Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, is in Athlone this evening to officially open the newly refurbished Athlone Little Theatre.
The Athlone Little Theatre is one of the oldest drama groups in the country and the building it is housed in, St Mary’s Place school, dating from 1827 was badly in need of renovation.
Last year a portion of land was donated to the theatre by the local land owner, St Mel’s Diocesan Trust, and work commenced on the extension/refurbishment project which only recently concluded.
The refurbishment was part funded by The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Now featuring a modern backstage area for dressing rooms and storage of sets, as well as a refurbishment of the existing building and the installation of new lighting and sound systems, the newly renovated theatre can seat up to 100 people and plans to present up to five full length plays per year.
Speaking ahead of the event Minister Deenihan commented: “This theatre adds to the already significant arts facilities here in Athlone, for example, the Luan Gallery and the “Abbey Road Artists’ Studios, which have also been supported by my department. The combination of these facilities makes Athlone a thriving hub for arts facilities in the Midlands of Ireland”.
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