Five large Frisian theaters are very concerned about the consequences of the Coronavirus crisis. To ensure that they are able to put on performances once lockdown is lifted, they are now cooperating with each other, and will ask for a subsidy of 4 million euros from the Ministry of Culture
Translated by Adriana Dancu
The five theatres (De Harmonie in Leeuwarden, De Lawei in Drachten, Posthuis Theater in Heerenveen; the Koornbeurs in Franeker, and Theater Sneek) have united to form the Fries Schouwburg Overleg (FSO). Together with the Province of Friesland and the municipalities, they seek to ensure the ongoing cultural function, and connection with the public: “We have been closed for a long time and there is very little insight into when we can open again and in what form,” explains Wiebren Buma of Theater Sneek.
“Agile and resilient”
The theaters want to ensure that they can continue to exist in unexpected situations in the future. They want to become “agile and resilient”, and have therefore requested a Boosting Fund to ensure that theaters can develop innovative concepts. In addition, according to the covenant, a ticket guarantee fund must be set up.
Act as producer
The theaters themselves want to function as producer and production house, and thus, strengthen the entire chain and the cultural climate in Friesland: “We want to continue to offer employment to all makers, technicians, set builders.”
The theatres want to do this by coming up with productions and festivals themselves, taking talent training more seriously, making more productions with regional themes and making smaller performances for a local audience. “It’s a bit of a different role for theaters,” explains Buma.
In addition, the association wants to collaborate with social institutions to use their cultural function for social tasks. This should combat loneliness and low literacy and contribute to an inclusive community: “As a theater, we are at the heart of society,” Buma explains.
According to the theaters, the existing buildings are not always suitable for this, also because of social distancing. Therefore, they want to use the buildings in other ways.
The association wants to offer rehearsal and editing places for makers and companies and space for experiments and encounters. In addition, it must be a meeting and workplace for self-employed people, educational and social services and a festival and ceremony location.
According to them, the strength of the collaboration lies in the fact that five separate cultural institutions spread across the province join forces and use all their expertise, facilities and network to strengthen the entire chain. From that perspective, people learn and experiment.
To implement the ticket guaranteed and cultural boost funds they need national and provincial money. As ‘Frysk Fieldlab’, the theaters want to set up new working methods and cooperation in the cultural sector and for Friesland. They have applied for a grant at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. FSO is requesting an annual amount of 500,000 euros until the year 2028, a total amount of 4 million euros.
The article source can be found here.