The Canberra Theatre Centre, The Street Theatre, and the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre have taken different approaches to the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The Canberra Theatre Centre will be bringing shows back very soon while the other two venues are moving more cautiously but hoping for bigger things in 2022.
While the satirical Wharf Revue has long been popular in Canberra, anticipation for it seems to have grown during lockdown by Canberrans in need of a laugh. Director of the Canberra Theatre Centre Alex Budd said demand for the Wharf Revue had been "unprecedented" since sales opened in early October.
The revue, created by Phil Scott, Drew Forsythe and Jonathan Biggins, who are performing this year with Mandy Bishop, had to be rescheduled because of the pandemic. Sales were put on hold until its dates could be finalised.
But Mr Budd said sales for 2021 were, after a week, at the level he would have expected if it had been on sale from the start of a pre-COVID year.
It opens on November 8.
The theatre will, of course, have to comply with government regulations regarding capacity but said it would be learning from the data coming out from states that had eased restrictions.
And there's plenty more scheduled at the Canberra Theatre in the next few months, including Circus of Illusion ("a bit of school holiday fun"), Shine pianist David Helfgott, The Ten Tenors, Canberra author David Atfield's new play Chiaroscuro and the delayed Canberra premiere of the musical Come From Away.
The artistic director and programming manager of the Q, Jordan Best, said the last couple of COVID-afflicted years had been "like tapdancing on quicksand".
But despite no shows, the drastically-reduced income and having to work with a skeleton crew for so long, she was trying to be optimistic.
"I'm hoping to get back into the office on October 18," she said.
Best said she and the staff were gearing up for the 2022 season launch at the end of November.
"There are a couple of things that may happen in December - it's dependent on what happens in the next little while," she said.
"Talking about them might jinx them."
Next year, she said, would be "extremely challenging".
One early show scheduled was her company Echo Theatre's production of the musical Ruthless in February.
- See theq.net.au.
The Street Theatre's artistic director, Caroline Stacey, said the venue would not be opening its doors before November 1. The new play 20 Minutes with the Devil, originally scheduled for August and then November, has been moved to 2022 because of the ongoing uncertainty.
"There's been a lot of concern," she said.
She said there were music and comedy acts scheduled for December including Daniel Champagne and Randy Feltface.
- See thestreet.org.au.
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