Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Ward Theatre to open doors for unexpected event

Published:Wednesday | August 10, 2016 | 8:00 AM
The Ward Theatre

For over 10 years, the iconic Ward Theatre has been closed to the public. The 240- year-old theatre has been closed following damages caused by Hurricane Ivan. The theatre represents the pinnacle of local culture and our history in the performing arts, and has hosted some of the biggest names in the performing arts along with some unique events, including ice skating and rallies.

With donations receivedover the last seven years, the theatre has been able to begin repairs in small sections, in hopes to open its doors to the public on a regular basis. There is still a long way to go, but the repairs will soon have the building in a state fit for the public to come in and view a show.

historic structure

"The Ward is a historic structure, so we have to maintain the essential fabric of the building. Ultimately, we want to totally renovate the theatre to 21st-century standards while maintaining the historic structure. For now, we are making repairs to the bathrooms, plumbing and ceiling in order to host events. But in the near future, we are looking to renovate the electrics, the chairs, the AC, the exterior, the changing rooms, the carpets, bars and fixtures, etc," said Jonathan Greenland, Ward Theatre spokesperson.

When energy drink giants Red Bull were looking for a venue for their Street Style Football Competition, they immediately thought of being in the heart of Kingston and reached out to the Ward Theatre. Now, there are plans to host a truly one-of-a-kind event as its comeback.

The theatre has seen the best ballerinas, singers, dancers and thespians from around the world, but for the first time, it will host a football event on its stage. In conjunction with Red Bull, repair work has been sped up to accommodate the event which will be staged on August 13.

Preservation work was critical in the restoration of the theatre with the original seats and stage being used.