If COVID has taught us anything (and the jury is still out), it's that while we all can cope with a Zoom meeting, it's not the ideal communication tool for expressing emotion or deeper thoughts.
So imagine trying to rehearse a performance of Shakespeare's King Lear while dealing bandwidth and playback woes.
"Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout, till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!"
"King, turn your microphone on."
Ballarat's OzAct theatre company have done just that as they worked through the lockdown, now returning to live performance in Kirks Reservoir Gardens.
Artistic director and actor of OzAct Bruce Widdop says the company found Zoom to be a useful tool, and will use it again.
"Zoom was good, I mean it was quite different," he says.
"We'll probably use it to some degree in the future, because it's a good way of starting things. But when it became possible to work outdoors in November, we started rehearsing outdoors then."
Not that getting ready for physical rehearsals was without its own challenges.
"We kept busy negotiating various venues where we're performing, filing application forms under COVID, following the regulations, that sort of thing," Mr Widdop says.
"That's taken a lot of time. But we're really pleased to be able to get back to Kirk's this year and do a show and the results are good.
OzAct's new show comprises performed selections from four of Shakespeare's plays, connected by narrative explaining the scenes. Three plays are well known: King Lear, Hamlet, and The Tempest.
The fourth is Pericles, Prince of Tyre. If you haven't heard of it, well... it seems Mr Shakespeare 'borrowed' some of it from another, earlier, writer, and had help writing it from Mr George Wilkins, who was, among many other jobs he held, a pimp.
Bruce Widdop says so much of Shakespeare deals with kings and queens, princes and princesses, gods and monsters, he chose Pericles for the fact it has two scenes set with ordinary people: a group of fishermen and a scene within a brothel.
"Pericles is very unusual," he says.
"But for many people, perhaps because they weren't aware of it, it's one of their favorite plays. So that's why we've incorporated it in the shows. It's an unusual play because it probably has the most different locations in all of Shakespeare's work."
Established in 1995, OzAct performs to audiences across Victoria, and beyond, staging productions of Shakespeare in wilderness, heritage and garden settings. Kirk's Reservoir Gardens are one of OzAct's favourite locations, with sweeping lawns, majestic trees, colourful floral displays providing an imaginative backdrop to watch Shakespeare in the great outdoors.
The production is directed by Bruce Widdop and Matt Young, and the cast includes Bruce Widdop, Matt Young, Sorcha Breen, Ryan Ireland, Eleanor Ruth, and Luke Ingram. This production provides audiences the perfect opportunity to enjoy some outdoor entertainment and social delights we have all been missing for most of the year.
OzAct's A Feast Of Shakespeare opens Boxing Day December 26 and December 27, 6.30pm at Kirks Reservoir Park, Daylesford Road, Gong Gong. Bookings are essential; tickets are $40 each at www.ozact.com.