Students Saving Our Theatres Interview: “we could do something about it if they weren’t going to”

Warwick University Drama Society members have set up a new initiative to raise funds for theatres struggling amid the pandemic. I spoke to one of the initiative’s founders, Lucy Chamberlain, to find out about their campaign.

 

What is Students Saving Our Theatres?

“Students Saving Our Theatres is a national fundraising campaign raising money for theatres facing administration as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. After starting at Warwick, it has become a collaboration of 20 universities across the country who want to save the theatre industry. Our fundraising takes in the form of 5 weeks of fun challenges which began on the 15th June! Challenges include making the most viral Tik tok, helping out in your local community and running 5k a day!

The challenges culminate in a theatrical scratch night to both help reach our total goal of £10,000 and to celebrate the work of students across the UK. It is a chance to showcase student talent in writing, performing, dancing and the like! We’re really excited to have an online platform to showcase our work as we can’t do it in person at the moment.”

 

It is a chance to showcase student talent in writing, performing, dancing and the like!  

 

Why was it set up? And how?

“It was set up by Sophie Ling, Joshua Baumring Gledhill and Lucy Chamberlain as part of the WUDS Exec [Warwick University Drama Society] in order to try to support theatres in these testing times. We noticed the government were failing to provide any funding towards the arts, which is critical to its survival as an industry. People can’t currently go to the theatre, people can’t pay money for tickets, no one is funding them, theatres have lost most of their income during the pandemic. We refuse to see theatres shut down indefinitely because of a lack of government funding, and wanted as students to show we could do something about it if they weren’t going to.

 We contacted universities across the country asking if they’d like to get involved! Thankfully we had an overwhelmingly positive response! Each university is participating in the challenges and scratch night and has chosen a theatre local to them, to send their share of the money raised to.”

 

We refuse to see theatres shut down indefinitely because of a lack of government funding.

 

How can we get involved? 

“Everyone can get involved! Simply give our social media pages a follow @studentssavingourtheatres on Facebook and Instagram, and @saveourtheatres on Twitter! We will be posting the challenge for that week and encouraging people to get involved using the hashtag #studentssavingourtheatres! We also have a petition link on our Facebook page lobbying the government to fund the arts, and a crowdfunder link if you are able to donate! We would really appreciate it! So far we’ve raised over £2000 in just over a week.”

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