A NEW STANDARD IN INTERNATIONALGROUND-BREAKING ARCHITECTURE BY ATHFIELD ARCHITECTS (NZ) AND HAWORTH TOMPKINS (LONDON, UK). Fergus Inder, Cameron Douglas, Kristian Lavercombe, Isaac Pawson, Jersey Boys, 2020. Image courtesy of Danielle Colvin Photography.
ENERGISING THE CITY 7 DAYS A WEEKTHE COURT THEATRE IS AN INVESTMENT IN THE CITY CENTRE, THEATRE, AND THE WELLBEING OF OUR COMMUNITY. Fergus Inder, Jesus Christ Superstar, 2019. Image courtesy of Danielle Colvin Photography.
CORNERSTONE OF THE PERFORMING ARTS PRECINCT
Let us give you a round of APPLAUSE –supporting The Court Theatre is the ultimate act of creating theatre in Christchurch. Together we’re moving back into the heart of the city and creating our forever home. It will be the leading theatre space in New Zealand – a home for creative thinking, learning and performance.
MORE THAN A STAGE
The Court Theatre is much more than a stage and seats. We are New Zealand’s largest producing theatre company. We create high-quality productions from the ground up, designing and building our own sets, making our own costumes, and employing professional actors locally, nationally and internationally. We stage multiple major productions each year, including a flagship summer musical. We take productions on the road to show the best of New Zealand theatre to the rest of the South Island. We run regular shows including
The Court Jesters’ Scared Scriptless – the oldest improvised comedy show in the country. And we are a key part of training the next generation of Christchurch performers, with an extensive education and outreach programme. We reach an audience of over 150,000 people every year. Joining the APPLAUSE for The Court Theatre is support for Christchurch’s ever-expanding cultural scene.
THE COURT THEATRE STORY
NIMBLE AND MIGHTY
The theatre’s rich history began in 1971 with the production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Our original location was in the Canterbury Provincial Council Chambers, though the theatre was occasionally pushed out to the Durham Street Art Gallery when the Māori Land Court needed the chamber. The gallery became an interim home in 1971 and 1972. Over the following years The Court found temporary homes in the Beggs Theatrette and the Orange Hall before settling in the Arts Centre in 1976. The Court Jesters, our professional improvisation troupe, started inTHE COURT THEATRE IS AN INVESTMENT IN THE CITY CENTRE, THEATRE, AND THE WELLBEING OF OUR COMMUNITY.
THEATRE SUPPORTS THE HEART OF A CITY BY ENRICHING ITS CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT OFFERINGS, PROVIDING A CREATIVE OUTLET, AND SUPPORTING THE ECONOMY.Render images courtesy of Athfield Architects Limited (NZ) and Haworth Tompkins (London, UK). The Ben Gough Family Foundation Foyer Rātā Foundation Education Studio The Stewart Family Theatre
the late 1980s and continues to this day. As The Court Theatre produced more and more shows and grew in popularity, we launched Court Two, a second space to produce cutting-edge theatre.
Our current home, “The Shed” in Addington, was always intended to be temporary – a safe place to create incredible theatre after the Canterbury earthquakes evicted The Court Theatre from the Arts Centre. The theatre has been the platform and stage for headline productions including Once, Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Chicago, and many others.
The Court has entered the next phase as we partner with Christchurch City Council, our supporters, and generous patrons to build a new home that will be the centre of theatre in New Zealand. It will be a truly remarkable place, continuing to provide a feast of varied theatrical works, all created and produced on-site.
WHAT WE’RE BUILDING THE THEATRE MADE FOR EVERYBODY
The Court Theatre’s new home, arriving in 2024, will be an architectural and cultural asset to central Christchurch. The groundbreaking plans will set a new bar in international theatre design. The new space will be made for everybody; it will be an open invitation to anyone who wants to intimately share the diverse programme of The Court Theatre’s work. We will return city audiences to dedicated theatre spaces purpose-built to bring the viewer closer to our art.
The multipurpose facilities will include a main theatre with 360 seats, a family theatre
seating 120 to 150, several flexible studios and a dedicated education, outreach and wellbeing space. We are building a sustainable theatre that responsibly addresses its energy consumption and carbon footprint, built to the strictest ecological principles.
The theatre will welcome a diverse community of creatives, actors, audience members and students who reflect the many faces of our city. It will bring hustle and bustle to the precinct and re-energise the city seven days a week with shows, rehearsals, and spaces available for use every day. It is an investment in the city, theatre, and the wellbeing of our community.
Our new home will be the cornerstone of central Christchurch’s Performing Arts Precinct, opposite Tūranga and bordered by Gloucester and Colombo streets. It will be an architectural and living expression of human creativity. The new Court Theatre will be an essential part of the physical and arts landscape, building on a proud 50-plus-year history of serving the Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand communities with excellent theatre and outreach programmes.
New Zealand’s Athfield Architects and Haworth Tompkins (London, UK) bring their combined reputation for intelligent, purposeful design to the project. Haworth Tompkins is the world’s leading architectural theatre specialist, having designed theatres for The National and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, among others. The result is a design expressively embodying manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, and warm invitation, designed to be inherently adaptable.
And yes, we are taking our pizza oven with us!
NIMBLE AND MIGHTY THE COURT THEATRE PRODUCES EVERYTHING FROM HILARIOUS IMPROV NIGHTS TO MASSIVE MAINSTAGE MUSICALS.
MADE FOR EVERYBODY
THE NEW THEATRE WILL BE AN OPEN INVITATION TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO INTIMATELY SHARE THE DIVERSE PROGRAMME OF THE COURT THEATRE'S WORK.Adam Rennie, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 2019. Image courtesy of Danielle Colvin Photography.
JOIN THE ACT. THE NEW COURT THEATRE 2024
WE CREATE QUALITY PRODUCTIONS FROM THE GROUND UP, DESIGNING AND BUILDING SETS, MAKING COSTUMES AND EMPLOYING LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ACTORS.
BE PART OF SOMETHING BIG
JOINING THE APPLAUSE FOR THE COURT THEATRE IS SUPPORT FOR CHRISTCHURCH’S EVER-EXPANDING CULTURAL SCENE.
”We were proud to commit early to the new Court Theatre as we feel that a strong arts precinct is integral to the rebuild of our city. The new theatre will showcase excellence in performance, and also provide a unique learning environment for wider education in all aspects of theatre. We are delighted to be involved and our hope is the whole community will enjoy this new space that has been created in our hometown by The Court.”
— Ben & Penny Gough, The Ben Gough Family Foundation
“The Friends are a unique group of loyal and passionate supporters who have given our time, talents and treasures for the first 50 years of The Court Theatre and will continue for the next 50 years and beyond. We are excited for the future of the new Court Theatre and will remain the heart of the new home in the city.”
JOIN THE APPLAUSE
You can support The Court Theatre in our mission to build a new home. The building will cost $40 million to build, and the good news is we already have $30 million secured. We are now well on our way with pledges towards the final $10 million.
You can help by donating to support the future of theatre in Christchurch.
“The Court Theatre is a vibrant and multitalented organisation that has served our community for generations. I have been a Trustee of The Court for over 10 years, and I’m proud to be part of the team delivering a world-class performing arts programme here in Christchurch. I am also delighted that The Ravenscar Trust is supporting the new Court Theatre in the heart of the city, with a lead gift as part of the APPLAUSE campaign.”
— Steve Wakefield, APPLAUSE Campaign Chair, Ravenscar Trust Chairman
$200k to $2 million 1
$100k to $199k 2
$30k to $99k 3
$5k to $29k 4
THE CHORUS— Annie Bonifant, The Friends of The Court Theatre Chair
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When will the new Court Theatre open? We expect to open our new home in 2024.
Can we see the designs of the new theatre? Athfield Architects (NZ) and Haworth Tompkins (London, UK) have completed the concept design work, and the images are available on The Court Theatre website courttheatre.org.nz/applause.
Where will the new theatre be situated? On the corner of Gloucester Street and Colombo Street, opposite Tūranga and the new Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.
Will there be parking next to The Court Theatre? You may have read that Christchurch City Council has reconsidered its plans for a car park to be built within the Performing Arts Precinct. However, there are several other parking buildings within very close proximity and only few minutes’ walk to our door. We hope to negotiate accessible rates for our patrons and those conversations are underway.
What food will be available at the new Court? We are planning on taking our pizza oven and excellent coffee with us, and we are working with a leading commercial kitchen designer for an amazing food and drink experience.
When did you formally announce the move to the city? We signed our agreement with the Christchurch City Council on 7 July 2020. Hawkins were appointed to build the theatre in November 2022.
Who will own the building?
The Christchurch City Council will own the building and we will have an exclusive long-term lease for 55 years. This means The Court can put its resources into producing world-class productions, rather than worrying about upkeep of the building.
Why is The Court raising capital if it doesn’t own the building?
The Court is a significant contributing partner and we want to ensure the new centre is fit for purpose as a world-class suite of theatres. Our contribution means that The Court will have a substantial say on all aspects of the design and build process.
What consideration is being given to meeting the needs of our diverse community?
The new Court Theatre will be a welcoming and accessible space for all. Embracing cultural diversity is fundamental to who we are, and that can be seen in our casts, behind-thescenes crew and audiences. We are working with Matapopore on the cultural narrative and how our new home will respond to the precinct and mana whenua. We hope to have some announcements around this shortly.
What will constitute the suite of theatres? There will be a 375 seat main theatre, a 120-150 seat studio, multipurpose studios, and an education studio. The architects have made all spaces flexible and functional to suit all kinds of shows.
Will The Court have exclusive use of the building? Yes, it will be our home. We intend to invite others to use the spaces so we can continue to respond to the needs and desires of our audiences and the community.
How much is The Court looking to raise? We have committed to raising $12 million to ensure we build a world-class customer-friendly theatre centre, and can fit it out for our needs.
Has The Court got that much money or does it need to fundraise? The Court intends to raise the full $12m. Donors and corporate sponsors have already committed just over 90% of this target.
Will the lease be much more expensive than what The Court pays now? We have negotiated a comparable rent with the Council, and we have carefully considered our ability to be financially sustainable. As with all large items of expenditure, we look to secure grants to help with the costs.
What will happen to ‘The Shed’ when The Court moves? The Addington site where we are currently based has been sold. We will remain there until we move into the city when our new building is ready for us.
Will the Friends of The Court Theatre still be involved in ushering? Yes! We could not operate The Court without our Friends of The Court Theatre. We hope there will be more opportunities for Friends to join the ushering team.
LET US GIVE YOU A ROUND OF APPLAUSE
YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE NEW COURT THEATRE WILL PROVIDE A WORLD-CLASS HOME FOR PERFORMING ARTS FOR DECADES TO COME.Geoffrey Dolan, That Bloody Woman, 2016. Image courtesy of Michael Smith, Auckland Theatre Company.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
PERSONAL DETAILS (YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION IS KEPT CONFIDENTIAL)
I wish to make a one-off donation on (date)
I wish to make a donation of weekly | monthly | yearly instalments, beginning on
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By Invoice sent on NB. If paying by invoice GST will be added.
By Bank Deposit
Account Name: The Court Theatre
Account Number: 02-0800-0844850-027
Particulars: Your surname and initials
OUR VISION AND VALUES IN ACTION
ACT WITH US
The new Court Theatre in the city will be an architectural and living expression of human creativity, reflecting and serving the many faces of Aotearoa New Zealand.
MĀIATANGA — COURAGEOUS
We work fiercely and bravely knowing that reward requires risk. We are not afraid to push into the unknown.
WHANAUNGATANGA — BELONGING
We are whānau. We celebrate diversity. We share experiences.
MANAAKITANGA — WELCOMING
We make all who come to The Court welcome. The Court is an inclusive place to gather. We are respectful.
KOTAHITANGA — ONE TEAM
We work together as one.
027 466 0398
Carolyne Grant APPLAUSE Campaign Manager / Whakatairanga Pūtea firstname.lastname@example.org
021 660 715Steve Wakefield The Court Theatre Trustee and APPLAUSE Chair Tony Feaver The Court Theatre Chair Jenny May The Court Theatre Trustee Cilla Glasson The Court Foundation Trustee Annie Bonnifant The Friends of The Court Theatre Chair Steven van der Pol The Court Theatre Trustee Erin Jamieson The Court Theatre Trustee Barbara George Chief Executive / Tumu Whakarae email@example.com