Theatre companies are announcing initiatives to support artists as they begin to fight back against the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the industry.
Initiatives which have been announced so far include commissions for artists who are self-isolating from new writing company Papatango and an emergency fund for freelances from the Turbine Theatre’s artistic director Paul Taylor-Mills.
Papatango has announced a new Isolated But Open Commissions scheme which invites writers to pen monologues of up to five minutes on any topic.
The organisation will then pick 10 monologues and pay each writer £100, while casting 10 actors to self-film the monologues, who will also be paid £100 each.
Writers can submit their monologues online until March 31.
Papatango has set up a free library of plays, sending out three free plays to the first 10 people to tweet the company.
Once the plays have been read, people are encouraged to use the hashtag #PTLibrary to send the plays on to others.
Papatango’s executive director Chris Foxon and artistic director George Turvey said: “We know how hard it is to be creative when things are so uncertain and so stressful.
“These informal, open commissions, alongside the Mobile Library scheme, are intended to inspire people to tell their stories and enable everyone to enjoy fresh new writing, even if getting to a theatre is no longer possible. We can’t wait to read, cast and watch them.”
Taylor-Mills has set up a crowdfunding campaign that aims to arrange at least £10,000 to support actors, creatives and ushers who are struggling due to loss of income.
Board members at the Turbine Theatre will decide who will receive the donations and will draw from the fund every 10 days.
Theatre company Middle Child has also set up a fund to help artists in Hull who are experiencing a loss of income, while playwright Luke Barnes has launched a campaign to support artists in Liverpool.