Theatre update at CentreStage.

To the members of the CentreStage community,


Since early 2020, we have been tracking the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation by the hour, offering standing guidance and regular updates to our team members. This has greatly impacted CentreStage and the entire Arts community everywhere.

 

Puffs: Recently, in the past weeks, CentreStage has attempted to re-stage the production of Puffs by Matt Cox. I know that both the spread of this disease and our decisions about it, affect not only CentreStage programs and planning, but the lives of individuals. For many of you, the steps we are taking to protect the health of the community may involve significant inconvenience and personal sacrifice. Please accept my gratitude in advance for your goodwill and understanding. At this stage, we have been approved licensing for new dates to stage the production. We thank Kim Ransley and the Origin Theatrical team for working with us and being so adaptable.... However, we are waiting for further guidance from the Premier's office mid-next week to understand the new easing of restrictions for regional Victoria and the roadmap. Our team will work with the cast and creatives to find a solution to stage this production. Unfortunately, we are unable to have "admin staff" onsite to process and call individuals to arrange refunds for some payment methods as we require access to Eftpos machines and phones etc. However, we have ordered a secondary device to allow our staff to process these requests from their home offices safely and with strict privacy agreements. Ticket holders will be contacted between Tuesday 7th - Friday 10th September. For urgent enquiries, please email david@centrestage.org.au I also hope we can be sensitive to each other’s burdens in this situation and make accommodations to support one another where we can. I count on every member of our community to make sure that the discrimination, shunning and bullying that sometimes accompany an outbreak never occur at CentreStage or within our community.

 

Priscilla: It's with a heavy heart that we cancel and postpone the scheduled production of Priscilla due onstage in early 2022 at the Geelong Arena. This decision was not made lightly. CentreStage will attempt to stage this production in 2023 pending venue availability and alternative sources As you know, CentreStage continues to make financial risks of continuing to push the Arts through Covid restrictions, having to cancel productions, completely refund shows, and providing consistent education methods. We thank Mark and Samuel from the Geelong Arena for their continued passion and support. In addition, we thank Angelique Helman and Joel McGuiness from the Geelong Arts Centre for brainstorm alternative venue options. We also thank Martina and Justyn from COGG Arts and Culture for their candid advice. Essentially. 1. Priscilla has been cancelled due to Venue availabilities issues 2. With the planned upgrades of the Geelong Arts Centre, COGG is unable to provide a backup solution for producers in our local community or consider concessions for venue alternatives. 3. The Geelong Arena has a safety issue where no weight can be loaded from the ceiling (speakers, Lighting, AV for sports, or staff accessing highrise corridors) due to the venue not having an engineer report on weight capacity 4. The Geelong Arena contains Asbestos in the ceiling and recent efforts to source a builder failed with 0 applicants 5. The result is the roofing from the Arena will be removed and rebuilt which could take 2-3 years before events can be staged back in the Arena. 6. CentreStage was working with DHHS to stage the show safely with an anticipated audience of 600 patrons spread out over 1400 seats in the event of 50% lockdown restrictions etc. Upon request, CentreStage will release all communications between local, and State Government that influenced this decision. The planned programming of Priscilla has been cancelled and will be reviewed when applicable. We understand that this news may cause heartache and disappointment to our cast, creatives, and volunteers, many of whom have spent the last 24 months working on this project. We continue to encourage our network to actively engage with the Arts Wellbeing Collective (a complimentary service) and Beyond Blue for assistance whilst navigating this difficult situation.

 

CPAA The CentreStage Performing Arts Academy is un-affected. Classes and production will continue as planned. In the event of continued lockdowns, the performance dates will be delayed as required and be communicated with parents. We are very fortunate we own our theatre and have the ability to do this.

 

CentreStage VCE Masterclass The recent VCE masterclasses (final sessions) have been cancelled. We apologise to all students affected. A refund of $290 will be applied to each student via the email address used to book via our website in lieu of the cancelled session. If you would like to continue to 1:1 sessions with Martin either online (or in-person), please email cpaa@centrestage.org.au or email Martin on his direct email.

 

Les Miserables After numerous conversations with the Geelong Arts Centre, we are excited to continue planning for our 2022 production of Les Miserables at Costa Hall directed by Martin Croft. This weekend we will continue recruitment efforts to fill the remaining positions. Audition information will be announced shortly. Follow our Facebook page for more information at www.facebook.com/centrestageaus. We are thankful for the support from GAC to stage this classic musical. We thank you for understanding during this tough time and encourage you to not give up on the arts. Love theatre, be creative and support those that take the risk to stage musicals throughout Australia. Stay safe, look after each other, and spread positivity and love.


Kindest Regards, David Greenwood Managing Director

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