Riverina Playhouse closed for $3m refurbishment

The Riverina Playhouse has been closed for a $3 million renovations.

The project is expected to be completed by July 2018, and will include improved seating, lightning and access.

Refurbishment project officer Neal Molineaux said there would be upgrades to disabled access and facilities, improvements to the theatre seating, new lighting grid systems, wall and floor furnishings, new auditorium layout with new theatre chairs providing better leg room, new emergency and exit lighting and a re-organised foyer area.

“I know the enhancements to the Playhouse will be enjoyed by those who perform in the theatre and those who attend performances alike,” Mr Molineaux said.

“The environment will also benefit from some of the upgrades, with a key focus on sustainability features. The mechanical systems and lighting to be installed will be energy efficient and water saving fittings will be added to the hydraulic systems.”

Charles Sturt University director of facilities management, Stephen Butt described the closure as a “necessary inconvenience”, and said the end results would be worth the wait.

The Playhouse was established in 1986 and has had only limited improvements since that time.

“We recognise the closure will cause some disruption for not only staff and students of CSU but also those community groups who make use of the facility,” Mr Butt said.

“However, the work that will be carried out to the Playhouse during this down time will ensure the facility is state-of-the art and even better able to service the needs of the creative arts into the future.”

Associate Professor Sue Wood, the head of school for communication and creative industries at CSU,  said that staff and students from the school were excited about the anticipated upgrades and looking forward to performing in the newly refurbished facility when it reopened in 2018.