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Downstage is New Zealand's longest running professional theatre.
An intimate theatre seating 240 and located centrally in the Courtenay Place district, Downstage
showcases the very best contemporary performing arts New Zealand has to offer - distinctive,
eclectic, surprising, breathtaking, challenging, and proudly New Zealand.
Programming is designed to delight and intrigue existing audiences, while attracting new
audiences through the diverse and dynamic performance showcase.
Downstage began as an alternative theatre in 1964. When it proved impossible for national touring
companies to stay solvent, theatre practitioners who had worked with the New Zealand Players and
enjoyed a reasonable continuity of radio drama, needed a professional theatre. Something that began
small and grew out of its own community was the answer.
Another group of Wellingtonians – academics, lawyers and business people – desperate for a
richer, cultural nightlife, coalesced with the theatre people to make it happen. In form and
content, Downstage was very much a product of the 1960s social revolution.
Over its first forty years, Downstage has ‘parented' a range of related activities and been a
central support system for other theatres. It has reinvented itself at least a dozen times, in line
with the visions of new artistic directors and in response to prevailing economic imperatives, and
has come through at least two near death experiences. Mistakes have been made and learned from and
its continued survival is a testament to professionalism, good governance and the determination of
its community to keep revitalising this nucleus of Wellington cultural activity.
Downstage offers unique, character spaces for all events, including corporate cocktail parties,
private gatherings, fundraising events, seminars and product launches. Our friendly staff will meet
your presentation needs and ensure your event is both memorable and enjoyable.
Events can be connected to our ongoing theatre programme or tailored, one-off, events
specifically for your group or organisation. In conjunction with catering partners, food and
beverage is made easy.
For more information and any Corporate hosting enquiries, please email us at
Street Address: 12 Cambridge Terrace Place: Wellington Central Phone: 04 801 6946 Fax: 04 801 6948
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