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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Canberra Theatre launch free streaming service

The Canberra Theatre has set up a new free streaming service to put their facilities to use, support local artists, and give Canberrans a way to engage with live performances from their loungerooms.

Live gigs, theatre and visiting galleries and museums have been rendered unfeasible during the pandemic, forcing myriad cultural institutions across the world to harness new technologies.

Canberra Theatre Centre Director Alex Budd said his staff have rallied around getting their streaming service up and running.

“It’s a wonderful way that we can edge back in to doing what we know best which is supporting performers’ performances,” he said.

Costing the ACT Government a little over $10,000, the streaming service will beam out live performances from the Canberra Theatre stage across a range of genres including children’s theatre, contemporary music, and storytelling.

“We’ve got a wonderful set up of cameras and lights here, so you’ll get a wonderful experience and you’ll also be able to interact with some of the performances, send messages back to the performers, and almost be like you’re being there,” Budd said.

“Most of the resources we had in house, so we’ve been able to pull a whole range of things together we wouldn’t normally use in this way to turn the Canberra Theatre Centre into a television studio.”

Mr Budd said he hopes live streaming performances is something the Theatre can continue with once audiences return.

“We’ve learned a lot just putting this program together, and to be able to deliver performances both live and over the internet is something that we certainly will look at in the future.”

Canberra-based musician Chris Endrey said learning how to better harness technology over the shutdown has been an exciting challenge.

“It’s obviously important because you can reach way more people doing stuff performing online than you can in person but it’s not the same.

“It’s been a crisis for so many people but I’m one of them. I make a living from performance and on the day when things started to shut down I cancelled 17 shows and released an album that I had scheduled without being able to perform it.

“When you do recording it’s very expensive and you recover that with your live shows, so only having the expensive part has been a financial disaster as well, but it’s completely turned around being able to do work here in this way,” he said.

ACT Minister for the Arts Gordon Ramsay said he hopes the streaming service will provide an important way for Canberrans to engage with the arts.

“People have been turning to the arts the all the way through this ongoing pandemic, we’ve been engaging in all sorts of ways online, it’s because the arts are so important to us,” he said.

Click here for more information on the Canberra Theatre Centre’s streaming service, CTC @ Home.

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