Auditions squeeze in prior to lockdown

AUDITIONS SQUEEZED IN: Mount Gambier Theatre Group members Shekinah Horsburgh, Tara Gladigau and Cameron Horsburgh thank those who attended the auditions.

Charlotte Varcoe

PRODUCTION of Mount Gambier Theatre Group’s Alice in Wonderland: The Panto avoided a major disruption last week with pre-scheduled auditions falling less than 24 hours before South Australia was plunged into lockdown restrictions.

Under strict COVID-19 protocols, the Mount Gambier Theatre Group held auditions on Monday night’s up and coming production Alice in Wonderland: The Panto.

Theatre group members Tara Gladigau and Shekinah Horsburgh said the response from the Limestone Coast community was exceptional.

Residents from Millicent and Naracoorte travelled to the Blue Lake city to try their part at gaining onstage experience with more theatre hopefuls sending through video auditions later on during the week.

Ms Gladigau and Ms Horsburgh agreed the second round of auditions would be best hosted virtually with video-based auditions held for the remaining casting roles.

“We made sure everyone adhered to COVID-19 guidelines, that they signed into the QR code, wore masks and socially distanced when we decided we would go ahead with the first round of auditions,” Ms Horsburgh said.

“We ended up having to split the auditions into two rooms to stay within the guidelines so Tara took over the musical auditions and myself and my father Cameron Horsburgh took over the acting auditions.”

The two reported a wonderful mix between children and adults auditioning with many who came through the theatre doors being on stage for the first time.

“I think having some down time during the pandemic has made people more interested in getting involved with creative outlets such as theatre,” Ms Horsburgh said.

“During the pandemic I think a lot of people have also been bored at home and realised how much they miss having that social group which has led to a lot of people coming along to either the auditions or the theatre performances themselves.”

The two avid actors said many who auditioned had not been on stage since they were younger and enjoyed the process of redeveloping their performance skills.

“Everyone who joins in will be able to continue in some way shape or form,” Ms Gladigau said.

“Of course we cannot guarantee that it will be the part they want to play but we have had so many more auditions than we previously thought but it has also been a fantastic introduction for them to the theatre group.”

Ms Gladigau and Ms Horsburgh believed the lockdown would not impact the performance, scheduled for later this year.