The General Manager of the Seymour Centre in Sydney has hit back at claims that the venue was in artistic wilderness and needs to be redeveloped.
A poll on AussieTheatre.com suggested that the majority of voters wanted the Seymour Centre to be refurbished, allowing it to move into the future with a new look.
But Timothy Jones believes upgrades have been consistent over the past three and a half decades.
“The Seymour Centre is 35 years old. Any building of that age that is a public performing arts facility, needs regular upgrades,” Mr Jones said.
“When the Centre was built there was little or no disabled access requirements and, of course, technology has come a long way since the Centre opened in 1975. So if your readers believe that the Centre should have constant investment in its core facilities to remain current, then I would agree.
“And in fact this is happening right now. A massive new lift is going right through the centre of our building, providing proper disabled access to the whole Centre. Completely new public bathrooms have been recently installed and a new electric dimmer system in our Downstairs Theatre has brought that space up to speed. And there are plans for more upgrades to come.”
Mr Jones said the 2010 program at the Seymour Centre featured plenty of diversity from a wide variety of theatre companies.
“Company B is back with The Sapphires, starring Christine Anu. Chunky Move will present their 2008 Helpmann award winning dance piece, Glow. The Melbourne Theatre Company is here with Max Gillies’ new show, Godzone and of course we are jam-packed at the moment with Sydney Festival events,” he said.
“It is also great because it begins a journey of greater connection with Sydney University, embracing our role as a campus based arts centre, involved in research and learning about the arts as well as presenting major companies and artists.”
Mr Jones has hinted that a cafe may be installed at the Seymour Centre, and wants more Festival shows to be presented there, given the vibe of the centre.