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St Augustine's College

An education in the marist tradition

McLaughlin Theatre


It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves
From Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare


In light of the quote from Julius Caesar, a hope among our performing arts teachers is that destiny will lead students to take to the stage; be it professionally or to stand in the boardroom and present to colleagues. The first stage that many of our boys tread on is in the McLaughlin Theatre. During drama the Men of Saints enter a world of cultural engagement that stimulates imaginations and creativity, as well as developing critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. It is a world of exploration, social evolution, celebration and entertainment that empowers them. Learning in drama is balanced between and integrated through practical, collaborative, individual and theoretical approaches.

The McLaughlin Theatre has not always been the home of Drama but fittingly a chameleon that has gone through many manifestations. The oldest building on campus, it was constructed by Fr Joseph Phelan in 1927 as a parish church and named in honour of St Joseph. It was built using materials from the original wooden St Monica’s Church, destroyed by a cyclone earlier that year.

The building housed both the church and a primary school run by the Sisters of Mercy. When the Marist Brothers arrived in 1930 the area below the church was enclosed to form classrooms in which the Brothers held their first classes as St Augustine's.

A new parish church was built and Saints assumed control of the old church. For many years it was used as an assembly hall for the College and housed a series of specialist classrooms. In 2006 it was refurbishment to become a home for the teaching of the arts, in particular drama and an art studio. The theatre was named in honour of Br Claude McLaughlin a former teacher and producer of many fine theatrical productions, whose passion and enthusiasm instilled a love of the arts among his students.

McLaughlin Theatre can seat up to 160 guests that all look onto the stage from three sides. This unique performance space gives each member of the audience a clear view, allowing them to fully engage in all the action.