SHIne On -
Support Your local Theatre
In keeping with an old theatre tradition Putney Arts Theatre has hung a ghost light in our main auditorium as a symbol of hope for when our doors open once more.
Inspired by this image we have renamed our theatre’s fundraiser ‘Shine on - Support your local theatre’ and will keep this spirit of optimism with us throughout the challenging months ahead.
When we closed our classes, shows and other income-generating activities we knew we would be faced with an uncertain future. It is now becoming more apparent that we will not be able to ‘go back to normal’ as soon as we hoped or would like. As a result we now estimate that our funding gap may be £69k. We have been fortunate to receive a government grant of £25k and are taking part in the government-sponsored furlough scheme for staff. We are also actively seeking other ways of meeting this new target.
We have received many generous donations and want to thank you all for these and your continuing support. We are increasing our donation goal to £20k and hope this will help us to bridge the funding gap. If you are able to support us through a one-off donation or regular monthly giving this will help us to ‘Shine On’ until we are back. Thank you again for your support.
Help Putney Arts Theatre
We hope you have been able to enjoy some of the online activities that have kept a virtual light on for Putney Arts Theatre during lockdown. Since our last update, theatre staff and trustees have continued to monitor the impact and review the emerging government guidance to enable PAT to operate safely and provide protection against Covid-19 going forward.
The government has now announced that theatres and other venues can host socially distanced performances from 1 August, but the reality is that, like many venues, we will not be able to return to normal operations overnight. However, we hope to gradually increase our in-person activities over the next few months, while maintaining the online events that have done so much to maintain our sense of community, not least for those from vulnerable groups who may still be concerned about returning to “normality”.
Group 64 will host two on site Summer Projects for young people in August as the first test of how to return to using the theatre. These three-day workshops for small groups of young people working in “bubbles” will be operated according to a detailed Health and Safety Plan and Risk Assessment, following the relevant Covid Secure Guidance for Workplaces and Out of School Settings. These workshops will help us better understand how we can operate over the autumn, both in terms of future Group 64 classes and PTC productions and other activities.
We are revising our cleaning regime and putting in place the necessary safety and protective measures in line with government guidance. These will be in place by the time people return to the theatre. As part of this we are reviewing some of our usual ways of working including how many people can safely be in the building at any one time to maintain social distancing. We remain hopeful that classes, shows and social activities will return in the autumn, albeit with reduced numbers. We will keep you up to date with all changes as they are introduced.
We’ve continued to closely monitor the financial situation and the potential deficit for the year, which remains challenging. Until we confirm plans around PTC productions and G64 autumn classes, our income, generated from activities, remain limited, so we are enormously grateful for the donations we’ve continued to receive for our Shine On campaign, which has now raised £15k including regular donations. We’ve received several small charitable grants to support G64 activities and met our income targets for the virtual G64 classes for the summer term. Our first online PTC performance ‘Truth and Dare’ raised nearly £600. We’ve also continued to be supported by the government furlough scheme.
We’re conscious that, alongside the global pandemic, we’ve also been confronted with the ugly reality of racism with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the extraordinary international response through the Black Lives Matter movement. Many organisations have started a conversation about their role and responsibilities to combat racism and engage with issues impacting black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and PAT is no different. Artistic Directors Zoëand Jeff have written a Commitment to Change statement which will be posted on our website together with a PAT Code of Conduct for all users of the theatre. Trustee Zoe Copley will be convening a working group to review how PAT as a whole engages with issues of equality, diversity and inclusion and what action we should be taking to ensure that our theatre is a place that is genuinely open and welcoming to all.
In the meantime, we hope that you continue to keep well and healthy.
You can read a statement from Group 64 about their current situation here.
You can read a statement from Putney Theatre Company about their current situation here.
What We Do
Putney Arts Theatre is home to two theatre groups, as well as having exhibitions, events and outside performance groups in regularly from the local community.
PUTNEY THEATRE COMPANY
One of the leading adult amateur theatre companies in the UK.
We produce theatre that challenges our audiences, but also entertains them. We provide a friendly atmosphere, a rehearsal process that helps actors develop, get to know new friends and become a part of our local community.
GROUP 64 Theatre FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
We are a Young People's Theatre Company based in the heart of Putney.
We run weekly drama classes for ages 4-19, holiday projects, and opportunities to be involved in performance, directing and technical theatre. We also have an education department and a graduate company called Little Echo.
We are a community theatre.
We make work that is any and sometimes all of the following: bold, adventurous, challenging, classic, new and sometimes more than a little bit silly. Above all, our work always strives to be of the highest standard.
We are driven by a community of active members that includes local Putney residents, people from the borough of Wandsworth and from further afield throughout London. Being the base of both Putney Theatre Company and Group 64 Youth Theatre, we are driven by the hard work of our adult members and the playful experimentation of our youth.
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Formed in 1964 out of the coming together of a couple of local community drama groups, we began life as Group 64. 1968 saw us find a home in the Old Union Church which we continue to inhabit, gaining the freehold in the late 1990s with the help of a Lottery/Arts Council grant.
Throughout the years our plans for the building, acts of refurbishment and artistic output continued to expand alongside each other. In 1999 we brought Putney Players into our community and they became Putney Theatre Company with Group 64 looking after the dramatic pursuits of our young people.