This article was first published in the July 2012 Adelaide Review
Adelaide’s theatre community is in urgent need of space to rehearse their work.
Preparing for the world premiere season of Involuntary with the Adelaide Festival Centre’s inSPACE program, director and choreographer Katrina Lazaroff found her company missing one integral feature: rehearsal space.
After “looking all over Adelaide” Lazaroff was lucky the Adelaide Festival Centre staff solved the situation by splitting rehearsal time between the Dunstan Playhouse and Space Theatre. “It’s almost never heard of that you get to rehearse in a theatre,” she says.
In 2010, Arts SA prepared an audit into the lack of suitable performance spaces for Adelaide’s professional dance and theatre community. Alongside citing a lack of suitable venues, outdated technical equipment, and inadequate disabled access to performance spaces, the audit also spoke to a lack of rehearsal space.
Two years on, companies are struggling to find suitable space to develop and rehearse their work, and few are as lucky as Lazaroff. Chris Drummond, Artistic Director of Brink Productions, says every show “involves a saga where our production manager Françoise spends weeks and months looking for a rehearsal space.”
Their latest work, Land & Sea, was forced to rehearse in their performance space, the Queen’s Theatre. While an evocative venue, it is, in effect, an empty warehouse with a concrete floor and tin roof, which Drummond describes as “harsh, cold and incredibly noisy due to the building site next door”.