The space, which is shared with the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and contemporary dance company Chunky Move, will be transformed into Malthouse Outdoor Stage, to respond to a new demand for outdoor performance venues.
Malthouse Outdoor Stage will reinvigorate Melbourne’s cultural scene by providing vital opportunities for the artists and arts workers who have been hit hardest by the impacts of COVID 19. It will also create new cultural experiences that encourage return visitation to Melbourne’s arts precinct by local and regional audiences.
The contruction of the Malthouse Outdoor Stage and seating has been made possible through the generous support of the Sidney Myer Fund. In addition, support from the Victorian Government will provide greater weather and hospitality amenity, which will allow for programming opportunities beyond the summer season and establish the stage as an exciting new part of Melbourne’s cultural calendar.
“Malthouse Outdoor Stage will be a vital way for our company to extend performance opportunities to the precinct and the wider sector, and importantly, for Malthouse Theatre to re-open earlier than is possible for indoor performances,” says Sarah Neal Malthouse Theatre co-CEO and Executive Producer.
“We are immensely grateful to our supporters, the Sidney Myer Fund, the State Government of Victoria and to the Federal Office of the Arts for their support of this new performance hub.”
With a flexible capacity of up to 312 in cabaret style seating, Malthouse Outdoor Stage will host music, comedy, dance, cabaret, talks, and theatre, all in the open air and with COVID safe controls in accordance with all public health requirements.
Malthouse Outdoor Stage partners and collaborators will include local independent music touring company Penny Drop, which will open the stage with a line-up of local artists including ARIA winning jazz and soul prodigy Kaiit, euphoric funk craftsmen Mildlife, and the singular style of Emma Donovan & The Putbacks.
Melbourne based independent comedy producers Token Events will then take centre stage with artists including Australia’s favourite double act, Lano & Woodley, actor, writer and composer Eddie Perfect, the golden girl of stand up Anne Edmonds, joined by very funny bonus Welshman Lloyd Langford, and two of our most loved comedians on stage together, Judith Lucy and Denise Scott.
Other partners include Melbourne International Comedy Festival, LGBTQIA+ arts and cultural festival Midsumma, First Nations festival YIRRAMBOI, and the inaugural RISING, which replaces Melbourne International Arts Festival and White Night Melbourne in the city’s annual event program.
Melbourne’s centre for books, writing and ideas, the Wheeler Centre, leading journalism publication The Saturday Paper, Australian Centre For Contemporary Art, and Chunky Move will also host a range of workshops, discussions and events. Finally, Malthouse Theatre will seek to program new works for the stage in late 2021 through the support of the Federal Office of the Arts RISE fund.
“A fantastic addition to the Melbourne Arts Precinct, the new Malthouse Outdoor Stage will provide a platform for Victoria’s inimitable creative talent – and a brand-new destination and experience for audiences,” said Minister of Creative Industries, Danny Pearson. “Through initiatives like this, the Victoria Government is supporting our creative sector to adapt, collaborate and, critically, get back to work.”
The Malthouse Outdoor Stage will open 22 January 2021. First tickets on presale from 3 December 2020 to Malthouse Muses and Mates, and to general public from 7 December 2020. The full summer lineup will be announced in January 2021. For more information, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Malthouse Theatre Outdoor Stage (Artist Impression) – courtesy of Zoe Atkinson