The Soft Sculptured Curtain was first unveiled at the Griffith Regional Theatre on 19th February 1987. An incredible work of art, the 5 x 12 metre soft sculptured curtain was hand sewn by over 300 locals and took over 12 months to make.
The idea for the Soft Sculptured Curtain came after local woman Dorothy Waide and friends saw a curtain created by the Molong District Ladies for the Orange Civic Theatre. They attended the Tidy Towns Presentation night at Orange in 1986 and their curtain was our inspiration. Knowing what talented people there are in Griffith, Dorothy knew the Griffith community could produce a curtain equally as good for the new Theatre. She talked to the Ladies Probus Club and persuaded a busload of members to go to Orange.
Mr Faulkner, Griffith’s Shire Clerk, arranged for the group to see the Theatre and Curtain at Orange through Orange Council's Shire Clerk. Everyone came home enthusiastic about the project. Mr Faulkner and Dorothy Waide worked on a submission to the Arts Council for funding to employ Mrs Cathy Wyatt to direct the work. However, the submission was unsuccessful. Griffith Council agreed to fund the material and an artistic director. Mrs Cathy Wyatt very generously agreed to bring the Orange curtain to Griffith.
Council sent out fifty-four invitations to local groups in the Griffith Shire, and over one hundred people attended the public meeting in Wade High School auditorium where the curtain from Orange was displayed.
It was decided to have an open competition for the design. Twelve entries were received and the design by Mr Bob Barker was chosen. Mr Doug Denham agreed to be the Artistic Director and the design was divided in to thirty sections. It was late June before the groups began the work. Each group was given a section of the design on sailcloth and encouraged to create their own style. It would be impossible to gauge the number of work hours in this project, but thousands of hours were put into working on the piece. The age range of participants was from twelve to ninety-five years, including folk from the Griffith Nursing Home.
Today the Soft Sculptured Curtain remains one of Griffith's top tourist attractions, and is available for public viewing with an audio presentation of its history on selected dates - please check with Griffith Regional Theatre regarding availability. As it hangs above the stage, it is only available when there are no shows scheduled on-stage at the Theatre.
There are usually two viewing times: 11am and 2pm weekdays only.
Patrons are advised to check with the Theatre on the availability of the curtain for viewing prior to their arrival at the Box Office.
Please note there is an admission fee of $4 per person.
For more information contact Box office or call 02 6962 8444