Lismore Theatre Company was delighted to join many leading arts facilities around the nation in Light Unite Australia on April 15th. Light Unite is an Australian Lighting Industry Association initiative to raise awareness of the impacts of this global pandemic on the entertainment and arts industries. Traditionally theatres are not dark for long so having every theatre in Australia shut down is unprecedented. All theatres whether professional or community based are feeling the financial and emotional effects.
Lismore Theatre Company’s technician Luke Kane said ‘It was a great way to bring a little colour to keep our spirits up during this period as almost everybody in the entertainment industry is currently unemployed.’
LTC joined such prestigious arts organisations as the Capitol Theatre Sydney, Brisbane Pwerhouse and Melbourne Arts Centre in Light Unite.
LTC President Sharon Brodie welcomed the opportunity for LTC to light up despite not having a show on stage. ‘It is difficult for creative, community minded people to just stay home but in the end our committee was proactive in postponing our scheduled shows to protect our audiences. I believe that our community has appreciated what we have done and will be eager to support the theatre when we reopen. Meanwhile, we could light up our exterior on 15 April to remind the community and the government that we are still here,’ said Sharon Brodie.
Educating Rita was to open on March 20 for three weekends and the pantomime Puss in Thongs was scheduled for six performances in late April. The Company’s Artistic Director and Educating Rita’s Producer Kylie Fuad said ‘Although it has been a huge setback for our 50th year at the Rochdale, we will celebrate with Educating Rita as the first show of our 2020 season, whenever it starts. Our volunteers are a resilient bunch and will be back stronger than ever and we will be keen to welcome more people to be part of our theatre.’
While in this forced period of closure, the company is posting photos of past shows on its Facebook page and providing links to the many free on-line productions streaming from theatre companies around the world.
by Jenny Dowell, Publicity Officer, LTC