Independent theatre makers, Cracked Actors Theatre (CAT), provide work for hundreds of local entertainers from their theatre and studio at the Power House community hub on Albert Park Lake.
CAT Artistic Director, Matthew Richard Walsh says that, “Small theatres were almost obliterated by COVID. The ripple effect on the area’s vibrancy, is severe. The state of the building is reflective of the strain. The ‘cracks’ in Cracked Actors are supposed to let the light in but its’ the rain getting through lately – literally! Many fans and talented performers cannot even enter the building – No Lifts! We love the place but it needs an overhaul so everyone can enjoy it”.
CAT was the first theatre to open in Melbourne post lockdown in December 2020. Actors and audiences alike are once again filling their buckets however literal buckets to hold water leaks were not what one expected!
Power House has been on the lake since the sixties (in the current building) and has played host to many groups for decades. Its impact through the community is immeasurable.
Power House CEO, Tim Ryan is committed to preserving the legacy by ensuring the building meets the standards required to serve future generations, “This building has given so much to the community over many decades but we now continually chase our tale with increasing maintenance, patching leaks, repairing safety concerns and sadly turn many away due to its inaccessibility”.
The building poses many challenges for CAT so they are excited by the prospect of giving independent theatre an expanded lease of life in Albert Park in a fit for purpose space. Walsh says that, “CAT support local communities through productions like the upcoming ‘Billy Loves Cha Cha Forever!’ for Midsumma Festival and St. Kilda Writers Week. This proposed works will help us keep our Artist’s Programs alive”.
The Power House plans to commence a $19.6m major refurbishments later this year after confirming $5m commonwealth funding plus $7m through philanthropy and community loans. It is hoped with further philanthropic support together with commitments from the state government to bridge the difference this community asset will be secured for many decades to come.