An Open Letter to Theatre and Performance Makers

Posted on: 21st May 2020

Fuel is proud to be a signatory of this open letter to theatre and performance makers, alongside many other theatre, performance companies and venues across the UK.

 

This is a letter to self-employed and freelance theatre and performance makers in the UK. To the actors, playwrights, directors, choreographers, stage managers, designers, stage crews and set-builders to name just a few. 

We really miss being with you during this period of lockdown. Making theatre and performance is a collaborative endeavour, so we are particularly affected by having to be apart from one another right now. We’re not able to come together, in the same space, to share the experience of a live performance. We’re not able to practise and enjoy our art form in its most basic form. 

It’s now looking increasingly likely that won’t be possible for months to come, and we recognise that many freelancers face real uncertainty about if and how they will be able to continue to work in theatre. 70% of people who work in theatre and performance in the UK are freelance or self-employed, and it’s for this workforce, in all its diversity and complexity, that the impact of the current situation is most acute.  

During these past weeks we have had conversations with many of you to understand your needs and the ways you have been affected.We are writing to express our support for you, and to lay out some practical steps we are taking to improve the situation based on these conversations. 

 As well as exploring ways of producing work with freelancers during lockdown, and using this time to develop new projects with freelancers for the future, we are also are working together to coordinate our response to the government, to articulate clearly what we can offer and what we need.  

Most urgently, we are calling for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to be extended in line with furloughing, for all self-employed workers, and in the specific case of theatre and performance workers, until theatres are able to safely reopen. We also want to see criteria removed from the scheme which are stopping legitimate and much-needed claims 

Some of you are already involved in these conversations. We welcome your voices and need to hear from more of you in the conversations to come. Your unique networks, skillsets, perspectives, and ideas are vital to the entire sector, and we need to work with you in our response to this crisis. 

Each of the organisations who’ve signed this letter are committed to reaching out to their family of self-employed and freelance theatre makers; listening to how this is affecting your work and lives, and to your needs and ideas for the future.  

More than that, we want to facilitate the establishment of a national task force of self-employed theatre and performance makersThe purpose of the task force is to strengthen the influence of the self-employed theatre and performance community. It would create ongoing points of connection between freelancers and organisations, and amplify the voice of the self-employed in the conversations to come. To help establish the task force, each of the organisations signing this letter will support a freelancer to join the group, ensuring they are paid for their time. 

We want to offer a message of hope and solidarity. Our well-practised ability to work together, to form connections, and build relationships will help us through this. One day, hopefully soon, we will all be able to meet together, as people have done for centuries, in a shared space, for a shared experience. In the meantime, we remain committed to working for you and with you towards a sustainable future for theatre and performance. 

 Signed, 

1927
Access All Areas
Action for Children’s Arts Charity
Activate Performing Arts
Actors Touring Company
Akademi
Akram Khan Company
Artsadmin
artsdepot
Associations of Lighting Designers
Barbican Theatre Plymouth
Battersea Arts Centre
Belarus Free Theatre
Belgrade Theatre
Birds of Paradise Theatre Company
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Blue Elephant
Boundless Theatre
Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival
Brighton Festival
Bristol Old Vic
Brixton House
Camden People’s Theatre
Candoco
Cast
Chichester Festival Theatre
China Plate
Chinese Arts Now
Citizens Theatre
Citz Glasgow
Clean Break
Clod Ensamble
Clod Ensemble
Company of Others
Complicité
Coney
Contact
Coventry City of Culture Trust
Curatin Call Online
Curious Directive
Curve
Dance Base
Dance Umbrella
Dance East
Dance West
Derby Theatre
Diverse City
Donmar Warehouse
Eden Court Highlands
EGO
Emergency Exit Arts
English Touring Opera
English Touring Theatre
Extraordinary Bodies
Farnham Maltings
Fio
Frozen Light
Frozen Light Theatre
Fuel
Gate Theatre
Graeae
Hall For Cornwall
Headlong
Hijinx
HOME
Improbable
In Good Company
Inc Arts
Jaivant Patel Dance
Jermyn Street Theatre
Jerwood Arts
Kali Theatre
Kiln Theatre
Kneehigh
Leeds Playhouse
Leicester Curve
Lift
Little Angel Theatre
Mercury Theatre
MIF
Mimbre
Miracle Theatre
Mortal Fools
National Dance Company Wales
National Theatre
National Theatre of Scotland
National Theatre Wales
National Youth Theatre
National Youth Theatre of Great Britain
New Wolsey Theatre
Northern Stage
Nottingham Playhouse
November Clu
Ockham’s Razor
Octagon Theatre Bolton
One Dance UK
Open Clasp
Oxford Playhouse
Pagrav Dance Company
Paines Plough
Pavilion Dance South West
Pentabus
Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Pleasance Theatre
Polka Theatre
Ramps on the Moon
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Regent’s Park Theatre Ltd
Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme
Rose Theatre
Rose Theatre Kingston
Roundhouse
Royal & Derngate Theates Northampton
Royal Court Theatre
Royal Exchange
Royal Opera House
Rubicon Dance
Sadler’s Wells
Sarah Peterkin
Separate Doors
Shakespeare’s Globe
Sheffield Theatres
Smart Entertainment
Soho Theatre
Spare Tyre
Spin Arts
Stellar Quines
Stephen Joseph Theatre
Strike a Light
Studio Wayne McGregor
Take Art
Taking Flight Theatre Company
Talawa Theatre Company
Tall Stories Theatre Company Ltd
Tangled Feet
Tara Arts
The Almeida Theatre
The Bush Theatre
The Citizen’s Theatre
The Cockpit
The National Theatre
The New Wolsey Theatre
The Old Vic
The Royal Court Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Company
The Unicorn Theatre
The Yard Theatre
Theatr Iolo
Theatre Bristol + Kiota
Theatre Centre
Theatre Peckham
Theatre Rites
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Theatre-Rites
Tiata Fahodzi
Turtle Key Arts
Unfolding Theatre
Unicorn Theatre
Unlimited
Wales Millennium Centre
Wassail Theatre Company
Wildworks
Wise Children
Wolsey Theatre
Yellow Earth Theatre


An open letter to theatre and performance makers in the UK. Easy Read by Access All Areas.

An open letter to theatre and performance makers in the UK LARGE PRINT
An open letter to theatre and performance makers in the UK (05.06.20)

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