Qtopia opening

Minister John Graham & Patron the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG launch theatre program

Last night, The Loading Dock Theatre at 301 Forbes Street was officially launched by Minister for the Arts John Graham MLC and Qtopia Sydney Patron The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG.

Almost 100 guests from the arts and theatre sector attended the intimate blackbox style setting – one of three spaces offering multi-genre programming and opportunities for artists to share their work, their experiences and their stories.

Upon opening the theatre, Minister Graham said, ““The NSW Government has committed $6.7 million in funding for the establishment of the Qtopia Sydney, a Centre to preserve and celebrate the LGBTQIA + community’s rich history. This ground-breaking initiative will become a thriving hub of LGBTQIA+ pride and culture.

“Open just in time for this year’s Mardi Gras, Qtopia’s exhibitions feature historical and archival objects, imagery, video and audio, to tell some of the stories of Australia’s Queer history.

“Unlocking this space has delivered 3 new live performance venues for Darlinghurst. The Loading Dock Theatre, The Substation at Taylor Square and The Bandstand at Green Park,” Minister Graham concluded.

Speaking at the opening, Qtopia Sydney’s Curator of Culture Carly Fisher said, “We are proud to be showcasing five world premieres, two NSW premieres, three shows that have completed a development this year and four shows touring from other parts of the country.

“The space in which The Loading Dock Theatre resides was never intended for theatrical purposes – instead this is a ‘Loading Dock’ in its truest sense – a space lined with bricks and bars, where police cars would pull up and push those in their capture through to the cells.

“These cells have long haunted the collective memories of the LGBTQIA+ community, this building has long been the site of deep trauma, pain, embarrassment and fear.

“The bones of it are here, the stage is set but now it is ready for the life that each member of the audience will breathe into this place,” she concluded.

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