Corona Star-19 zooms this weekend

By John Lewis

The countdown is on to blast-off on board the doomed spaceship Corona Star-19 this weekend.

Filmmakers, animators and music producers have been busy putting the final touches to Shepparton Theatre Arts Group's ground-breaking digital production based on a script by local playwright John Head.

Corona Star-19 sees 10 actors playing frustrated crew members on board an intergalactic starship travelling to the remote planet Trump-One when it is intercepted by an escape pod with the last survivor of a viral outbreak on planet Clinton.

Mr Head described his creation as a whodunnit/science fiction/drama with a big dose of comedy.

Actors were filmed playing roles in front of green screens in their own homes via the Zoom platform, while music, sound effects and animation have been added later.

Mr Head said the collaborative effort had been a huge learning curve for STAG members.

“A lot people have contributed some amazing skills, and there have been hours of editing involved. We're second only to Hollywood here in Shepp,” he said.

Mr Head said the whole effort had been helped by sponsors such as Shepparton's Goulburn Murray Credit Union jumping on board for advertising slots during the digital space trip.

GMCU chief executive Melissa Ralph said the business was impressed by STAG's effort and the strength of the Shepparton community during the pandemic.

“The way in which this locally produced play has been brought together, despite the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 environment, is just another great example of how innovative and resilient our communities are,” Ms Ralph said.

“GMCU has been a long-term supporter of the Shepparton Theatre Arts Group and is pleased to play a small part in continuing to support performing arts in our region.”

Corona Star-19 premieres on Saturday from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

Mr Head stressed the Zoom program was not necessary to view the show.

For a viewing ticket go to:

Tickets can be obtained up until 10 am on Saturday. Tickets are free, with an option to donate to STAG available at the purchase site.

The play will be accessible for a month after its premiere.

For more information, go to: