Among the many exciting places you need to have on your “plan to see list’’ when visiting Brisbane, Queensland, Australia is the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, more commonly referred to as “The Judy.
The address of The Judy is 420 Brunswick Street, (corner Berwick Street) Fortitude Valley.
The centre is named after Judith Wright, an Australian poet who was one of two Australian nominees for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Judith was also an advocate for indigenous rights and for the protection of the environment. Her death was in Canberra 25th June 2000.
The centre opened in October 2001 and is managed by the Queensland Government in conjunction with Arts Queensland. The well equipped studios are described by theatre lovers as suitably intimate and the rehearsal studios are designed in a way that incorporates natural lighting in them. Diverse ranges of performances are able to take place as the buildings possess a degree of flexibility in their design. The centre encompasses the two adjacent buildings as well, with one a double story and the other one a five story. The five story building in the past had been a factory for Bushell’s Tea.
The buildings are home to a number of arts and cultural organisations and include a three hundred seating area for performances. Further spaces are provided for theatrical rehearsals, music, dance and acrobatics. There are studios for artists as well as an art gallery, a coffee shop convenient for quick breaks, a bar and a restaurant.
Among the organisations that use the centre regularly are
- The Institute of Modern Art
- The Post Effect and Youth Arts, Queensland
- Flying Arts alliance Inc.
- Ausdance Queensland
- Carbon Media
- Expressions Dance Company
The contemporary dance group – Expressions Dance Company – was founded in 1984.
The Queensland Poetry Festival of 2011 was hosted at The Judy.
The Judith Wright centre is patronised by lovers of the Arts and Culture who regularly attend the various shows of theatre and others offered there. They find them inspirational with a flexibility and agility not seen too often in theatre elsewhere. An industry networking night is encouragement for people to interact and learn from each other and is one of the demonstrations of the space’s versatility.
On nights when there are performances on the go there is a cash bar open next to the adjoining Glass Bar offering great service. There are even dinner partnerships with restaurants in the vicinity for pre-show dining so that you will not be late for the performance you are attending.
Furthermore, the venue is equipped with free WiFi that is ideal for a work session during the day.
Very often, due to many of the performances at The Judy being products of local emerging artists, after the show time is allotted for questions and answers. This gives the artists an opportunity to hold a discussion with a public forum, and the public the chance to meet fresh new local talent. Also, this makes going to The Judy a good quality nights outing.