Bundaberg Playhouse Theatre's Mamma Mia cast in action during rehearsals before COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Bundaberg Playhouse Theatre's Mamma Mia cast in action during rehearsals before COVID-19 pandemic hit.

PLOT TWIST: How Playhouse will bring theatre back

A DIFFERENT style of show is set to take the Playhouse Theatre Bundaberg stage while Mamma Mia production waits in the wings.

Under the current restrictions it is still not viable for the playhouse to resume their 2020 schedule as the theatre’s capacity to seat 250 people; Artistic director Rebecca Hutchins said they would have to perform five times the amount of shows originally planned which they cannot do.

But any obstacle in the right hands can become an opportunity, and the creative minds at the Playhouse have come up with a new concept set to breathe life back into the local theatre.

Ms Hutchins said September would see a season of One Act Plays, one each Friday during the month.

“The plays will all be from past or present members and will be performed with a script in hand,” she said.

There’s plans to live stream these “relaxed performances”, while having a small audiences that will stays within the restrictions.

To add keep the local performers on their toes, there’s a slight catch with the show.

The players and director will only have a week to rehearse and they won’t know what props or costumes they will be getting until the night, when they will have 30 minutes before the live steam and audience seated to see what Bundaberg Players’ president Nigel Dick and Ms Hutchins have selected for them to use.

The night will go for about an hour with a Q and A at the end of each show with questions from both our home audience and live audience.

She said there would be an element of mayhem and plenty of fun to be had with the new format.

Not only giving the local artists something to delve into, Ms Hutchins said it was also a means to give their patient subscribers a nice night out.

And given that they won’t be late night shows, she said the audience could go into town, whether it be to the Spotted Dog, Berts or Alowishus to make for a wholesome night out.

“We encourage to gather your friends and watch from home as we will try to keep the audience to subscribers,” she said.

“There are many minor details still to be worked out, but we will be calling for expressions of interest in August to be a part of this event.

Ms Hutchins said each play would have a cast of four to seven people, and a different cast for each play.

While the One Act Plays are set for September, this week will see the start of the Playhouse’s workshops.

Bundaberg Playhouse Theatre.
Bundaberg Playhouse Theatre.

Rotating between acting, dancing and singing, these workshops are open to the public with the first acting workshop to be held this Thursday.

Ms Hutchins said this was the perfect opportunity for anyone who may have been too shy or not confident enough to audition before, to get a feel for what the playhouse was all about.

Running for two hours, she said there was a lot of fun to be had in the workshops alongside people with and without experience in theatre.

While no one would be asked to do anything they don’t want to do, they were encouraged to give it a go.

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