What we're doing to help out...
We heard the call and we acted on it! TRP donated personal protective equipment to help support NHS Devon and care workers in our local community
Our core staff are still working hard to keep the theatre safe and ready throughout this period but our manufacturing teams at TR2 have had to stop working on new shows.
We donated thousands of gloves, hundreds of facemasks and splash suits, protective equipment the teams would normally have used. We were delighted to be able to donate this essential kit to support our key NHS and care workers while our Theatre and workshops are closed.
Our shows can’t go on at the moment, and we were really pleased to be able to help the true stars of the moment, those NHS and care staff in Plymouth and across Devon working tirelessly to keep us all safe.
Helping Dress Medics
Members of the TRP wardrobe team past and present have come together under the coordination of Cathy Tate to form the Plymouth branch of Helping Dress Medics (HDM).
They have been making high standard hospital scrubs for the last 7 weeks. Supplying Torbay Hospital, Tavi-side Health Centre and other medical staff in Saltash and Plymouth.
Those without work rooms have set up a wardrobe space, working from their dining tables to help this worthy cause. Becky Stephens, Pippa Reece, Claire Mashford, Delia Lancaster, Julia Herdman, Dina Hall and Jane Briars make up the amazing workforce.
Across the nation many other costume makers, stitchers, supervisors and designers are working away on this project.
HDM was set up by Costume Supervisor Dulicie Scott who was working on His Dark Materials before the lockdown. To find out more about the scheme click here.
With our staff meeting cancelled at the beginning of the nationwide lockdown and our staff working from their new at home locations, TR3, we were able to donate all the handmade sandwiches that were prepared for our staff. The amazing Shekinah and The George Hostel were thrilled with the donation, both of whom provide opportunities for people in recovery or seeking recovery from homelessness, alcohol and drug issues, offending behaviours and mental ill health.
Getting to bring all the TRP family together for our Annual Staff Meeting is always a special occasion for us, and despite the sadness of not being able to come together before we entered lockdown it was a real pleasure to be able to donate those delicious sandwiches to two charities in Plymouth who are continuing to serve the community throughout these difficult times.
The Coronavirus pandemic means that we have closed our doors to the public for the first time in our 37 years.
We need your help now to keep the theatre going through this tough time when our stages are dark and our workshops empty.
We are staying connected with the wonderful artists and practitioners in Plymouth through digital meetings, mentoring and remote support. We’ve been chatting to companies about new ideas and supporting local playwrights with feedback. We continue to work with our Lab Company through an online programme of workshops and mentoring.
Whether you are new to our programme or know us well, we are here for you. To arrange a remote meeting please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Support for self-employed & freelance makers
TRP has added its name to a group of UK theatres and organisations who are joining together to create a national task force which will amplify the voice of the self-employed in conversations about our industry’s future. We recognise that many freelancers face real uncertainty about if and how they will be able to continue to work in theatre.
To help establish the task force, each organisation will support a freelancer to join the group, ensuring they are paid for their time. If you are a self-employed or freelance theatre or performance maker – whether you are an actor, playwright, director, choreographer, stage manager, designer, stage crew worker, or set builder (to name a few) – we would like to invite you to be a part of this task force.
Freelance Task Force – Recruitment Transparency Account
70% of the theatre/performance workforce is self-employed or freelance, therefore our collective goal was to get the task force up and running as quickly as possible to ensure better freelance and self-employed representation at a national level as soon as possible.
In order to operate quickly, each organisation would take an individual approach to identifying a freelancer best suited to their situation and region. Some companies have recruited via an open call, others worked with freelancers to elect a representative and some approached freelancers directly to offer the position.
We felt it essential to try to ensure we achieve as much representation across the task force as possible and did so through monitoring our collective recruitment using a shared tracker document.
It is likely that, owing to the speed of this process, there will be gaps in the representation we achieve. We aim to fill these gaps and, once the task force is up and running, we will ask for their ideas about how we can continue to improve this.
How TRP Found A Freelancer
As a significant proportion of staff are furloughed meaning very reduced capacity , TRP took the decision to approach a freelancer directly. We felt that the freelancer we approached had to:
- Be meaningfully connected to the theatre but objective enough to ensure autonomy and independence
- Have a portfolio of work which demonstrates a deep understanding of the freelance ecology in Plymouth and the far South West
- Be well connected in the region with the ability to build new relationships and represent the industry across multiple disciplines
- Be currently underrepresented based on the tracker, at the time of selecting
We acknowledge that our approach is far from perfect and want to be transparent about the successes and failures of this initiative along the way. We remain open to ideas and provocations. This is an experiment, and we are learning every day.
We want to listen and learn from you. Please share any feedback and questions you might have using social media using #FreelanceTaskForce or emailing us at email@example.com