Uni of Melbourne’s got new Cultural Precinct Program

Melb Uni

Melbourne’s cultural scene is about to be enhanced with a fresh and engaging program of public shows announced by the University of Melbourne Arts and Culture (UMAC). Set on the bustling Parkville campus, both students and the wider community are in for a treat as they will have the opportunity to partake in a year-long schedule of inspiring performances and exhibitions.

UMAC, an initiative under the University of Melbourne, has been established to reinforce the institution’s commitment to the performing arts. Its mission is to offer a diverse range of arts experiences that will not only enrich student life but also engage with the wider public throughout the year. According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Wesley, this expansion reflects the University’s enduring support and celebration of the performing arts, creating a platform to showcase both local and international talents right within the campus grounds.

The new Arts & Cultural Building, home to the Union and Guild Theatres, is at the heart of this precinct, accompanied by the beautifully renovated Building 189 and the open-air Amphitheatre. The precinct’s advantageous location near the No. 1 Swanston Street tram stop and Lygon Street, together with its award-winning design, positions it as a marquee destination for performance and art lovers in Melbourne.

With Virginia Lovett at the helm as the Performing Arts Director, UMAC promises to deliver major contemporary works and activate the cultural spaces situated in CBD North. Patrons can look forward to an annual program that promises to be as rich in variety as it is in quality. Accompanying the cultural indulgence are new dining experiences such as St.ALi’s Cosmos, ensuring a well-rounded visit.

The 2024 headline act features the Victorian debut of ‘Counting and Cracking’ as part of RISING at the Union Theatre. This acclaimed Sri Lankan-Australian family saga comes to Melbourne following a trail of successes including multiple Helpmann Awards. Lovett expresses her enthusiasm for the production, noting its resonance with the type of transformative, community-oriented experiences UMAC aims to present.

Besides ‘Counting and Cracking’, the program boasts an assortment of other notable productions, including ‘Britney Spears: The Cabaret’, the dynamic dance showcase ‘Pieces’, and the unique song cycle ‘Spinifex Gum’. Complementary to theatre classics, innovative works are also being commissioned, such as ‘Love in the Time of Revolution’ and ‘A List of Games Buddha Would Not Play’, spotlighting diverse Australian narratives.

Beyond the performances, a series of public talks and events will augment the cultural experience, making the University of Melbourne’s new Arts and Culture precinct a beacon of artistic collaboration and celebration. With year-round operations, this venue is set to become an integral part of both student life and the city’s vibrant culture.

More info at the Uni of Melbourne website