A group of leading U.K. theater designers have formed an online forum called #SceneChange, bringing designers together and providing resources on how to navigate the changes across the theater sector.
#SceneChange will provide a platform for all theater set and costume designers — established and emerging, associates and assistants. It also offers a place for freelance creatives from all theater disciplines to join in dialogue, share experience and tackle the challenges ahead.
The platform will host a number of events over Zoom within the theater community to discuss and share experiences on the impact of COVID-19.
Freelance creative artists make up the major part of the theater ecology — of the 290,000 jobs in the U.K. theater industry, for example, more than two-thirds are freelance or self-employed.
As visual artists, designers bring a unique skill set that can help reimagine theater spaces as the industry navigates its way back to live performance. #SceneChange aims to positively engage with buildings, directors and producers nationwide, to support and inform the process back to production.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the already precarious nature of the theater industry, with the freelance workforce being particularly badly impacted. Organizers of the platform note, however, that it is also a moment to reset the industry and examine the issues that impede freelance creatives.