THE Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre has put out a call to Limestone Coast performers to help fill the void left by a reduced touring schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theatre swung open its doors to the public last weekend with around 30 patrons attending Saturday evening’s screening of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto on the Lake.
Shifting its focus to developing regional feature performances, theatre manager Frank Morello said it was a critical time for the community to support the performing arts sector.
He said it had been wonderful to see patrons return to the facility and encouraged a range of artists to put forward an expression of interest in using the venue.
“When the virus hit South Australia the performing arts industry fell silent and it has been a long time which is heartbreaking,” Mr Morello said.
“It is such an important part of our lives because it adds enrichment and touches our lives in such a special manner.”
Mr Morello said a fantastic opportunity now presented itself for regional artists to reach a broader audience, with streaming options also available.
“It is nice to be able to do something here at the theatre again and bring some enrichment back to the community,” Mr Morello said.
“We want to celebrate our local performing artists by giving them an opportunity to perform their work on stage as part of our live and local program.
“It really allows us to celebrate our local artists because they are the first ones to come together to raise money or shine a light on issues or causes and we want to show that support back to them and show that we care for them.”
Mr Morello said the theatre would use a small budget allocated to the project but encouraged any artists to register their interest.
“We want locals to give it a go because COVID-19 put a stop to travelling performers so we have shifted our focus to locals who may not typically have this opportunity,” he said.
“By having local artists performing on stage at the theatre it allows us to sharpen our focus on our local artists.
“It would be great if we could continue this project after the virus has settled down.
“For now we are just running with it and seeing where it takes us but there is no reason why we could not work closer with local artists in the future.”
Artists interested in registering to perform can do so via the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre website.