On 23rd July the PMF hosted its first Town Hall Meeting, via Zoom. We were really pleased with the number of people who attended. There was a wide geographical spread, including two members from the USA, and a representation of many aspects of our industry.
Our Town Hall meetings are an opportunity for our Membership to share their thoughts & updates on their current & future work and to talk about what they want from the PMF.
We covered a wide range of topics, with the effects of Covid obviously dominating, including:
- The uncertainty is frightening and intimidating.
- There is a New Normal for most people, but not for our industry.
- AAPTLE (The Alliance of Associations and Professionals for Theatre and Live Events). This has been one of the positives from Covid. It enables us to speak with a current voice and be aware of what other associations are doing or are worried about.
- Freelancers Make Theatre Work. Another positive. The resources on their website are excellent https://freelancersmaketheatrework.com/
- Some of the effects on the industry:
- Freelance PMs with contacts for cancelled shows.
- The number of people leaving the industry, either permanently or temporarily. We need to support them.
- The situation for suppliers including transport firms, hire companies and equipment manufacturers.
- Whether pantos are going to happen and in what format.
- The situation for drama schools.
- Schools are unlikely to have the resources, nor parents the desire, for any theatre trips.
- Future shows are likely to have less, or even no technology.
- The reality of the £1.57 billion bailout.
- There may be a further slowdown when furlough ends.
- Demands to pay back some of furlough.
- But also some positives:
- Communication has greatly improved.
- A variety of work is being created.
- the consequence that everyone is having to be very creative.
- Work being done by Unicorn Theatre and Theatre Alibi https://www.unicorntheatre.com/ https://www.theatrealibi.co.uk/
- Some large-scale outdoor Christmas events are being planned and booking well.
- The ABTT Guidance notes https://www.productionmanagersforum.org/news/abtt-guidance-notes/
- SiPA (The Sustainability in Production Alliance) http://www.sipa.global/ Jennifer Taillefer and David Evans are the Advocates for “Production Management – Theatre” . The PMF is working with SiPA to develop guidance specific to our sector to share as widely as possible, if any one is interested please get in contact with either of them or simply with the PMF and we can put you in contact.
- The PMF’s meeting with BECTU, where we were able to explain that Production Managers represent BECTU in the everyday running of our theatres, but BECTU do not represent Production Managers.
The Town Hall Meeting was so successful that we have decided to hold another one – indeed they may well become a regular fixture. Please join us on Wednesday 26th August between 4pm and 6pm UK time, and afterwards for another On-line Social.