If you have bought tickets for a live performance or a screening which has been cancelled/postponed due to the Coronavirus, (Covid-19) pandemic, “consider donating your ticket, rather than asking for a refund.” See the graphic, designed by Cape Town theatre company Sugar-daddy Theatre Collective and please share.

Most practitioners in the creative industry work on a freelance basis and your donation could make a huge difference, right now, during this global crisis.

Yes, according to the CPA (Consumer Protection Act), you are entitled to a refund. However, this is call for a holistic approach. It is about being kind, generous and supportive.

Sugar-daddy: That is what arts freelancers need

Sugar-daddy collective’s founders Marlisa Doubell, Marlisa Doubell, Lizanne Peters and Gavin Werner are mindful of drawing attention to the predicament of freelance artists. With theatres and cinemas closed, that is the end of their income stream. It is devastating for most freelancers: Inadequate insurance (and maybe none at all), no medical etc. Yes, some creatives may be receiving royalties for adverts and other work. Some may have recently had a windfall with a big pay-out from shooting a film. For the majority, the situation is bleak: Cancelled. Postponed. Cancelled.

Not only are we facing a war in terms of staying healthy and not succumbing to a highly contagious virus but there is the bottom line – paying rent, mortgage, food, utilities, school fees – in no particular order – all are important.

A can-do entrepreneurial spirit is the ethos underpinning Sugar-daddy.  Over the years, the collective has secured funding from sponsors in order to stage plays and make sure that actors and creatives are paid a fair wage for their work. In the age of Covid-19, artists are in dire need of assistance – to keep going. 

If you are part of a corporate or you are sitting with a wad of spare cash, that you don’t need, consider contacting Sugar-daddy to see if a plan can be made to create work for theatre makers – which will enable them to get through this pandemic. How about making the training video for your company that you always planned to do but never got round to getting off the ground? Now is the time. Companies like Sugar-daddy can make that happen.

Stay “positive” and “upbeat” –sure –but bills to be paid

Yes, stay “positive” and “upbeat” and “hopeful”. That is great but there are bills to pay. All the positive vibes will not pay the rent, food, medical costs. As above – if you are in a position to assist Sugar-daddy or any other theatre/performance entity, please speak up.

To contact Sugar-daddy, e-mail Lizanne Peters on sugardaddytheatreco@gmail.com

Please note that Sugar-daddy is not in a position to administer a refund platform. At the moment, each theatre or performance entity is administering its own refund/donate process.

❌ Theatres, cinemas, performance spaces – shut or shutting down globally.

In South Africa, following the President of South Africa’s national address, March 15, 2020, for public safety, venues seating more than 100 people have been required to close. Theatres and cinemas have shut down and some venues with less than 100 seats have elected to shut down because of safety concerns. Broadway has gone dark. London is shutting down. Safety first. Health first. Yes. But people need to eat. There are utilities to sort out. The list is endless.

Say ‘no’ to a refund – donate to the arts

In South Africa, a number of theatres have already put no refund option in place. A shout-out to The Baxter, The Fugard Theatre and The Courtyard Playhouse for taking immediate action.

Do you know about theatres/venues doing the same- globally? Let us know and we will do our best to publish details of how to donate – instead of going the refund route.

Practical ideas/models to help creatives?

Ideas/models to help creatives through the pandemic?

Message us at TheCapeRobyn. We would love to hear from you. 

For instance, Cape Town based poet and theatre maker, Siphokazi Jonas has conceptualised the Hope in the Time of Corona project. She is inviting people to submit poems for a digital anthology. The curatorial prompt: “Let’s combat fear with peace.” Read the article on TheCapeRobyn – for details how to submit. At the moment, it is a digital project (PDF format) and contributors will not be paid. However, who knows what the future holds. The anthology may be published on digital and hard copy platforms and may generate hard cash. https://thecaperobyn.co.za/hope-in-the-time-of-corona-digital-anthology-of-poems/

Wherever you are in the world, please let us know about platforms which will potentially generate income for creatives.

I love the tag line of CNN International Anchor, Richard Quest: “Wherever you are, I hope it is profitable.” Let us try and make it profitable for creatives working in live performance, film, publishing and other arts sectors.

Image credit: Graphic supplied by Sugar-daddy Theatre Collective