AS we emerge out of 2020 and into a new COVID normal, the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group is finishing up rehearsals for its 2021 summer production Vivaldi, Cecilia and the Carnevale in January.

There are seven performances, on January 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 at the WTG performance space at the State Coal Mine, Garden St, Wonthaggi.

The play follows the story of Don Antonio Vivaldi, Cecilia dal Violin and their counterparts as they prepare for the performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria in the Church of the Pietà for Vespers on January 7, 1736.

The cast began rehearsing in September over Zoom and getting to know each other, their characters and the story virtually before meeting in person at the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine shed – the home, rehearsal and performance space of the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group.

‘Zooming’ in for rehearsals felt like an odd experience at first but as lines began to be learnt and they all became more and more familiar with the faces they were seeing in the squares on the screen, the cast began to gel together. They all formed relationships and from there the characters began to take shape – virtually, of course, but this year they all jumped at the chance to perform, collaborate and make art together.

It’s been all hands on deck since face-to-face rehearsals have begun with cast, crew and everyone in between rolling up the sleeves and staying 1.5 metres apart in order to construct the set, gather props and get the show up and going.
Playing Vivaldi, cast member Finnan Donohue said: “As a cast member, I’m incredibly excited at how fast this show has come together and the depth of talent that yet another Wonthaggi Theatrical Group production has been able to uncover with Sue Lindsay and her exceptional team at the helm.

“Since September Zoom rehearsals have begun, it’s seemed like no time at all has passed but we find ourselves storming ahead towards an opening night, having just completed a dress rehearsal and a three-day intensive filming period made possible by Drift Media’s Michael Green.

“In a year like no other, I have been reminded and shown the power that a community organisation has to bring people together and the power that theatre has to provide people with an opportunity to express themselves, make connections and build community. After the year that 2020 has been, this show is sure to entertain, refresh and kickstart the theatre scene in South Gippsland.”

Tickets for the WTG 2021 summer production Vivaldi, Cecilia and the Carnevale are on sale at wtg.org.au.