Hello! We hope you and yours are all safe and well.
We’ve been working hard to keep in touch with you, and hope you’ve all had some communication from us since lockdown started and we had to close our doors – but we thought it might be nice to give you a round-up of what’s happened over these last couple of months.
We know from all the wonderful messages we’ve received from you that you miss coming to the theatre, whether to see a show, a film, or take part in one of our many community activities. We miss you, too!
It’s important to stress that whilst the building may be closed we’re still very much open. Here’s what we’ve been doing to stay connected, and ensure we can still be there for you right now and when this is all over.
And, of course, do keep an eye on our website for the latest, including what’s on sale.
As soon as it became clear to us that we were going to have to close our doors for an unspecified time, our box office got busy contacting everyone who had booked seats for the foreseeable future.
We offered full refunds on existing bookings for cancelled performances, or the chance to receive credit to use against a future production.
We were bowled over by the number of people who chose to donate the value of their ticket, or to take a credit to their account – thank you so much!
We think we’ve covered everyone, but if you still have a query regarding a purchase, do contact us: [email protected]
Big thanks to our Director Emeritus, Alan Ayckbourn, who provided a real treat when he and his wife, former actress Heather Stoney, got together to record a new play written and directed by Alan, Anno Domino.
It was the first time the couple had acted together since 1964, and it’s had a great response from the critics and listeners alike.
As a way of celebrating our incredible artists we launched a new theme on our SJT blog – My SJT, in which friends from across the years talk about the theatre. You’ll find some great stories from contributors including Tim Firth, Michael Cashman and Richard Harris, and we’re adding to it weekly.
Our resource page, While You’re at Home, has received plaudits across the industry for its comprehensive round-up of official advice, support and suggestions of how you can help; ways to enjoy theatre and other cultural activities online; things for young people to do; information and activities aimed at older people, and more!
We’re working with and taking advice from a wide variety of organisations and experts to ensure the theatre is, and feels, safe for when audiences return in the future.
We’ve been keeping in touch with our audiences via regular emails (and postal versions for those not online) – if you’re reading this, you’ve probably received those, but if you know someone who you think might benefit from a bit of SJT in their lives then please do ask them to join our mailing list.
You can also find day-to-day information on social media:
Keeping our community work going was vital to us so we are steadily bringing it online, whilst also planning some great things for when we can all meet up again. Currently, online activities include our Rounders youth theatre sessions with our Associate Director for Children and Young People, Cheryl Govan; and playreading/playwriting workshops led by our Associate Director Chelsey Gillard, playwright Nick Lane, and literary consultant Suzy Graham-Adriani, who’s worked extensively with the National Theatre. Both our choirs are meeting online, too, and there’s with more planned soon – you can find out more here.
We’re working with the National Literacy Trust on ‘Your Stories’, an exciting new project for young writers across the Borough. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
We’ve collaborated with other local arts organisations, including Create, Scarborough Museums Trust and Whitby’s Pannett Art Gallery and Whitby Museum in the Borough to produce a resource pack to support artists and creatives who might feel isolated at the moment. Click here.
We’re also trying to do our bit in the wider community, engaging in regular discussions with Scarborough Borough Council and other cultural and business partners on the response to Covid and longer-term plans for our town.
We have continued to audition students applying to the BA (Hons) degree in Acting, our partnership degree with Coventry University Scarborough, and we are expecting, fingers crossed, another keen cohort to join us in September.
Our Circle members are so important us, but, of course, we haven’t been able to see them for some time now.
But they’ve been receiving all our regular emails, and, additionally, their monthly newsletter, the Circular.
If you’d like to join this loyal group – which has many benefits for you, as well as helping us – click here to join
We know that alongside you, the audience, our team here at the SJT is one of our most important assets. Whilst there are only six (!) of us working presently we are making sure everyone else is looked after and we keep in touch via an informal WhatsApp group and weekly Zoom socials.
Following the #BlackLivesMatter protests we wish to say that we stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, friends, artists, audiences and communities to condemn racism and discrimination in all forms. We are proud to have worked with many Black artists but we understand that we need to do more to achieve diversity in our workforce, productions and audiences. We renew this commitment right now as we take this time to listen, to learn from and to stand with the Black community worldwide.
These are difficult times for many of us, and we completely understand that you’re probably being bombarded with requests for donations from many different sources. And we know that many of you have already given generously to us, and for that we are enormously grateful – thank you!
If you haven’t donated, and would like to help secure our future, there are many ways to do so. You might even choose to join our Circle, which has many member benefits for you, as well as helping us.
Even the smallest amount is appreciated:
The Show Will Go On
This has been a difficult time for all of us but we have also been looking at new ways of working and progressive ways of engaging our audiences. We are closer than ever to all our partners across the sector – nothing like a crisis to bring us all together! – and we have many new exciting productions being planned.
We can’t say when we’ll be able to open our doors again, but we’re all hoping that it will be sooner rather than later and we can’t wait to welcome you back!
In the meantime, thank you for all your support, stay safe, keep in touch and look after yourselves.
Caroline, Paul and all at the SJT.