Integrated Design Solution - Performing Arts and Convention Centre

Published on 20 August 2020

The City of Busselton is working with the Busselton Repertory Club and Acting Up to achieve the seamless integration of the historic Weld Theatre into the new Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre.

Representatives from the theatre groups along with other key users, have provided input into the development of design solutions that will ensure the theatre retains its old-time appeal but can function as a modern performance venue.

One of the key elements local theatre groups have had specific input into is the inclusion of a scene dock leveller.  This piece of equipment will enable stage props and other equipment to be rolled directly from the delivery truck to the stage via a lifting platform thereby eliminating the need for manual handling.

Local theatre groups have also provided feedback on the required reconfiguration and upgrade of the back-of-house spaces including the green room (where performers wait before going on stage) and other core operational areas. 

The inclusion of disabled stage access for performers is a very welcome addition and a new covered courtyard at the back of the original theatre will provide space for groups of performers to spill out during rehearsals or to await performance time.

Busselton Repertory Club President John McCallum said: “The design allows the Weld Theatre to be functionally integrated into the larger performing arts complex but to also retain its charm and operational independence.  

We’ve worked very closely with the project team to ensure elements of the original theatre that work well and are integral to the Weld experience, are retained.  The updated back-of-house at the Theatre will deliver a better experience for both performers and volunteers in a first-class venue of this size. We look forward to seeing the integration with the Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre progress.”     

The Weld Theatre has also benefited from a $22,000 grant from the City of Busselton. The funding, which was made available through the Community Bid process, has enabled the theatre to upgrade it electrical cabling to facilitate the installation of a new digital stage audio system. The Repertory Club also contributed $10,000 of its own funding to complete this audio upgrade.

“The new digital sound system will enhance the audience experience. It can also integrate with hearing aids significantly benefiting the hearing impaired,” John McCallum said.

To find out more the new performing arts and convention centre visit yoursay.busselton.wa.gov.au/pac

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with Key Goal Area 4 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (Review 2019): An economy that is diverse, robust and prosperous.

 Image provided: Local performers excited about the big plans for the Weld Theatre.

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to media@busselton.wa.gov.au