BRAVA! Celebrating the Opening of The Jamie and Rebecca Gray Theatre
Our Black Box Theatre performing arts space was officially opened by the Hon. Julie Bishop, who declared the Theatre opened and announced its new name in honour of our leading gift benefactors, Jamie and Rebecca Gray.
The completion of a new building or learning space is always exciting, and the much-anticipated Black Box Theatre has not disappointed, delivering an exceptional performing arts space for our students to utilise and our community to enjoy.
Last term, and only days away from its completion, the Concerto Concert provided a ‘sneak-peak’ into the new space. After almost two years of musical event hiatus, it was the perfect opportunity to gather and celebrate this important performing arts space with a delightful evening of outstanding recitals.
Last week, the cast and production crew transformed the Black Box Theatre into Urinetown. A whimsical musical that took us all by surprise with its clever play on words and wicked humour. The Black Box Theatre truly is the jewel in the Performing Arts crown and impressed all who were fortunate to experience the flexibility and intimacy the new theatre provides. The Theatre’s completion delivers St Catherine’s Towards 2025 Strategic Intent to develop opportunities for the Performing Arts.
Last night, the performing arts space was officially opened by the Hon Julie Bishop, our incredibly special guest for the evening. Ms Bishop declared the bespoke theatre open and announced its new name in honour of our leading gift benefactors, Jamie and Rebecca Gray.
This naming honour recognises the Gray Family’s long association with St Catherine’s School and their philanthropic contributions over the years. Both Jamie and Rebecca have deep connections to our School community. They are parents to Sophie who graduated from St Catherine’s in 2012, Annabelle in 2015 and Hugo, their son attended St Catherine’s Early Learning Centre.
In 2002, Jamie became a member of the School Council and remains one of the longest-standing councillors at St Catherine’s. Jamie has served on the Building & Property Committee of the School Council since 2003 and has served as Chair of this Committee since 2004. During his tenure, Jamie has helped deliver major infrastructure developments, such as the Early Learning Centre, Wiltondale, St Catherine’s Walk, All-Weathering of the Oval, Nicholas Library redevelopment, Mary Davis Centre redevelopment, the Edna Holmes Centre for Science Laboratory Renewal, Senior School Redevelopment, Barbreck Junior School redevelopment, the Marigold Southey Sports & Aquatic Centre redevelopment, and now the Black Box Theatre.
As two of the School’s Patrons, Jamie and Rebecca are both passionate advocates for educational excellence and artistic development. They are avid supporters of scholarship opportunities in girls’ education and long-standing supporters of the St Catherine’s Building Fund. They have seen the development of several major capital projects from inception.
The Black Box Theatre project is the jewel in the crown of the School’s Performing Arts precinct. In recognition of the Gray Family’s philanthropic leadership, and to acknowledge the family’s deep connection to our School, the St Catherine’s School Foundation is delighted to announce The Jamie and Rebecca Gray Theatre in their honour.
During the official opening last night, 170 guests, including Foundation Members and BRAVA Wall donors attended the opening ceremony and reception. Guests enjoyed special performances by our Music and Drama students and the cast of Urinetown. Instrumental Music Captain, Catherine Chen also delighted all in attendance with her solo piano piece. Ms Bishop provided our guests with wonderful insights into her time as Australian Foreign Minister and the value she places on education, commenting:
“I am at St Catherine’s this evening for several reasons, first my very strong belief in the transforming power of education, particularly girls’ education. Throughout my political career, I came to understand that empowering girls and women through education, can bring immense benefits; economic and social to communities around the world. As Foreign Minister, I often said that no nation could reach its potential unless, and until, it fully embraced and harnessed the talent and skills, energy and ideas of its entire population, including the 50% that is female. In Australia’s case, 51%.
“Secondly, my immense respect for those in our community who are donors, supporters, benefactors, and philanthropists and whose efforts ensure institutions, such as St Catherine’s, continue to deliver first-class, quality education to generation after generation of young girls over its 126-year history.
“But perhaps more importantly, I am here to pay tribute to my very dear friends, Jamie and Rebecca Gray. Their contribution to this School, and their philanthropic leadership should be an exemplar for us all.”
On behalf of the students who gain so much from St Catherine’s philanthropic community, thank you to Jamie and Rebecca Gray, and the amazing cast of donors who supported this important project. Your ongoing support for the School and the St Catherine’s School Foundation is appreciated. BRAVA!
Following the successful completion of The Jamie and Rebecca Gray Theatre, we will be launching our She is Strong Campaign. Phase three of the Dorothy Pizzey Centre redevelopment, the She is Strong Campaign will deliver a contemporary indoor sports court, a dedicated high-performance training studio, inclusive of a fit-for-purpose ergometer training area, and a Little Gym, housing our PMP (Perceptual Motor Program) and Tumbling programs for the enjoyment of our younger students.
Soon I will be reaching out to seek support for the new high-performance sports precinct and look forward to sharing news of this exciting new vision over the coming weeks.
For more information regarding how you can support the St Catherine’s School Foundation and our She is Strong Campaign, please contact me by email email@example.com or on 9828 3032
Rebecca Gray, the Hon. Julie Bishop, Jamie Gray & Michelle Carroll
Angela Tang playing the Guzheng