Thursday, 18 June 2020

Glen Street Theatre is one of many NSW theatres to have welcomed the easing of restrictions allowing for indoor entertainment venues to open with the 'one person per 4 square metres' rule from the 1st of July. Given the restricted capacity for audiences, the consensus among theatres is to remain closed for performances until the social distancing rules are completely rolled back.

Theatre is a bums on seats business model. The costs to rehearse a show, build sets, make costumes, advertise the event and pay cast, crew, and venue staff remain the same regardless of the number of people in the audience. Like most venues, Glen Street requires selling as close to a full house to remain viable. Observing the ‘one person per 4 square metres’ rule allows for only 48 people to be in an auditorium which normally accommodates 400. At a 12% venue capacity, the dollars just don’t add up!

At this stage, it is simply not financially viable for arts companies and theatres to present the works we are used to seeing on the Glen Street Theatre stage. Most tours in the 2020 season have already been rescheduled to next year. This industry-wide trend is expected to continue until there is a firm date to reopen without social distancing measures.

We have been incredibly fortunate to have received strong community support since the venue has been temporarily closed. Many patrons have moved their tickets to the rescheduled 2021 dates. This is a testament to our community's commitment to the theatre and is encouraging for the future of the venue, artists and the performing arts companies.

Knowing our community has such a strong desire to return is lighting the way through this dark time.

While the doors may be still be closed, the team have been busy working with colleagues at Northern Beaches Council to deliver high-quality web streamed events. They are also working through safety, operational and programming considerations to ensure the safe presentation of quality live performance when we are able to welcome back a full audience. 

We all hope the day where we can all sit safely side by side and enjoy the magic of live theatre is not far away. 

For the latest updates on shows and performances please visit the COVID-19 updates on our website.

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