In the weeks since the flood, NORPA has managed to achieve half its goal to rebuild through your wonderful donations to this campaign, in-kind support and lease financing.
The remaining hurdle is to raise the remaining funds that will enable NORPA to rebuild the Studio and Rehearsal space. This is critical to NORPA’s ability to create new Australian theatre from their base in Lismore. In creative development at the moment are Djurra (Director Kirk Page), Horses Mouth in partnership with Beyond Empathy, and a new Bundjalung Youth Dance Troupe.
The Djurra creative development began as planned on 24 April at borrowed facilities out of town. The creative team was working on script development in consultation with Bundjalung Elders rather than the physical aspects of the production. Not worried about the lack of floors, the team preferred to come home to NORPA and set-up a small space within the destroyed studio with makeshift tables.
More About NORPA and the Flood
NORPA is one of only a few remaining regional theatre companies in Australia creating original work. They give a unique voice to Indigenous and non-Indigenous stories. They eagerly contribute to our national narrative and cultural landscape. It is important to the cultural sector that their voice is kept alive and the stories of regional Australia can continue to be told.
On Thursday 30 March the Northern Rivers region experienced a once in one hundred year flood event caused by Ex tropical cyclone Debbie.
This created the largest flood event in Lismore since the devastating 1974 flood, but the damage caused has been much more severe as the flood waters rushed over the levee that was designed to protect the city. The entire CBD was flooded with NORPA’s offices being one of the worst impacted as flood water and sewerage reached depths of 2 metres through the entire ground floor. The flood was sudden and the evacuation order given so quickly there was little time to save equipment. NORPA did save their photocopier, six computers and some historical archive materials from shows like, The Cars That Ate Paris, Railway Wonderland, Cockfight, Dreamland, etc.
The damage to NORPA is extensive with irreparable damage to most of their administration offices, box office, rehearsal and studio space, dressing rooms and green room. The flood also destroyed their telecommunication systems, PABX, many computers and other IT. Also swept away in the flood was the bulk of their venue equipment; chairs, tables, AV technology and monitors – that is having a significant impact on NORPA income and their need to get operational is urgent.
Thankfully, their second floor escaped serious damage, and the theatre foyer, auditorium and stage area are repairable.
The creative development of Djurra went ahead as planned starting 24 April.
Helping NORPA as quickly as we can, will help them get back into the business of making great Australian performance and generating much needed income from venue hire.