The auditorium of the Waikato Regional Theatre has been designed by internationally renowned and award-winning theatre design consultancy Charcoalblue. They engaged with local and national producers, promoters, show groups and other stakeholders to confirm the technical specifications necessary to deliver the best experience for the performers and the audience.

The resulting ‘lyric’ theatre design and its assumptions were then put up for community consultation, with the following feedback leading to a redesign that expanded the audience capacity, from the initial 1100 up to 1300 seats.

The theatre will really be a multi-purpose performing arts venue, capable of showcasing live entertainment of any genre – it can be a gig venue, a playhouse or a concert hall.

The space will have stacked circle and side balconies with short sightlines to the performers, providing intimacy and amplifying the sense of a shared experience. Innovative acoustic design will ensure both amplified and un-amplified performances are crisp and clear.

The stage and orchestra pit depths will be adjustable and a moving proscenium arch will vary the stage size, so large ensembles like the NZSO or Kapa Haka troupes will comfortably fit on stage, and one-woman plays or stand-up comedy can also be suitably scaled.

With these features and flexible seating, the space will feel always like it was designed for that evening’s purpose. Your theatre will surprise and delight you on every visit.

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