#TheatreCanChange – Social Media Campaign

Send us your stories

Freelancers Make Theatre Work exist to listen to and amplify the voice of freelance workers across the performing arts.  Over the past year we have been involved in a number of campaigns that look to ensure the industry we return to is an improvement on the industry we left behind.  We do not want the burden of rebuilding the industry to fall disproportionately on the freelance workforce.

In May, coinciding with the official date of theatres reopening in Scotland and England, we want to launch our next social media campaign.  This will platform the experiences of the freelance workforce as the industry opens up.

Over the past few weeks some people have returned to work, some are anticipating returning to work, some are exploring how they might be able to do so and there will be many who feel like the moment of working again is much further away.  We are aware that, during this time, some freelancers are experiencing poor working conditions and concerning employment practices.

We want to hear your experiences so that we can make public the unfair asks that are being made by employers and stand in solidarity with our freelance community. It is vital in this moment that we all realise that as freelancers we are not alone.  If we can share our experiences we can learn, grow stronger and empower each other. Our work of the last year has shown that we can work together to make the industry better, fairer and more transparent.

How does it work?


We will gather the stories of freelancers.

These will be collated by a small team and distilled into a series of anonymous statements that serve as clear reminders of the ethical expectations of the freelance workforce.

We will then share these statements, encouraging the freelance community to get involved by using social media platforms and the hashtag #TheatreCanChange as a powerful way to raise our collective voice.

As the campaign grows, people may feel bold enough to share their experiences. 

Everyone can contribute as much as feels safe to them.

A yellow cog on a yellow background
A yellow pen on a yellow background

Why should I get involved?


Over the past year, we have rarely heard an isolated incident of poor practice; the same issues are facing freelancers nationwide.  By collectively sharing the experiences of our peers we can firmly state that poor worker conditions are no longer ignored. One person challenging poor practice could feel at risk of further abuses of power, whereas the freelance community standing in solidarity is strong.  Your willingness to contribute now could save another freelancer facing the same issue in the future.

Example 1

Step 1 – A freelancer submits the following experience:

‘Over the past few months I have been involved in a number of auditions.  I was recently recalled twice and received really positive feedback from the directors.  After a year of not working I was really excited about maybe getting back to work.  I waited a week and did not hear anything from the team, I didn’t want to email in case they were busy or had other things to arrange but was desperate to hear. That evening I saw the cast announcement on Instagram.  It was really upsetting.  I might not have got the part but they could have at least told me instead of finding out online.’

Step 2 – Our team create the statement:

“Let us know if we didn’t get the job. It’s fine. We understand. But finding out on social media hurts.”

Step 3 –

This statement is shared on social media by FMTW and members of the team.
Others join in, the Tweet is seen by the industry and used to hold those choosing to do this to account.

Example 2

Step 1 – A freelancer submits the following experience:

‘I have been asked to prep for a job without being paid.  It will be at least one weeks work but I feel like I can’t say no as any work right now is better than no work.  Normally this prep would be part of the contract but I think that we are being asked to do it for free to save money. I don’t know what to do for the best?  I don’t want to normalise this but I need the money.’

Step 2 – Our team create the following tw0 statement:

Freelancers are not volunteers. It’s our job. You wouldn’t do half of your job with no pay, don’t expect us to.

Don’t let Freelancers pay for the recovery of our industry. Many of us have been without an income and we can’t afford to be paid less so you earn more.

Step 3 –

This statement is shared on social media by FMTW and members of the team.
Others join in, the Tweet is seen by the industry and used to hold those choosing to do this to account.

How do I share my story?

Fill in the Google Form

No statement will be attributable to any individual freelancer.

This is a sector wide campaign so we welcome submissions from all freelancers across the workforce.  No issue is too small, every change we name is a step towards a better future.

Email us

Record your experience as a voice note or video and send to
stating THEATRE CAN CHANGE in the subject line, where one of the team will transcribe and anonymise your statement.

If you would prefer to have a short chat with some freelancers from the team if you feel your experience is more nuanced and requires a little more thinking, you can contact us here.