Dock Theatre concept revealed
29 May 2012
By Daniel Kemp
An exciting proposal has been unveiled for a new multi-purpose theatre in Docklands, called The Dock Theatre.
The proposed site for The Dock Theatre is underneath the Collins St bridge, with the concept heavily influenced by the meatpacking district in New York.
The project’s artistic director is Melbourne-based actor Mark Diaco, founder of Human Sacrifice Theatre. Mr Diaco trained as an actor at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York, and has tried to bridge the gap between Manhattan and Melbourne with
“Docklands reminds me of the meatpacking area in Manhattan, which I learnt a lot about when I was studying there,” Mr Diaco said.
“It was so run-down, but it has been slowly built up. Now it’s home to the Tribeca Film Festival and numerous off-Broadway theatre productions. Docklands has the same kind of structure and has a similar background.”
Theatregoers at the 300-capacity Dock Theatre will be able to relax in one of the venue’s two dedicated bars.
The main auditorium can also convert to a full 3D digital cinema, facilitating another of the venue’s proposed purposes – to play host to a new Docklands film festival.
“It will be a purely Melbourne theatre, used to develop cultural stories about Melbourne,” Mr Diaco said. “The film festival will form a big part of this.”
Funding for the venue, as well as its eventual cost, is still to be finalised, as Thanassi (Arthur) Panagiotaras, one of the project’s partners, explained.
“There is no figure at the moment, but we are through the concept stage and are now moving onto development,” Mr Panagiotaras said.
“Once we’ve completed the costing we will apply to both State and Federal Governments for grants, as well as drawing on private funding.”
Mr Diaco is enthusiastic about the project, and thinks that it is exactly what Docklands needs as the suburb continues its redevelopment.
“Melbourne needs a theatre like this, especially in Docklands,” Mr Diaco said.
“There isn’t much art or culture down here at the moment. I firmly believe that art pushes culture forwards, and that art has the power to move our country forwards. The Dock Theatre can provide a place for this to happen.”
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