These are unprecedented times both for society and our industry. In March theatres across the nation went dark and many will be scrambling to make ends meet over the coming months, which in turn will have a drastic impact on artists, freelancers, makers, technicians, and anyone working behind-the-scenes on stages across the nation. Here is a selection of ways to help.
1.Donate to charities supporting Theatres, and people who work in the industry at this time
There are amazing charities that have already mobilised to help those, especially freelancers, who don't have any money to support themselves as opportunities and productions shut down across the UK.
Check out the amazing work they do:
2. Become a member at your local theatre
A small way to support theatres financially (and to give yourselves perks and access to tickets for post-lockdown shows ahead of time) is to buy into membership, friend and loyalty schemes available at your local theatres . A win-win, if you have the means to help out in a financial way.
3. Donate over refund
A lot of venues are asking, if they have the means, for patrons to not refund their ticket cost of cancelled shows and instead see their ticket cost as a donation to help the theatre continue to function. Considering almost every venue relies on ticket income to survive, the goodwill of audiences is vital to keeping institutions afloat during these trying times.
4. Buy play scripts
Even if you don't have a chance to watch a full production, you can still have play scripts delivered to you – which will allow you to support writers and companies across the UK, as well as our incredible assortment of script publishers. This doesn't just apply to scripts of course, you can also pick up instructional guides, theatre how-tos and general arts-related books.
5. Write to your MP
The government's actions will be vital in safeguarding or even allowing the future of theatre. MPs need to know about the valuable concerns of employees and the community. Theatres need financial investment and it's a point that will have to keep being made.
6. Buy Theatre merchandise
There are a ton of venue-owned online stores available (The Globe, the RSC and the National all have them, as well as independent shops) so you can always find stage-y gifts to purchase. Also a great way to give someone a pick-me-up during these trying times.
7. Watch shows and performances online and donate where possible
In this digital age, a show can still go on even if there's no one in the room. Many producers have been cooking up ways to create content to keep performers in work and putting shows in front of theatre-lovers. Stay tuned for more info about what you can see online and where. There are also always cast recordings!
8. Use the power of Social Media for good
Social media is a vital way of showing your support for the industry and can be used as a positive tool in these un-easy times, There are great Facebook Groups that provide hourly updates on situations and advice. It's more important than ever to make sure people aren't feeling mentally isolated and worried – reach out to your fellow makers and make sure they're okay.
9. Subscribe, sign-up and keep an eye-out
At the moment, we don't know when things are going to go back to normal. But if you follow your favourite venues on social media, sign-up for newsletters or bookmark pages, you can be there to cheer on the industry in what might be its darkest hour. Remember to sign up to our Newsletter too!
10. Look ahead
It may all look uncertain at the moment, but it is only through resilience that the industry will keep itself going. It's never too early to think about finding the light at the end of the tunnel – if you're an audience member then start drawing up a wish list of shows you might want to book for as you can be sure that theatres will be re-opening with a bang eventually. Found events happening later in the year as well as in 2021 and 2022!