Even though rain threatened the greater city of Brisbane last Friday, nothing could dampen the spirits of Metro Arts. Launching their 2020 season of theatre, the company promoted ‘Arts Starts Here’ with many theatre makers gathered to hear of new plans at the Sue Benner Theatre.
In 2020, Metro Arts will celebrate 40-years of creating, developing and presenting new Australian work, and will also undertake many promising changes. CEO and Creative Director, Jo Thomas, shared her excitement of the developments for the theatre to an enthusiastic and supportive crowd.
“Something new is not an easy thing… the act of making art is hope itself,” said Thomas.
“Tonight we talk about change and turn a new face to our precious and uncertain future.”
One of the biggest shifts will see Metro Arts move locations, finding residency in West Village, West End, from 1 April 2020. The company shared its delight at its new location, which will host an underground 120-seat theatre, aptly named the ‘New Benner Theatre’.
Thomas also confirmed the sale of 109 Edward Street had been finalised, precisely “as of 2:15 PM that afternoon.” The net proceeds will be invested and dispersed into a newly established Metro Arts Future Fund (MAFF), allowing the organisation to fund artist development, curate original work and grow their audience. The MAFF aims to significantly help future proof Metro Arts and its community.
Presenting its final works at 109 Edward Street, Metro Arts will host an extravagant birthday party, entitled ‘Metro Arts, with love’ and taking place from 1-15 February 2020. The old residence will house a joyous celebration of past works and an exciting preview of what’s on offer for the future.
Some highlights for the farewell event include Sue Benner Speeches with the former CEO herself; a theatrical, 40-channel video installation celebrating art entitled ‘Ephemera’; fearless physical comedy from Neridah Waters and Bridget Boyle in ‘Boyle and Waters in LEOTARD’; The Bombshell Burlesque Academy with ‘The Bombshell Ball: One more time at 109’; and a show all about broads in ‘That’s What She Said’ by The Good Room.
Metro Arts will commence the festivities with an Opening Night Party to celebrate the beginning of the end and conclude the two-week celebration with a ceremonious shut-down, which invites audiences to join them in switching off the lights and locking the doors for a final time.
While plans for 109 Edward Street haven’t been fully confirmed, Thomas did share that the space may transform into a collection of boutiques and retail stores.
Metro Arts will still continue to operate its other venues, Norman Park Substation and the Teneriffe Ferryman’s Hut, in the new year. The company remains committed to its promise of developing the future of Australian contemporary art practice, and 2020 will continue to allow the organisation to spread hope among its supportive theatre community.
For more information on Metro Arts final performance at 109 Edward Street visit Metro Arts Website – ‘Metro Arts, with love’ event.