Cornwall College St Austell has announced investment plans for the Keay Theatre, re-establishing the venue as a centre of activity for performing arts in Cornwall.
A renewed commitment by the College will place the 224-seat venue, located on the campus at Cornwall College St Austell, at the heart of cultural enrichment for the area. The investment will go towards upgrading the theatre’s equipment and marketing, as well as supporting programming and outreach initiatives to engage and connect with local audiences.
Anneka Wass, curriculum area manager at Cornwall College St Austell, described the news as “fantastic for St Austell.”
Anneka explained: “We’re very excited about the new investment into our wonderful Keay Theatre. Not only will it allow us to bring in a variety of professional acts to entertain our local communities, but also to better support amateur dramatics groups in the area as well.”
In the past week, there have been two sold out shows at the Keay. The first was a modern take on a Shakespeare play delivered by the College’s acting students alongside budding thespians from Poltair School, and the other was All Seasons: A Jersey Boys Tribute.
“It was great to see so many people coming to support the theatre,” continued Anneka. “The audience were saying how exciting it was to have such professional and entertaining productions so close-to-home.”
The planned improvements follow a recent announcement of significant investment from the Department for Education into a brand-new, purpose made campus at Cornwall College St Austell. “The whole campus is about to undergo a significant transformation,” said head of campus David Atkinson-Beaumont.
“During this time, the Keay Theatre will be a crucial teaching space for our creative courses, community events and even staff wellness groups such as the staff choir. Once the rebuild is complete, the Keay will be an even more fundamental part of our day-to-day, as it’ll be next to the new main entrance and act as a focal point for the site,” David continued.
“We’re very proud of the Keay and its role as a melting pot for creatives in St Austell. It’s a space where performing arts students meet schools and the community to work together to create amazing memories. So, in addition to the expanded offer of shows and experiences that will be available to the public, we’re excited how this new investment will help to enrich our student experience even further.
“I invite all members of the community to join us in celebrating this exciting new chapter in the history of The Keay Theatre. Stay tuned for more updates and announcements in the coming months.”
For more information about the wide range of creative courses at Cornwall College St Austell, please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk