Arts and culture meet community with planned reopening of reimagined Sutherland Entertainment Center

The Sutherland Shire Council arts community is set to take up residence in a brand new cultural venue on the site of the former Sutherland Entertainment Centre.

The new centre, renamed The Pavilion Performing Arts Center Sutherland, is in its final stages of construction with a reopening date on the horizon.

Soon to be South Sydney’s first performance venue, it is set to officially open with a gala on Saturday 4th March 2023, but its thrilling program of world-class live performances kicks off on Saturday 28th January as part of the Sydney Festival 2023.

Acting Director Rachel Healy, former Co-Artistic Director of the famed Adelaide Festival and former Director of Performing Arts at Sydney Opera House, is leading the launch of the new facility and its inaugural programme.

The reopening will leave its mark on the local events landscape bringing a stellar lineup of the finest main stage theatre, music, comedy, song and dance to the heart of the Sutherland community.

Among the newly unveiled program are acclaimed works from the Bangarra Dance Theatre, with its first-ever work for children, Waru; the acclaimed The Wharf Revue: Looking for Albanese and the Sydney premiere of the critically acclaimed Euphoria from the State Theater Company South Australia.

The lineup will also include a series of youth workshops with the Sydney Writers’ Festival, stunning circus works in the theatrical visual feast, Air Play, and performances by some of Australia’s biggest comedy stars, Lano & Woodley and Tom Gleeson.

The hall’s reopening will be marked on Saturday March 4 by a celebratory gala showcasing the talents of some of Australia’s finest performers, under the direction of the impeccable Richard Carroll (Co-Artistic Director of the Hayes Theater and Director of the famous Calamity Jane of Belvoir). .

Alongside these world-class productions, at the heart of the Pavilion Performing Arts Center’s focus will be a
dedication to commissioning new and ambitious works by Australian artists. That goal begins with acclaimed playwright Alana Valentine’s first commissioned play, People of the Winter Beach, a new text-based work that spotlights the people of Sutherland Shire, inspired in part by a childhood spent playing in the Kurnell Sandhills.

For generations, the Sutherland Entertainment Center has brought drama, song and music to residents and visitors.

The brand new Pavilion Performing Arts Center will reinforce this legacy as it continues to host a number of community organizations to showcase local works, including the acclaimed Miranda Musical Society and its upcoming production, Rent.

New facility features include an all-new 686-seat theater, a full flight tower above the stage, additional rehearsal spaces, a stunning new entrance forecourt and lobby with accessibility improved, and improvements to the surrounding Peace Park to improve community connectivity.

Sutherland Shire Mayor Councilor Carmelo Pesce said the new community resource would strengthen local cultural offerings and create new employment opportunities.

Mayor Pescé:

We are thrilled to see the progress being made on the $42 million upgrade of the Sutherland Entertainment Center, and I am incredibly excited to share this state-of-the-art facility with our local community starting January next year.

The pavilion will not only be a hub for our community to access and experience world-class entertainment in their own backyard, but also create employment opportunities and provide a platform to shine a light and nurture our local talent.

This new facility is truly something all residents can be proud of as it injects new life into our thriving community and meets the growing demand for local events following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Healy:

The opening of The Pavilion marked both an exhilarating return to live performance and a brilliant affirmation of the value of creativity for the people of southern Sydney.

One of the most powerful lessons of the past two years has been the essential role that culture and creativity play in the well-being and vibrancy of our communities.

The Council’s commitment to providing first-class cultural infrastructure and ongoing support to its operations is an excellent example of the long-term vision, fierce determination and inspiring leadership of the Sutherland Shire Council.

Sutherland Shire Council has appointed builder ADCO Constructions and Root Partnerships to deliver the project, which will bring significant improvements to performers and members of the public when completed.

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