Backstage secrets unmasked

The Q's program manager Stephen Pike leads a backstage tour of The Q on Monday.

The Q's program manager Stephen Pike leads a backstage tour of The Q on Monday.

THE Q opened its backstage doors to the public on Monday morning for an inside scoop into the running of the iconic theatre as part of this week's Local Government Week celebrations.

Around 20 locals attended the free event that was hosted by the centre's program manager Stephen Pike. Mr Pike talked about the process behind choosing the shows that play on stage at The Q, and then took the group for a backstage tour.

Plays such as 'The Burning', which is currently showing, are tactfully chosen through a difficult and lengthy process at least 12 months before the production hits the stage.

"We get presented with about 150 shows that are going to be potentially available to tour over usually a two-year period, so it would be 2015/16," Mr Pike said.

"That information is accessible to all venues who are participating, so we go in and we vote for things that we think we might like to have in our venue ... then they will cut that number down from 150 to about 35 to 40 shows.

"Then we have an opportunity to go and see small presentations from what they call pictures from those shows. That final 40 get about 15 minutes to pitch their show to you ... then we come home from that and we vote again on the 40 that we've just seen and they cut that 40 down to about 25.

"In a small nutshell, that's how it happens," he said.

But it's not just international companies or entrepreneurs who approach The Q with a show; Mr Pike said the local council and the Queanbeyan community also contribute to the year's productions.

"We've produced two shows that Council actually produces: one play and one musical. We also haven't forgotten the local people in the community. We try to buy a show from one of the small local theatre companies that are producing reasonably quality work."

Canberra playwright Duncan Ley's courtroom thriller, "The Burning", will be playing at The Q until 10 August. For booking enquiries call (02) 6285 6290 or visit theq.net.au.

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