The Smell of The Grease; The Roar of The Paint; Canberra REP reopens

It’s literally a Tale of Two Cities right now. Whilst Victoria is perched on the verge of another lockdown, Queensland is inviting up to 10,000 folk to stadiums.

Quietly bubbling away in the background has been the good ol’ ACT, with a month and a half without new cases and, subsequently, a tentative easing of restrictions.

A shining light of this is the happy news that Canberra REP is throwing open the doors once more.

“Following the 18 March 2020 announcement of a national ban on indoor events with more than 100 people, the Council of Canberra Repertory Society (REP) had no option but to cease our productions until the bans were lifted,” Manager Helen Drum wrote. “This decision was taken for the ongoing health and safety of our members, audiences, staff and volunteers.”

“Now with the recent relaxation of Government restrictions and the continued good health record within the ACT REP has made the decision to re-open our venue and present again plays for our Canberra Community.”

This is not a decision that has been taken lightly.

“REP also surveyed its patrons and members to gauge how confident they were on returning to attend productions and what they would most prefer to see performed,” Drum reports. “While many were tentative about a return too soon, most trusted that we would make the correct call when the time was right.”

The shutdown and subsequent reopening has allowed REP to reevaluate the 2020 program with patrons firmly in mind.

“The most preferred genre of performance was Comedy – so REP has listened and tailored the balance of our year with that selection in mind,” Drum says. “But our Season for 2020 had to change to help accomplish this process. REP’s dedicated staff have been contacting our patrons who had bought or booked a ticket to a REP play that will be affected by changes to our season.”

The reconfigured 2020 season contains the following plays:

Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs – 30/07/2020 to 16/08/2020
Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw – 10/09/2020 to 26/09/2020
Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular – 19/11/2020 to 3/12/2020

With the REP production of Beatrix Christian’s The Governor’s Family moved to our 2021 season. Unfortunately, the production of Doubt, a Parable has been cancelled.

Rehearsals have begun for Brighton Beach Memoirs and the first call for auditions for the final two plays has begun.

REP is putting in place, and will operate under, a Covid Safe Plan as required under the guidelines from the ACT Government Covid-19 Recovery Plan, ensuring the venue is safe for all who visit for performances and general trading. This may restrict the number of patrons able to attend each performance.

Despite the trying time, Helen Drum remains optimistic about the year ahead.

“We have been heartened by the support of our patrons and membership during this time and are looking forward to presenting a set of fantastic shows over the rest of this year, and a huge season in 2021!”

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