Since opening on July 4, 2000, the theatre has established itself as one of Australia’s leading regional theatres, bringing world-class international and national acts to regional audiences.
It has also provided the venue and inspiration for thousands of local theatre, dance and music productions equal to those found on the stages of capital cities.
Extracts from the Fraser Coast Chronicle tell how it all began:
CLOSE community spirit was the key in the successful campaign to raise $1 million from the people of Maryborough.
Campaign manager Patrick Steer of Brisbane-based professional fundraising organisation Compton International, said this community spirit was evident from the time he arrived in the city to head the campaign.
A shop-front campaign office was set up in Kent Street from where the 13-week campaign was directed and the newly formed fundraising committee got to work. Led by Grahame Jones, more than 70 people were involved in the overall project.
In the first three weeks more than $100,000 had been raised and by the end of the campaign the dream of raising $1 million had turned into reality with pledges from all walks of life flowing in.
The Maryborough and District Entertainment and Cultural Association were also successful in the lobbying submissions and received a State Government arts grant of $3 million. Maryborough City Council gave $4 million and the Federal Government’s Centenary of Federation Fund contributed a further $2 million.
SIMPLE, yet bold, the external form of the Brolga Theatre building was conceived in the tradition of the large sheds that characterise Maryborough’s industrial heritage.
Bligh Voller Nield, in association with Marian Graham Architects of Maryborough, aimed to deliver a venue that met the present and future needs of the community, was accessible to all citizens, enjoyable and memorable to visit and use and which enhanced the unique character and lifestyle of the city.
The design drew on Bligh Voller Nield’s experience in the design of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, the University of Western Sydney’s Centre for Contemporary Performance and the proposed Walsh Bay Theatre in Sydney.
Theatre gets a name
THE MONEY had been raised, the site found, the building designed.
The choice of a name for the district’s long awaited entertainment and cultural centre was given over to the public who had so strongly got behind the project.
A submission by Jocelyn Watts of Maryborough soared to the top of the list and the theatre had its name – Brolga.