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Rebuild La Mama


La Mama Theatre on the block bounded by Lygon, University, Drummond and Faraday streets. Originally built in 1883 for Anthony Reuben Ford, a Carlton printer, the building had been used as an electrical engineering workshop, boot and shoe factory and silk underwear factory until the 1960s when it was rented by Betty Burstall from Carlton’s Del Monaco family. La Mama Theatre was established in July 1967, a non-profit, experimental theatre, to provide opportunity, nurturing and support for playwrights, actors, directors, technicians, poets, musicians, comedians and film-makers. Over the next 55 years, the ever-increasing alumni includes David Williamson, Cate Blanchett, Julia Zemiro, Richard Frankland, Christos Tsiolkis, Uncle Jack Charles, Judith Lucy and numerous emerging and established artists. A devastating fire destroyed most of the historically significant and heritage-listed building in May 2018. However, with unrelenting determination from team La Mama and financial support from all levels of government, philanthropic partners, advocates and donors across the arts community and beyond, the newly and lovingly built La Mama Theatre emerged like a phoenix from the ashes, with a four-day War-Rak/ Banksia Festival of theatrical events in December 2021. Design architect Meg White and her team including Cottee Parker Architects and builders Chroma Group have recaptured all that La Mama is, and provided new opportunities for generations of theatre-makers, artists and audience to come.

What's On

Sign up for an insightful Q&A session with design architect Meg White, Heritage Architect, Director GJM Heritage Jim Gard’ner, and Heritage Interpretation Specialist, GJM Heritage Felicity Coleman.

Join a guided tour led by a long-term staff member, with external and internal access to La Mama’s restored theatre and new areas, and stories of the theatre’s history. Includes tea, coffee, bar sales and informal contact with staff members between tours.

Images: (1) Newly rebuilt La Mama Theatre, exterior. (2) Box office and bar area, La Mama Theatre. (3) View from the greenroom, La Mama Theatre. All photos: Glenn Hester Photography.

Important Details

Time & Date

Saturday 30 + Sunday 31 July
Tours run 10am, 10.45am, 11.30am, 12.15pm
Running for 40 minutes per tour in groups of 15

Saturday 30 July at 4pm
Rebuild La Mama
Q&A session with design architect Meg White, heritage architect Jim Gard'ner and heritage interpretation specialist Felicity Coleman.
Free but ticketed event, limited seating

Age Requirements

All Ages


Fully wheelchair accessible
Accessible bathroom
Quiet rooms


205 Faraday Street, Carlton Vic 3053

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