You may have heard this quote, attributed to Sir Winston Churchill. The story is that when Churchill was asked to cut funding to the arts in order to support the war effort in World War II, he responded “Then what would we be fighting for?”
Well, in fact, there is no record that Churchill ever said that. Still, it remains a good story.
Here’s an authentic quote from Churchill that makes a similar point. “The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them. The country possesses in the Royal Academy an institution of wealth and power for the purpose of encouraging the arts of painting and sculpture … .”
Churchill was apparently talking about visual arts, but let’s hope he felt the same way about performing arts.
We are not fighting a World War, but we are in a battle for lives with the Covid pandemic. We want our world back the way it was pre-Covid. We want to be entertained by theatre productions. We want the magic of curtain going up to show us something new and exciting.
What better reason to follow Covid protocols as our theatres re-open.
- Get both you first and second vaccination, and carry proof along with photo ID and have it ready to show.
- As you line up to enter, remember your six foot (two metre) distancing.
- Wear a mask at all times, unless you are eating and drinking.
- No hugs or handshaking when you see an old friend in the lobby. Personally, I don’t even like fist bumps or elbow touches; those bring us too close together.
- Make sure your theatre seats you six feet from other theatre goers. Ask yourself if you can safely swing a hockey stick all the way around.
- If you buy food & drink, take off your mask only to eat or drink.
- If they offer hand sanitizer, use it. Or carry your own.
- Exit the theatre slowly, keeping the six foot distance from everyone else. Don’t bunch up behind slow walkers.
Some theatres, such as Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia, have installed or upgraded air filtration systems. Let’s hope most theatres will make this move. It would be reassuring to know that the air is fresh as we eventually sit down in full houses.
Do you have suggestions for safe theatre going?
We need to get back to the arts, or why have we been in this battle with Covid? Please do so safely, so that we can continue.