A response to COVID-19

Dear Blue Room supporters, artists and colleagues,

We hope everyone is doing as well as possible in this difficult time, for the arts and many other industries too. Here is an update from The Blue Room Theatre in response to the evolving Covid-19 public health emergency:

On Wednesday this week we were due to announce the first two shows of our 2020 Development Season. It pains us to announce instead that these seasons have been cancelled after consultation with the independent producers involved, Western Sky Projects and Umbrella Works INC.  

The Blue Room Theatre is so proud to have programmed these shows as part of our 2020 Season and want to acknowledge the hard work of these teams and share the details of what they have been working on so assiduously. Subject to further consultation with the teams, these works can be programmed in the 2021 season.

Coral Bay, image by Duncan Wright

Coral Bay
Umbrella Works INC

Cat ran away to Coral Bay, leaving a newborn baby in Perth. Her mum, Jenny, has flown twelve hundred kilometers to drag Cat home. Her grandmother Trish wants them both to nick off, so she can die alone. Three generations of women wrestle their obligations towards each other, expectations of motherhood, and the right to die with dignity.

The Summer of Our Lives
Western Sky Projects

Things aren’t great for Arthur and Penelope: their dad’s dead, and Mum’s new boyfriend is a drip. When an alien crashes their ‘family’ holiday, Penelope decides to take revenge on everyone who’s wronged them. Hilarious and unhinged, this coming-of-age musical schlockbuster asks what we really need to be happy.

The Summer of Our Lives, image by Duncan Wright

Our members will be aware that earlier this week we cancelled our 2020 Season Launch Party on Friday 3 April.

We are planning instead to reimagine the launch online, which will take place on Thursday 16 April. At that time we will provide a further update to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the 2020 Development Season. Notwithstanding that further disruption is probable, we want to continue to honour the work of our artists in developing and preparing their work, and give our audience an indication of what they can look forward to either if the crisis abates or at a future time. We will announce details of how you can tune-in to the launch soon.

Thank you to all supporters and members who have so far enquired about giving to independent artists at this distressing time. When we launch, we will make it clear how anyone with the means to do so can support the cancelled productions to mitigate the impact of their lost opportunity. The Board and staff of The Blue Room Theatre are committed to doing what we can to support and minimise the impact as much as possible for the independent artists within our community.

Unfortunately, we are suspending the call out for Winter Nights, our mid-year festival of experimentation and ideas, which we began to distribute at the end of last week. We will reopen the call out at the earliest possible time with a revised format which adapts to the current situation. We encourage all artists to begin to think about projects that can respond to, and be delivered responsibly within, this moment. We can’t wait to have these conversations with you.

Lastly, on our own situation and that of the venue…

We are rotating the presence and absence of core staff from the office, with three of six of the core staff in the office on any day and the others working from home. We will continue to employ our casual staff for their expected shifts as part of cancelled season shows.

We have suspended rehearsal room hire at our venue. While limitations on internal meetings are still greater than the capacities of our spaces,we recognise a social responsibility to minimise forums for transmission of a virus about which so much is still unknown. With that in mind we would encourage our amazing supporters, friends and colleagues to call rather than visit us. Where conversations are possible by phone rather than in person, it is preferable for the wellbeing our staff and each other.

So much is evolving so quickly, including creative alternatives to how we communicate and work. We are open to suggestion and conversation about all of that and are so grateful at this time to be part of a caring, constructive and creative community.

Be well.
The Blue Room Theatre team