'Theatre has gone through wars and pandemics and will always survive'
Covid-19 and lockdown have taken a toll on theatre and The Fugard Theatre is one victim of the pandemic. The Market Theatre is also struggling says Refilwe Moloto.
So, how is the Baxter Theatre doing?
Fahiem Stellenboom is the Marketing Manager of the Baxter Theatre talks to Refilwe about how they dealt with lockdown and what the future holds.
He explains that The Baxter forms part of the University of Cape Town and so 30% of operational costs were covered through the difficult period.
The theatre was still responsible, however, for bringing in the additional 70% income needed.
The Baxter Coffee Angels was an initiative that helped where patrons donated R30 a month.
The loss of income for the theatre and most particularly for the artists was huge.Fahiem Stellenboom, Marketing Manager - Baxter Theatre
By October 2020 the theatre was back open with the allowed 50% audience quota which, he says, was better than being completely closed.
Thereafter we had the second wave. And we thought again, there is no way we want to become a super spreader and we decided we would rather be safe than sorry.Fahiem Stellenboom, Marketing Manager - Baxter Theatre
In 2021 though there has been some relaxing of the restriction levels, he says it is a very difficult year.
It is so sad to hear of artists who have to sell their cars and sell their belongings, to survive.Fahiem Stellenboom, Marketing Manager - Baxter Theatre
He says they have marketed the theatre as a venue for advertising production houses which has brought in additional income.
In addition, plays were also filmed for online platforms.
But though these are probably continued income streams for the future, nothing replaces the importance of theatre.
Theatre is healing. Theatre is something that you live through. There is nothing that can replace that.Fahiem Stellenboom, Marketing Manager - Baxter Theatre
Looking back through history, he says, theatre has always managed to survive.
Theatre has lived through pandemics of the past, and it certainly has managed to live through world wars.Fahiem Stellenboom, Marketing Manager - Baxter Theatre
Listen to the interview below:
Source : http://www.baxter.co.za/news/baxter-theatre-centre-closed-until-end-april-2020-due-covid-19-coronavirus