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‘Fuller theater should be tested in regions where there is hardly any corona’

Theater makers and companies must be able to experiment with a fuller theater in regions where there is relatively little corona.

This in order to arrive at smart relaxation in the access policy and new ways of making money. That is what the Council for Culture says in an advice to culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven. The safety regions must also be involved in the experiments.

Rules for theater in other countries are less strict

The council points out that the rules for the size of meetings in theaters in other European countries are already less strict. “More people can watch a performance there at the same time, provided the audience, for example, wears mouth masks and makers are tested weekly,” said the council.

In the Netherlands the rehearsals are from TINA – The Tina Turner Musical started again last week for the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht. Success musical Soldier of Orange has already completed a number of performances. An instructional video about the corona measures was made for this show.

Theater now runs at a loss every day

With fuller halls the theater makers and providers can also earn more and that is desperately needed, according to the Council for Culture: “When Dutch theaters, cinemas and other cultural locations achieve 50-60 percent seating capacity, they can just cut the costs for performances. Now they are making significant losses, because the rooms can be filled up to 25 percent. ” In addition, more audience also benefits the “artistic experience” of all those involved.

The council also says that the additional government support package for the sector should not only go to subsidized institutions, but also to makers, freelancers and free producers. The organization is happy with the extra money, but draws attention to “the growing gap between subsidized and unsubsidised culture”.

“Aid should better benefit unsubsidised producers, museums and local institutions, which together make up the vast majority of the sector. Collaboration with urban cultural regions and provinces, with national culture funds and joint private funds is crucial to maintain a healthy cultural ecosystem ”, the advisory body tells the minister.

A photo of the DeLaMar Theater in Amsterdam
The DeLaMar Theater turned red at the end of August during the Night of Live event. Dozens of buildings participated in the campaign to draw attention to corona problems. Photo: / Evert Elzinga

“Particularly in regions where the COVID-19 virus does not spread widely, it is possible to experiment with smart relaxation in consultation with the safety regions. Fuller halls also provide a better artistic experience for the public and makers ”, the Culture Council wrote to Minister Van Engelshoven.

Lots of creativity over the past six months

The Council points out that in the cultural sector in particular, a lot of creativity has been developed in the past six months in order to reach the public. “But the crisis has also exposed how vulnerable the sector is. The sector is flexible, but it is not yet resilient. The search for alternative revenue models is necessary to make the cultural and creative sector more resilient and to make cultural achievements accessible to the public. ” In November, the council will present detailed proposals for the use of 5 million euros, which the minister has made available for innovation with the help of so-called Field Labs. “In these Field Labs, you can experiment with new forms and possibilities to allow the public to enjoy culture in a safe and sustainable way.”

Also read: Docu Resilience: that’s how it used to be in a crowded hospital

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“Fuller theater should be tested in regions where there is hardly any corona”


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