Act Three Productions says the show must go on
The cast of Act Three Productions’ Godspell have always faced Covid disruptions. Photo/Jimmy Ellingham
Amateur theater groups are back on stage after two years of financial heartbreak and canceled shows.
Those involved in staging the productions are happy to be back, even though the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll financially and hitting morale.
In Palmerston North, the season of Act Three Productions’ Godspell is underway and production manager Merryn Osborne says it’s a pleasure to perform.
“These guys, they’re so happy to be able to perform in front of an audience again, to have people coming in and hopefully enjoying the show.
“Just seeing live theater again will be something that has sadly been lacking for the past two years.”
Act Three Productions handled a few nights of the Queen-inspired show We Will Rock You last year, before the August lockdown.
In 2020, Sister Act performed to a bubble-segmented audience of 100, with a maximum of 400 people allowed in the Regent on Broadway, leaving it only a quarter full.
“It’s been very difficult financially. We’ve had several times where we looked at how we were going to survive,” Osborne said.
“We just tried to get grants throughout the process. That’s how we managed to survive.”
Although the shows could be broadcast in front of a full audience under orange Omicron settings, there were still Covid disruptions.
Osborne said cast members of 17 and a larger crew of around 30 missed rehearsals due to isolation.
And when someone tested positive for Covid, the theater and backstage were deep cleaned.
It was, however, a minor irritant for Osborne, who said she was looking forward to experiencing an audience enjoying a show again.
“It’s going to be so good to be able to stand in the back of the auditorium and see a sea of people, heads looking at the stage, enjoying, because the show is awesome. It’s so much fun.”
• Jimmy Ellingham is RNZ’s Manawatū reporter.