Theatre-lovers who have been anticipating the day that theatres reopen have had their hopes dashed, as a number of Cape Town theatres have decided to remain closed for the duration of 2020.

“The Fugard Theatre and Bioscope will remain closed until we can be confident that staff, performers and audiences will not be at risk. We do not envisage this to be until some point late next year,” said Fugard Theatre founder and benefactor Eric Abraham.

“While we would love to open our doors and welcome back audiences and artists to our spaces, a limit of 50 people, or less, does not make any financial sense for any theatre,” said Baxter Theatre spokesperson Fahiem Stellenboom.

When Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa announced the directions for the reopening of sports, arts and culture premises, only 35 applications were received from four provinces.

During a briefing hosted on Monday, August 3 the Minister provided the public with an update on the relief being provided to the sector, as well as the resumption of sports.

As reported by IOL, the Department’s Director-General Vusumuzi Mkhize said that government would respond with a three-pillar approach, and this would include economic recovery. There are ongoing engagements with theatres currently to discuss the employment of stimulus packages. A total of R61-million has been paid out to beneficiaries, and there are 117 applications still being finalised by government.

The second phase will include the allocation of R77-million for relief purposes.  A total of R11-million of this will be used as contributions towards partnerships between the Department and small business development.

Mthethwa said his department has received 5322 applications for sport and digital, as well as arts, culture and heritage.

Picture: Baxter Theatre

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