During the Corona crisis, live theatre in Scotland has been put on hold but the sector nevertheless continues to unite with its audiences to celebrate the value of live theatre, the world class talent in Scotland and the creativity, resilience and economic value of the industry.
Throughout lockdown, theatre has continued to work for the public, for children, for the isolated and for the elderly. Youth theatres have continued to work remotely with community groups; plays have been shared for free to benefit the public and important though this is, it is not a long term solution. Despite Scottish Government and UK Government funding pledges, the industry remains at risk with turnover predicted to be down by as much as 75% for some businesses and freelance contracts at a near standstill.
#LoveTheatreScotland is a campaign initiated by a group of theatre practitioners and organisations to celebrate the value and importance of dance as an activity, artform and source of mental and physical well- being by to showcasing and celebrating theatre in Scotland, highlighting the benefits of theatre to communities all over the country. Supported by the Federation of Scottish Theatre, the membership and development body for professional dance, opera and theatre in Scotland, it allows industry professionals and their audiences to share and celebrate theatre.
Many who work in theatre do so in a freelance capacity. From writers to technicians, set designers to stage managers, the sector thrives on their exceptional creativity but their income has been slashed or has disappeared altogether. While the detail of funding for freelancers remains unclear, and many fall between the cracks of self-employed government support, the wider industry continues to campaign on their behalf and their work will also be highlighted by #LoveTheatreScotland.
Running alongside is #LoveDanceScotland that champions and widens the opportunities for dance. This is a new campaign celebrating dance in all its forms and the unique way it touches our lives in Scotland. From world class dance artists sharing work online to toddlers learning their first steps via Zoom classes, people are finding ways to keep dancing and connected across Scotland. To spotlight this and showcase the value dance has in our lives, #LoveDanceScotland has captured the diversity and vibrancy of activity across social media.
Winifred Jamieson, freelance dance educator says, “The spirit of dance is very much alive in Scotland. As dancers we have always had the capacity to change and adapt to the challenges that are given to us, however, no one has experienced this before. Dance thrives on contact with others, be it fellow dancers, collaborators, teachers and notwithstanding, audiences…I have seen resilience, creativity and hope amidst difficulty, trepidation and unease. It is crucial that dance is supported through the coming time not only at established levels, but also the young emerging dancer, they are important, they are our future and they matter.”
#LoveTheatreScotland alongside #LoveDanceScotland are paying tribute to the performing arts in Scotland and highlighting the need for continued support to ensure that theatre and dance made in Scotland can survive and thrive in future.