, 2011 WA Equity Awards), and Grace (for the 2010 Perth International Arts Festival).
"We have commissioned and produced uniquely Australian new works of theatre and nurtured scores of playwrights, directors, designers, composers, arts administrators and crew, giving many of today's finest performers the opportunity to develop their craft and shine.
"All of these people will continue to contribute great things to the Australian and international theatre world and I thank them all for being such generous and supportive collaborators. I am immensely proud of all our achievements."
In coming weeks, Deckchair will be working on the archiving of its history to ensure that its legacy is not lost to future generations. A goodbye party will be held on Friday, November 2 from 6:30pm at Victoria Hall, 179 High Street Fremantle where memorabilia will be for sale. Details will be on www.deckchairtheatre.com.au.
Patrons who have already booked for advertised events or booked the venue in the remainder of 2012 will be contacted by Deckchair staff within the next few days.