As you are no doubt aware the performing arts sector has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, and Critical Stages Touring has had to make sudden and necessary changes. Our touring plans for the year virtually disappeared overnight with theatres closed and all travel around the country suspended. This has obviously impacted our artists hardest, both creatively and financially. But it has also impacted our audiences, who have missed out on the opportunity to see and experience some wonderful live performance.

In times of crisis, we know that social contact and community connection, like gathering together for a shared experience, is one of the most important things to do for our health and wellbeing. It is also one of the best ways that we make sense of what we are experiencing. This is where live performance is always a great healer at this time, and it makes it particularly hard for us to know that this is not an option at this time.

We have had to cancel or defer performances over the coming few months, including A Migrant’s Son in Orange, The Listies in Wollongong, I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You in Canberra, as well as cutting short our tour of American Song by two weeks. However, we are also so very pleased that this tour still reached and moved audiences in Hobart, Traralgon, Warragul, Shepparton, Queanbeyan, Warrnambool, Moonee Ponds and Dandenong. It was so heartening to see the accolades for Joe Petruzzi’s extraordinary performance and Joanna Murray-Smith’s brilliantly insightful script.

But the performing arts sector is resilient. We will be back and bringing outstanding performances to audiences around Australia just as soon as it is safe to do so. And while the theatres have been closed our team at Critical Stages haven’t missed a beat.

We have been working hard to reschedule as many performances as we can. We still hope to tour outstanding productions in the final quarter of 2020 with other events likely to move to 2021. Audiences will still get to experience shows from our most treasured artists, including Lamb, A Migrant’s Son, Rovers, Fort and I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You as well as hilarious family entertainment from The Listies.

We are continuing to support our artists around the country as much as we can, especially in shifting our focus to the digital realm through live streaming and online screening of performances. You may have seen our first post through our social channels last Friday, collecting the most exciting live streaming opportunities, which you can see here. We will continue this every week, as we pivot to the new normal – connecting artists and audiences virtually.

We will stay in touch via our newsletters, blog and social media to let you know as we have further updates on our touring plans. But in the meantime, on behalf of all the team at Critical Stages Touring, thank you for your ongoing support of our work. I sincerely hope to see you again in a theatre very soon.

With very best wishes, stay safe and stay well,

Chris Bendall
CEO | Critical Stages Touring

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