Today we sent an Open Letter to Artistic Directors, Producers and Theatre Managements of 400 organisations, thanking them for their work so far and encouraging them to engage with freelancers more.

Dear Artistic Directors, Producers and Theatre Managements,

We want to thank and acknowledge the extraordinarily hard work you are doing to protect and support our industry. We appreciate the gravity of the decisions you are having to make, and stand with you in solidarity as we continue to face ongoing uncertainty about our industry’s future.

We are a group of 24 volunteer freelancers who have come together to create Freelancers Make Theatre Work; a collective voice to advocate for the UK freelance theatre workforce. We are writing to you on behalf of the thousands of freelancers who have joined the campaign over the last few weeks.

We have received an overwhelming response from freelancers expressing deep concern about their situation both now and in the future. Following news of the £1.57 billion government support package, it feels urgent for us to bring to your attention some of these concerns, particularly as decisions are being made about how this money may be spent.

From hundreds of emails and thousands of responses to the Big Freelancer Survey, it is clear that there are two immediate questions which need your attention:

  • How can communication between your organisation and the wider freelance community be developed?
  • How can freelancers be part of planning and shaping the future of our industry?

To begin to address these issues, we ask that you please:

  • Give freelancers seats at tables where plans for recovery and reset are being discussed.
  • Be a voice for freelancers when speaking to the press, the Arts Council, industry bodies and the like.
  • Communicate in a transparent and inclusive manner with the entire freelance community so that we know of, can trust, and can support the work you are doing.

We invite you to work collaboratively with Freelancers Make Theatre Work to address these issues, make change, and work towards a better future.

Additionally, today we have published the ‘Routes to Recovery’ study that was presented to the Government last week.  It was created by an unaffiliated group of analysts and theatre freelancers. It includes data gathered through our Big Freelancer Survey and puts theatre freelancers’ situation into clear focus. We encourage you to take a look here

Let’s stand together; it is the combination of your organisation and the freelance community that makes theatre work.

Thank you.

Freelancers Make Theatre Work