Live theatre needs life support!

Live theatre needs life support!

751 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
Petition to
Pablo Rodriguez (Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage) and

Why this petition matters

Started by Jennie Brodski

In an editorial on the fate of live theatre in 2022, the Toronto Star asked a rhetorical question whose answer is both obvious and troubling: “if a mega-hit like Come From Away, put on by a company like Mirvish, can’t make a go of it in Toronto, what’s the future for less celebrated productions?”
It was always a financial risk to produce a new play, but the COVID era has put the risks beyond what the Canadian market can bear. Without government support, the risks virtually guarantee that no live theatre will be produced. At a time when Mirvish Productions has had to close its Toronto production of the most successful Canadian musical of all time, putting on an untested commercial production is not feasible even for the financially brave. 
Canada does have many not-for-profit theatre companies that may be able to survive a bad year or two through increased fundraising, but the not-for-profit model contains barriers to entry for writers and artists who are not yet well-established. Commercial theatre, on the other hand, contains fewer barriers and is a more viable route for young artists able to cobble together a shoestring budget.
Original theatre is essential not only to the economy, but to the culture of a nation. Without our own original work, our stories will not be told or staged. And a decision not to fund Canadian theatre will reverberate when the pandemic is finally over. All theatre people love Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Tennessee Williams, but they are the usual suspects on playbills. It’s incumbent on us as a society to do what it takes to produce our own Mackenzie King Lear or A Streetcar Named St. Clair.
·      We propose the creation of a fund for each province, contributed to by the federal and provincial governments, to support commercial theatre during the ongoing pandemic.
·      We propose that if a theatrical production is unable to proceed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases or a positive case of COVID-19 in the cast or crew, producers be able to apply to the fund in their home province for reimbursement of costs to date. This will defray some risk and allow them to reopen when circumstances permit.
·      We propose that the fund be available to fill in for lost revenues if capacity limits are imposed on theatres.
·      We propose that the fund be available to first-time producers as well as veteran producers. This will allow new and established voices to dramatize their Canadian stories.
Applauding this statement:
Jennie Brodski, Precious Chong, and Collette Micks

751 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!