A 16-month wait is almost over for amateur Canberra performers as they prepare to take the stage for The Sound of Music, and the capital performing arts community bounces back to life.
Community theatre group the Queanbeyan Players (QP) will host an opening night on Thursday following coronavirus-induced delays and having to rejig capacity at The Q to get in as many theatre-goers as possible.
Auditions started in December 2019, but rehearsals were put on hold in March when the pandemic shut down the industry.
NSW restrictions on singing and dancing delayed progress even further, but director Alison Newhouse said it would make it even sweeter when they finally took to the stage.
"This show had to go on because too many things had gone on through the course of it that we decided we needed to do it," Mrs Newhouse said.
Canberra's central performing arts venue, the Canberra Theatre Centre, has also suffered.
So far, two performances have been cancelled, three postponed and 18 rescheduled.
But venue director Alex Budd said local productions meant there would still be a year's worth of performing arts to be experienced in Canberra.
"The vibrancy of works incubated, developed and performed locally is so important to the fabric of the live performance in the nation's capital, and we look forward to deepening further our engagement in this area," Mr Budd said.
And, it hasn't all been bad. Mrs Newhouse said the challenge of the pandemic had brought the cast and crew closer together.
"It's become an interesting space for community," she said.
"Especially the kids, they've got such a bond.
"They actually sit together and chat and talk about how they're feeling. They've been able to have this kind of talk through these uncertain times."
However, there have been some real challenges. Given that Queanbeyan is across the territory border and therefore required to adhere to NSW legislation, the ability to properly follow health protocols for different rehearsal spaces was often an organisational challenge.
"We struggled with finding venues where we could actually rehearse, because our normal space is at a Uniting Church here in Queanbeyan and all their restrictions were very tough under NSW protocol, especially that which only permitted five people to sing when we have a cast of 43," Mrs Newhouse said.
For the cast of QP, their upcoming shows will be a product of community - what they call the "QP family". After more than a year of preparation and setbacks, the show has finally come together.
The same can be said for other productions, with Jersey Boys now at Erindale Theatre and Mamma Mia to follow The Sound of Music at The Q in a couple of weeks.