COVID-19 Update

Notable Theatre

Please stay safe and observe the current health orders in your state. Here is the latest details on the roadmap provided by Create NSW as it applies to performing arts in NSW. ACT warns all members to exercise caution about commencing rehearsals. All members of your cast will need to be vaccinated, as per guidelines for other indoor spaces, until December 1 in NSW. We are also waiting for published protocols on group singing prior to Dec 1.

Stage 1 – 70% double dose

As previously circulated, initial freedoms will come into place for fully vaccinated adults on the first Monday after NSW reaches 70% double dose vaccination (expected to be October 11 – TBC).

These include:

  • Indoor entertainment facilities, including theatres, cinemas and music halls, can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity (venue must decide which number they use).
  • Create NSW has not received any advice as to whether ‘the greater of’ will be added to this clause at the 70% mark.
  • Up to 500 people attend ticketed and seated outdoor events
  • Masks remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, public transport, retail and business premises (ages 12 and up)
  • Non-vaccinated young people under 16 will be able to access all outdoor settings, but will only be able to visit indoor venues with members of their household. Create NSW has requested further clarification around this clause, particularly in relation to participation in cultural and extra-curricular activities.

Stage 2 – 80% double dose

On the Monday after NSW reaches 80% double dose vaccination (expected to be late October – TBC), additional freedoms will be introduced for fully vaccinated adults (16+).

These include:

  • Up to 200 people at COVID Safe events
  • Up to 500 people at controlled, ticketed and seated events
  • Entertainment facilities (including cinemas, theatres, music halls) can operate at one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity, whichever is larger
  • Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor premises and settings (except children under 12)
  • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask while outdoors

Stage 3 – 1 December 2021

On Wednesday, 1 December 2021, settings will apply to all NSW citizens, regardless of their vaccination status.

These include:

  • One person per 2sqm for indoor and outdoor settings
  • No limit on number of people at informal outdoor gatherings
  • COVID Safe plan required for outdoor events of more than 1,000 people
  • Hospitality can operate at one person per 2sqm, no seating required for eating and drinking
  • Indoor recreation facilities, including indoor pools, can operate with one person per 2sqm uncapped
  • Entertainment facilities, including cinemas, theatres and music halls) can operate with one person per 2sqm
  • Working from home at employer’s discretion
  • Masks not required outdoors
  • Masks mandatory on public transport, on planes and at airports, and for front-of-house hospitality staff


The sudden lockdown has sadly led to many theatre companies having to postpone or cancel their productions in NSW.

Hardest hit are companies on stage or in the process of bumping into theatres.

The Notable Theatre Company was about to bump in for Miss Saigon and has postponed its season.

The Cumberland Gang Show is half-way through its bump in at the Riverside Theatre.

Hunters Hill Theatre has cancelled the rest of its season of 84 Charing Cross Road.

The Castle Hill Players has lost performances of The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Sydney Youth Theatre is unable to stage its July season of The Addams Family as planned.

ACT had just published our second half of the year What's On.  To order extra hard copies of What's On, to receive a PDF of the What's On, or a PDF of the What's On Update Form, email your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The latest rules for COVID-in NSW can be found here:

COVID-19 and Insurance Update

Sadly the recent outbreak on the northern beaches of Sydney has seen the re-opening of theatres in New South Wales restricted.

Read our latest newsletter here for the latest.

ACT and Marsh Insurance's community theatre public liability and volunteer accident cover is available for 2021.

Find out more here.

Wishing all our members and supports a happy and safe holiday.

About Us


The Association of Community Theatre Inc was formed in the early 1990's after a visit to Sydney from members of the Executive of the Federation of New Zealand Operatic Societies - now called Musical Theatre New Zealand.

A steering committee was formed and in the mid 90's a band of about 20 theatre groups almost all in Sydney became founding members of the organisation.

At first ACT struggled to get groups interested and attendance was poor at seminars. Then in 1996 ACT began a period of rapid expansion.

In 1996 the first launch of SHOWLINE took place in Sydney. ACT released a brochure which listed the performances of 40 theatres in Sydney - all linked to a central telephone number with booking details - Showline 1902 260 xxx (55c per minute). A function with speakers including representatives of State Government was held and the combined initiative lifted membership to about 50 theatres over the next few years.

Telstra discontinued the 1902 phone service we used for Showline so ACT changed the Showline name to "What's On" and has produced a booklet of shows in Australia every year since 2001 and also created a list on the ACT website.  The 2007 brochure contained 74 productions on 6 pages. The 2020 booklet contained 240 productions on 32 pages

In 1998 ACT was successful in gaining a grant from the Australia Council to host the first ever State Conference of Amateur Theatre. It was a great success and more than 100 delegates came from all over Australia to attend seminars at the National Institute for Dramatic Arts.  The Stagecraft Conference has, since 1998, been held at NIDA every second year.

 (Pictures - above launch of Showline in 1997. Below the 2020 Zoom AGM.)


Additional information