If you go to the theatre for the next two weeks, you'll get a little extra bang for your buck: from Friday June 17 – National Action Day for the Arts – until the July 2 election, theatre companies in Sydney will be closing performances with a statement about the impact of recent funding cuts.
A statement by Theatre Network NSW reads: "During curtain calls for performances across NSW, an actor will step forward and briefly address the audience about the impact of funding cuts, asking audience members to show politicians what the arts means to them – no matter what party they support."
Actress Robyn Nevin AM, who is currently giving "a towering performance of intelligent grief" in Sydney Theatre Company's All My Sons, said: “I am happy to have the opportunity to speak directly to our audiences, to encourage them to express their understanding of the value of the Arts to our politicians as we approach the election. I stand with the arts and I am confident our audiences will stand with us.”
Local theatre companies taking part in the action include:
- Sydney Theatre Company
- Bell Shakespeare
- Griffin Theatre Company
- Old Fitz Theatre
- Urban Theatre Projects
The companies have also joined together to print 85,000 cards addressed to local MPs, for audience members to sign and address. These cards will be sent by the theatre companies to the relevant local MPs.
Read more about the Raising the Curtain campaign here.
Why not take an unsuspecting but impressionable voter-to-be to one of these shows over the next week:
At Sydney Theatre Company: All My Sons and The Tragedy of Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark
At Belvoir: Back at the Dojo
At Griffin/Bell Shakespeare: The Literati
At the Old Fitz: Inner Voices
At Ensemble: Tribes
If you enjoy theatre – or in fact any artform – make sure you let Federal Arts Minister Mitch Fifield know: sign the Art Changes Lives petition.
Find out how you can do more to support the arts and campaign for better arts policy, as part of the National Day of Action for the Arts.