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Treading the boards

Funding for Theatre N.L. to benefit Grenfell students and graduates

Campus and Community

By Pamela Gill

The construction of a new multi-functional theatre complex for Theatre Newfoundland Labrador’s (TNL) Cow Head theatre festival will directly benefit students and graduates of the Grenfell theatre program.

The recent announcement of $4.2 million toward the construction of the new theatre was well received by Michael Waller, chair of the theatre program at Grenfell.

From left, Premier Dwight Ball chats with Jeff Pitcher, artistic director of TNL, and Guidie Hutchings, MP for Long Range Mountains, in Warehouse Theatre in Cow Head.
From left, Premier Dwight Ball chats with Jeff Pitcher, artistic director of TNL, and Guidie Hutchings, MP for Long Range Mountains, in Warehouse Theatre in Cow Head.
Photo: Submitted

“The new theatre will mean our students and graduates will have the opportunity to work in state-of-the-art facilities under the direction of esteemed Canadian and international theatre professionals,” he said.

‘Dedication and professionalism’

Since the Gros Morne Theatre Festival began in 1996, many of Grenfell’s students and alumni have gained employment both on the stage and behind the scenes in the technical theatre area.

“Gros Morne Theatre Festival is one of the most respected theatre festivals in the country,” said Prof. Waller. “The fact that TNL has been able to produce this calibre of work in such modest facilities speaks to their level of dedication and professionalism.”

Multi-million dollar funding

The $4.2 million includes $500,000 from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and $3.7 million from the Government of Canada. Of this total, $2 million is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Innovative Communities Fund and $1.7 million is provided from Canadian Heritage.

The 2,000-square-metre theatre complex will include a 178-seat venue for the Gros Morne Theatre Festival dinner theatre and musical productions.

The new complex will include a performance stage and house seating, rehearsal and studio performance space, dressing rooms, a full kitchen and bar service area, a fabrication shop, a wardrobe workshop, wardrobe storage space, offices, a box office and lobby areas.

The Grenfell theatre program has been graduating students in acting and technical theatre since 1992.


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