Pitlochry Festival receives support from the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund

Pitlochry Festival Theatre (PFT) can today announce that it will receive £485,112 through round two of Creative Scotland’s £12m Performing Arts Venue Relief fund.

These funds are directed to ensuring the Theatre’s solvency, and supporting it to make work to reach as many people as possible, of all different ages, during this period of instability.

Between September and December, PFT will deliver seven key projects which will support the Theatre’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan, to ensure broad participation in the creation of, and engagement with, cultural activity. The Theatre will work Inside, Outside and Online to achieve maximum engagement.

Performing Arts Venue Relief funding is also designed to create commissioning and employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners. As the largest employer of creative practitioners in Scotland, this vital support will enable Pitlochry Festival Theatre to continue to serve its communities throughout the year. This summer the Theatre employed 52 freelancers for their outdoor season. For its forthcoming projects the Theatre will be employing 80 freelancers from the Scottish theatre community.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s seven projects include:

Ghost Stories (October-November 2021)

Three Scottish writers will pen new Ghost Stories that embrace Scottish myths, folklore, and legends in a new promenade production around PFTs beautiful Explorers’ Garden. October is the time of autumnal weather and Halloween, and the only thing between the audience and the supernatural will be the Theatre’s tellers of stories.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (November-December 2021)

After the success of last year’s The Magic of Christmas and this summer’s Alice in Wonderland World, the Theatre will present a filmed version of L. Frank Baum’s classic tale The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, which tells the story of how a little orphan baby becomes Santa. The production will be staged as a walk-through experience in the Theatre’s Explorers’ Garden.

Sound Stage – Season 2 (November-December 2021)

PFT’s first season of Sound Stage, supported by PAVRF and in collaboration with Royal Lyceum Edinburgh and Naked Productions, has been an extraordinary success with strong critical and public response. PFT will produce a further two Sound Stage productions to open in November and December and will work with new partners to create the platform’s first musical.

Community Tour (Sept-Nov 2021)

PFT will return to communities and partner organisations who have not been able to receive visitors, touring new work and music to at least 30 community venues across Scotland.

Through its projects, PFT looks forward to welcoming around 20,000 people Inside, Outside, and Online.

Kris Bryce, Executive Director at Pitlochry Festival Theatre said:

“We’re grateful for this vital support from the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund. The previous round from Scottish Government allowed us to stabilise the Theatre and produce work for over 15,000 audience members. Throughout the pandemic, when we couldn’t gather inside, we have worked to produce theatre online and outside for our communities. This funding from PAVRF enables us to engage more creative practitioners and serve more audience members as theatre continues to emerge.”   

Crawford Gillies, Chair of Pitlochry Festival Theatre added:

“We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government for all their support over the last 16 months, which has helped to ensure the Theatre continues to create work for our audiences.”

With support from Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government, over the summer Pitlochry Festival Theatre has staged a successful outdoor season. The programme has received much acclaim from both the critics and the public, and includes an impressive line-up of premières and productions, featuring an exciting line up of Scottish acting and creative talent.

Since July 2020, Creative Scotland has delivered a range of emergency funds on behalf of the Scottish Government to support the artistic and creative sectors in Scotland, and to address the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations. The purpose of this fund is to support immediate and critical financial need for not-for-profit venues to remain solvent during the period of closure to the public, and to plan for a sustainable return. This funding, which comes from the Scottish Government, is to bridge the financial gap until opening plans and income projections are clearer.

Joan Parr, Interim Director of Arts and Engagementsaid:

“Our first priority continues to be supporting the recovery and renewal of Scotland’s art and creative sector as Covid-19 restrictions are eased and the sector can open up again more fully.

“Nevertheless, we remain acutely aware of the critical challenges faced by so many cultural organisations, and we know how vital this funding is in continuing to help protect jobs and support the sustainability of a sector that has felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic so significantly.”

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