Back in 2011 the Bats Theatre building on Kent Terrace looked like it would be lost to audiences forever as patrons and supporters scrambled to raise the funds to buy it. Thanks to an eleventh hour commitment from celebrated filmmakers Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh who offered to purchase the building and issue BATS with a long term lease, BATS reopened at its original 1 Kent Terrace home on November 22.
WIFT members enjoy discounts to shows at BATS which is an integral part of Wellington's vibrant independent theatre community - so get along to a show before Xmas or make sure you book tickets for a performance there in 2015. They are a long-term supporter of WIFT so let's reciprocate!
It has been beautifully refurbished and now offers three performance spaces, a renovated bar and foyer, and shiny new backstage, dressing room, kitchen, Green Room and office facilities. After launching a public 'Fly BATS Home' fundraising campaign in early 2014, BATS received phenomenal support from the community, trusts and other donors to help cover the cost of the theatre-specific elements of the renovated building, including updated technical equipment and furnishings.
The fundamental philosophy of BATS has stayed true to its former ambitions throughout its 25 years to date. It constantly seeks to build a new young audience for theatre by presenting diverse, relevant and challenging theatre. And it focuses on being accessible for both its audience and incoming theatre companies, giving support to many developing arts practitioners and new New Zealand work.