Theatre-Rites is part of a sector-wide initiative to set up a Freelance Task Force, as outlined in the Open Letter to Theatre and Performance Makers.
The aim of the Freelance Task Force is to strengthen the influence of the self-employed theatre and performance community. It will create ongoing points of connection between freelancers, organisations, funders, and government and amplify the voice of the self-employed in the conversations to come about how we manage the response to and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis in the performing arts sector.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with Clean Break to support two freelance practitioners, on a part time basis, to be involved in the Freelance Task Force.
We wanted to make a clear statement about why we have not done an open call for applications
As with many organisations when we first went into Lockdown we had to cancel rehearsals and a tour. We made a commitment to pay all of our freelance practitioners involved in that tour as much of their fee as we were able to. This meant that we did not have enough funds to support a freelancer for the full 13 day commitment required by the Taskforce.
However, at a late stage it transpired that a job share was an option and so we joined forces with Clean Break who were in a similar financial position to us. The timing, together with limited capacity due to furloughing, meant that we were not able to share an open call, but instead decided to identify clear gaps in terms of freelance roles within the existing Taskforce. There was a lack of representation of the Puppetry community on the Taskforce and as a company who regularly work with puppet maker and designers it felt right that we focus on this area of freelance expertise.
As a result, we have offered the job share to Puppet Designer and Maker, Naomi Oppenheim (Theatre-Rites) and Designer, Rosie Elnile (Clean Break).