Funding lifeline for performing sector as musicals switch on
Pictured: Jagged Little Pill on Broadway
While the lights are switching on for musicals in Sydney and Melbourne, Victoria’s Government on the weekend announced it has changed the rules so major performing arts productions can start rehearsals and building sets.
Previously, they faced not being able to reopen when restrictions lifted as per the state’s roadmap.
Creative industries minister, Danny Pearson, noted how hard the sector had been hit.
“Our creatives have shown incredible resilience in the face of adversity, still keeping Victorians inspired and entertained, despite the challenges of venue closures, cancellations and lost work,” Pearson said.
The move essentially means that the Government has reclassified performers as essential workers.
This was something that the contemporary music industry had futilely suggested earlier that the Federal and State governments adopt for bands and road crews so they could go back on tour in strictly controlled bubbles.
This month sees musicals return to action after being closed since July. Many will operate with their cast, crew and audiences fully vaccinated.
Hamilton was losing $2 million a week while it was dark. Earlier it had sold-out the 2,000-seat Lyric Theatre with eight performances a week.
It stages in Sydney until the end of February before moving to Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Come From Away is back at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre from October 20.
After numerous delays, Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill makes its debut outside North America at Sydney’s Theatre Royal in December.
Natalie Bassingthwaite landed the lead role.
Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 which was to premiere in April 2020 will be at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in February. It received $200 million from the federal government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.
Girl From The North Country, a collection of Bob Dylan songs set in a struggling boarding house during America’s Depression-era premieres at the Theatre Royal from January 6 as part of the 2022 Sydney Festival.
Head Over Heels, based around The Go-Gos’ music premieres at Hayes Theatre in February.
Also on the weekend, the Victorian Government threw in an extra $15 million lifeline for arts workers and performers.
The fresh funding is divided into $5 million through the Sustaining Creative Workers initiative and $10 million for the Creative Enterprises and Creative Ventures programs.
Sustaining Creative Workers offers one-off grants of $5,000 to sole traders and freelancers, and up to $10,000 for collectives, micro-organisations and businesses.
Last year, it delivered 771 grants totalling $4.7 million to enable creatives from contemporary musicians and performing artists, to filmmakers and fashion designers to continue to work during the extended lockdown.
The $10 million component will include key festivals, performing arts companies and others, to continue to operate and employ workers and plan a pathway to recovery as restrictions ease and commercial operating conditions resume.
“This funding package will provide vital assistance to creatives as they prepare to return to work through the roadmap to reopening,” minister Pearson said.