Drama at QUT has a rich history dating back more than half a century.
And a brand new Creative Industries Precinct currently nearing completion promises an exciting future, but it also means a piece of the Uni’s history will close its doors forever.
Toby Crockford reports.
This is the Molly Woodward theatre.
It’s been an institution since the early seventies when QUT was a humble teachers’ college.
Molly taught drama here, she passed away in 1979 but some say her spirit still treads the boards.
Soon the Woodward Theatre will get its final curtain call, to eventually be demolished.
The drama faculty will move to this new $80m building on Musk Avenue.
Sean Mee, Senior QUT Drama lecturer: “For the students, it’s going to be amazing and of course we’re in actually purpose-built buildings and facilities that are state-of-the-art and so we’re really looking forward to it.”
Today rehearsals continue at the Woodward.
Over the years it’s produced logie award-winning actors like Gyton Grantley, and the Queensland Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch.
Sean Mee, Senior QUT Drama lecturer: “It’s been a major part of our culture and a major part of QUT’s enduring legacy, so the stories are still here.”
QUT’s La Boite Theatre is Australia’s second-oldest theatre company having just celebrated its 90th season.
It’s also made the transition from old to new.
Samuel Boyd, La Boite Theatre Company: “The first incarnation of La Boite was actually just a Queenslander, where they just knocked down all of the inside walls. The second one was down the road at Hale Street and that was the first purposely built round theatre in Australia.”
It moved to Musk Avenue in 2004.
The Woodward and La Boite Theatres account for a combined total of 55 years of QUT Drama history, now the stage is set for a new era in drama just across the road from each other.
Thankfully, Molly Woodward’s memory will live on.
Sean Mee, Senior QUT Drama Lecturer: “Everything that has happened here in this space will go forward in our hearts and in the DNA of creative practice here in Queensland.”
Toby Crockford, QUT News.