Everyone loves a good show. The buzz that is going on back stage, just before the start of a production, is a mix of nerves and excitement. Now, after months of bad news and uncertainty, that adrenaline rush may be starting to show signs of life again.
While international travel is put on hold, domestic travel has been encouraged by state governments in an attempt to improve the local economy.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $250 million rescue package to support the arts industry in an attempt to help one of the hardest hit industries affected by the pandemic.
Some argue that this figure will fall short and that a more significant investment will need to be made. However it is the first step in a series of good news that the arts industry has been rallying for.
In light of the recent surge in new COVID-19 cases in Victoria, and as fears of a second wave intensifies, it is evident that the worst of this pandemic and its economic impact is far from behind us.
According to recent statistics, Australians spend twice as much on international travel compared to what they spend on domestic travel. As a result we are faced with a great opportunity to support our local economy by spending domestically and by supporting local artists in an attempt to build a bridge through these difficult times.
How can you support theatre performers during COVID-19?
Online support – social media.
If you are active online, consider posting projects by local production companies and performers. Follow the performers, share their stories. You will light up so many faces with such a small gesture.
Social media is a primary source of news in the modern world. People tend to find out about events from shares and invites through the myriad of social media platforms. Never before in history have we been more connected and we ought to use it to help others.
Buy theatre merchandise
Another way to show your support is by buying their merchandise online. Postcards, mugs, shirts, games and magnets are not only for tourists. We love to show our support to the talented people of our country and show them our appreciation for their creativity and hard work. Consider ordering some beautiful memorabilia that will bring a smile every time you look at it.
Donate to your local theatre
Small amounts of money when pilled together can achieve great goals. Showing your love for theatre performers, and their hard work in these challenging times, can be shown by making donations or by supporting new projects on platforms like Kickstarter.
Sign up for online theatre shows
Although restrictions are easing, fears of a second wave will continue to prevent the congregation of large scale productions for the foreseeable future. However, this doesn’t mean that the shows will stop. Completely the opposite – performances are now brought to the comfort of your own home. Sign up and show your support, fill up the virtual theatre space and enjoy the show.
Finally, get those tickets
It will take time for things to get back to normal and for theatres to be filled to maximum capacity. That time, hopefully, will come sooner rather than later – let’s keep the glass half full here. When the time comes, grab a couple and a few extra, to surprise your friends and family and take them out to see a local production.
However, until that time comes be aware that we are all in this together. Right now, the way we spend our money matters more than ever. Let us support those industries which have been hit the hardest yet received the least funding from our government.
Theatre performers and the arts enrich our lives with their strong passion and love for their profession. They spread diversity, culture and knowledge. Remember, by showing your support, you are investing in the future of the Australian cultural sector.