New Performing Arts Centre opens at Loyola College


Loyola College's new performing arts centre with Bishop Terence Curtin and Executive Director of Catholic Education Stephen Elder at the launchOn Friday 17 February the Magis Performing Arts Centre at Loyola College, Watsonia, was opened by Executive Director of Catholic Education Melbourne, Stephen Elder, with a blessing from Bishop Terence Curtin.

The new centre includes a 500-seat-auditorium theatre with back-of-house areas, dressing and control rooms and dual-level foyers,­­ as well as specialist music, drama and dance education facilities that will enable the artistic skills of Loyola's Performing Arts students to be showcased.

The school has named the centre ‘Magis’, a Latin word for ‘more’ and a key concept of Ignatian spirituality that invites students to consider how they can serve the world better, with fire and passion.

Loyola College principal Joe Favrin says the new performing arts centre is a brilliant addition. ‘Loyola has always had a very strong interest in the performing arts and we want to enhance that interest,’ he says. ‘As an Ignatian school, we focus on developing the whole person and the performing arts are central to that development.’

The acoustically engineered theatre has ­a wide and deep stage with a half-depth orchestra pit and cyclorama, and catwalks where students can work with sound and lighting. Behind the scenes there’s a control room, prompt wings, dressing rooms, a set-building workshop and loading dock.

Loyola students will have the advantage of the latest technologies and design throughout the learning wing. As well as 10 music practice rooms, there is a professional-grade recording suite with three recording studios.

In concluding his address at the opening Mr Elder congratulated, ‘the Loyola family for this exemplary performing arts centre. It’s an all the more impressive achievement given that is construction was funded with private investment.’ Mr Elder then involved some students in unveiling the plaque.

Loyola’s first production in the new Inigo Theatre, The Wizard of Oz, opens in May. Other schools and community groups will be able to book the Inigo Theatre from mid-2017.