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Theatre enthusiasts sharpen technical skills awaiting the return of live productions

Published: 15 Dec 2020

The sudden impact of COVID-19 saw local art organisations and theatre companies cancel festivals and performances. CIT students in the Certificate III in Live Production and Services (CUA30415) continued training to manage the technical aspects of live entertainment productions hoping for the quick return of the performing arts sector.

The course is delivered in conjunction with the Canberra Theatre Centre and returned to face-to-face after a period of virtual learning at the height of COVID-19 restrictions.

Local schoolteacher and CIT student, Annie Teasdale, said she felt fortunate to be working with industry professionals. "Our classroom has been the main stage of both the Canberra Theatre Centre (CTC) and the Courtyard Theatre which has been extremely exciting. We have learned a lot about working in the industry and have undertaken practical assessments on sound and lighting set ups."

While he is now happy to be back teaching face-to-face, CIT Live Production and Services Teacher and Training Co-ordinator at the CTC, Christopher Maher, said CIT and CTC had worked quickly in the last term to move classes online. "Our classes covered theoretical and practical content. We were able to access the Canberra Theatre stage and with a 3-camera set-up and mixing desk teach the technical skills."

"Once we got the formula right the students responded brilliantly to our delivery of the content in a fresh, stimulating and effective way," Chris said.

Another of Chris' students, Rhiley Winnett, said "Chris has been amazingly supportive, not just once COVID hit but also when we were just starting the course, which we all appreciate wholeheartedly."

Annie also said it has been a challenging year to study. "I feel for everyone in the Arts industry who have lost work and income due to this pandemic. We have been extremely fortunate to not only have our teacher but also other professionals from the Canberra Theatre Centre to share their expertise."