ECU Mt Lawley becomes first uni in the world to acquire Spiegeltent


WAAPA students Evelyn Roberts, Josh Orphin and Sasha Simon in ECU’s Spiegeltent.
WAAPA students Evelyn Roberts, Josh Orphin and Sasha Simon in ECU’s Spiegeltent.

ECU is the first university in the world to acquire a Spiegeltent, providing a unique performance space for WAAPA students to hone their craft.

The public can watch WAAPA Contemporary and Jazz musicians perform at the venue, to be named The Edith, for the first time at ECU’s open day on Sunday.

WAAPA director Julie Warn said the Spiegeltent was a wonderful addition to ECU’s Mt Lawley campus.

“There’s a whole range of different opportunities that can be offered to our students by having the use of this really alternative space,” Professor Warn said.

“Performances might include plays, musicals, cabaret, comedy or improvisation for example.”

Prof Warn said the nature of the Spiegeltent meant students would need to learn to work differently to reach their audiences.

“You’re not just at the front of the theatre so performers will need to play to all sides, using their voices and bodies differently,” she said.

And it’s not just performance students that will acquire new skills.

“Working in this unique space also provides great learning opportunities behind the scenes for stage management, lighting, sound and production and design students,” Prof Warn said.

“Let’s not forget our WAAPA audiences too, they will love it.”

Spiegeltent is Dutch for ‘mirror tent’ due to the hand-made architecture of wood, mirrors, canvas and leaded glass, with intricate detailing in velvet and brocade.

The Edith is one of just a handful Spiegeltents in the world and can hold up to 300 guests.

Fringe World Festival facilitated the acquisition of the Spiegeltent, and the festival team has provided the expertise with erecting the tent for ECU.

Fringe World chief executive Marcus Canning said ECU students would benefit from performing and working in the beautiful Spiegeltent.

“It’s a world first for a university and a unique opportunity for ECU students to have access to their very own Spiegeltent,” Mr Canning said.

“I look forward to them honing their skills and growing their creativity and potentially one day presenting work at future Fringe World festivals and beyond.”