Yesterday morning saw the opening of the Black Box Theatres at the Macao Cultural Centre, which cost about MOP100 million from design to construction.
All shows that were booked for a similar venue at the Old Courthouse building will be relocated to this new venue. The new venue has a gross area of 3,110 square meters and features two theatres and a multi-purpose room spanning three floors.
Being an extension from the main building of the Cultural Centre, the Black Box Theatre building was designed by Architect Bruno Soares.
Speaking on the sidelines of the opening ceremony, Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) President Leong Wai Man announced that a performance company has been invited from Shanghai to run a children’s drama at the new facility in mid-July.
At the end of this month, the Black Box Theatres will see the annual drama presentation by students at the Macao Conservatory School of Theatre.
To emphasize that the new facility is not just open to government events, Leong said that the IC is now taking applications from private performers. The application form is available on the Cultural Centre’s website.
Tours have also been organized for local performance industry participants to familiarize themselves with the new venue.
For the time being, Leong believes that there should be sufficient facilities at the Cultural Centre, even with next year being the 25th anniversary of the Macau Special Administrative Region. The older theatres at the Cultural Centre will remain part and parcel of the music and the arts festivals.
During her speech, Leong recapped that the Black Box Theatre extension is a critical project in the Macau government’s second Five-Year Plan. It is aimed at helping Macau consolidate its role as the base for interactions and exchanges between Chinese and other cultures.
Over the weekend, the IC also opened an exhibition at the Macao Museum to celebrate the cultural heritage from Hainan Province.
Titled Genesis and Spirit, the exhibition will be held until Oct. 8. With the themes “Cradle of Coconut City,” “Spirit of Li Ethnicity,” and “Lifestyle of Li People,” the exhibition showcases works of Hainan coconut carving and traditional Li textile techniques of spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering as well as cultural and creative products featuring intangible elements of the cultural heritage of Hainan. The exhibition will introduce both residents and tourists to the unique crafts of Hainan’s cultural heritage and its practice of the concept of cultural heritage transmission “through people, their items and their lives.”
Complementing the exhibition is a series of activities that include arts and crafts demonstrations and interactive workshops, in which the essence of the techniques embedded in the intangible cultural heritage of Hainan will be presented.
At the opening ceremony, a plaque presentation ceremony was held to confer accreditation from the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism upon guardians of several local elements of cultural heritage: Macanese gastronomy, Patuá Theatre, and the belief and customs of Tou Tei.
Meanwhile, the IC will also announce this year’s Art Macao – Macao International Art Biennale tomorrow. Started in 2019, the event attempts to garner interest and publicity for art in Macau.