Waitress composer Sara Bareilles has branded cuts to the arts in schools in the UK and America “horrifying” – arguing that access to creative subjects is a “fundamental right”.
Bareilles was speaking at the London launch of Waitress, which opens at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End in February 2019.
She told The Stage: “I can’t think of anything that has more potential to heal our world than the arts. I was so privileged to have had access to it from a young age, through school and community programmes.
“I think [the cuts are] horrifying. I do work fundraising and talking to congress people about arts education, it’s something I’m very passionate about.”
Asked if governments had a responsibility to reverse the cuts, she added: “Absolutely, because to me it feels like a fundamental right that we should at least have access to it.”
Bareilles, who recently appeared in a live television broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar in the US, added that live broadcasts of musicals could help bring theatre into the homes of people who would otherwise not have access to it.
“The most beautiful thing about [a television broadcast] is that it brings theatre into the homes of people who can’t always either afford to or aren’t near a place where they are going to get access to theatre,” she said.
She added: “Those performances are so human and so visceral, and I think it’s really meaningful to be a child watching television who has never been to the theatre to be exposed to that. That is really valuable.”