The cast and crew of Bendigo Theatre Company's We Will Rock You are positive the community will support them as coronavirus restrictions continue to ease.
Indoor fixed seated entertainment venues will be able to host a maximum of 300 people a show from Friday. Director Paul Watson hopes that number will grow as BTC's premiere date of July 8 approaches.
"It is heading in the right direction," he said. "With what looks like the promise further easing of restrictions next week, we are getting back to (a good crowd size). It needs to be up more towards two-thirds (of Ulumbarra's capacity of 1000 people), that's what we hope for."
Watson hoped that as restrictions eased further the community would back local theatre companies which have continued to work hard.
"Tickets are sitting OK, it's not dire straights, but there is a long way to go," he said. "With the easement of restrictions, people will think about coming out. (But) it's impossible for some people to commit to buying a ticket. Some people don't know if they can come out of metropolitan areas, which makes it hard for Melbourne audiences to commit."
Since Victoria was sent into its fourth lockdown on May 27, BTC's rehearsal schedule has been chaotic.
Watson said the hard work of the cast and crew, who were only able to rehearse in groups of 10 for two weeks, has meant the production has stayed on schedule.
"Obviously, with lockdown, we lost a lot of time. It's been really hard, almost too hard," Watson said. "But everyone is trying to be supportive and knows the value and importance of what we are trying to do after cancelling everything last year.
"The thought of going through that again is numbing. Everyone has been good in trying to refocus on how we can create theatre without everyone in the room. We're probably sitting about where we thought we would be before lockdown and have managed to catch up on everything we lost."
This weekend will be the first time in weeks the cast will be able to rehearse as a whole, with creative studios able to host groups of 50 people.
"This Sunday, we will be all together as one," Watson said. "We have a massive 20 minute scene with everyone in it to rehearse."
We Will Rock You will be BTC's first major show since its successful production of Wicked in 2019.
"One of things I try to keep encouraging on BTC is consistency is key to success," Watson said. "If we keep providing Bendigo audiences with great material, the audience rewards you by coming because they trust consistency. That's what we're aiming for."
BTC's We Will Rock You is scheduled to be at Ulumbarra from July 8 to 11
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