Thieves struck the historic Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts on Mackey Street late Sunday night, vandalizing and damaging the property, even breaking a kitchen sink, Philip Burrows, the center’s artistic director, said yesterday.
Burrows said a teacher who was hosting a summer school program at the site discovered the break-in around 7 a.m.
“We realized that they had cut the phone wires,” Burrows said.
“They had cut all of the internet connections. They had gotten in through one of the windows and they damaged seven doors.
“…They broke down the sink in the room. They cut all the cables to the camera system and pretty much did a lot of damage and we are in the process right now of trying to get everything back together.
“As you know, the Dundas is a non-profit organization and we scrap for money here and there so this is going to be a lot of costs to just get everything back to normal.”
When The Nassau Guardian visited the theater, police were still on scene, gathering statements from the Dundas’ staff.
The Philip A. Burrows Black Box Theatre, a smaller space located at the rear of the Dundas, features smaller plays in a more intimate space.
Burrows noted that the alarm panels in both theaters were ripped out.
He said he assumed the perpetrators were looking for money but were only able to take a large television used to stream photos of various shows done over the years. He said a lot of the damage done seemed to be indicative of vandalism.
“We had a television that was donated to us in the foyer [and] they took that. Everything else was just excessive,” Burrows said.
“…There seems to be a lot of just spiteful things that went on. They literally tore open the doors.”
He added, “A lot of it is just damage that needn’t have had to happen because there is really nothing in a lot of places to take but they just broke into every area they could.”
This is not the first time the community theater has been broken into.
Burrows explained that the theater previously had a caretaker on staff but is currently looking to refill that position.
He said while a lot of things now need to be fixed and replaced, the organization has to find a way to secure it once again and prepare for upcoming shows, including Shakespeare in Paradise and Short Tales.
Delores Adderley, the center’s manager, called on the Bahamian public to invest in the center.
“I really don’t understand the sense of this vandalism,” Adderley said.
“It’s just stupid to come in and destroy your own theater. It’s a community theater. It belongs to the people of The Bahamas, not me, not Mr. Roberts, not Mr. Burrows, not Dr. [Nicolette] Bethel. So, I want persons to understand that this is your theater. Take care of your theater.”
The Dundas Centre was founded in 1930 with the aim to promote and produce all forms of art and culture in The Bahamas.
Police said they are investigating the matter and are appealing to anyone with information to contact them.