During the lockdown period, many organisations and education institutions resorted to technology in order to survive economically.
According to the State Theatre artistic director Aubrey Sekhabi, artists were devastated after being taken backward by the lockdown regulations. However, digital platforms have afforded artists an opportunity to adapt to the new normal.
“With all the restrictions introduced to observe the lockdown, our bread and butter, which is live performance in front of an audience, was compromised. We could not collect revenue from ticket sales, front of house sales, hiring and wardrobe and our parking facility,” says Sekhabi.
“The situation was more devastating for artists because they could not practise their craft, their livelihood. However, both artists and the administration of the theatre were able to function during the lockdown period through technology and digital platforms.”
The State Theatre has decided to embrace digital arts and have chosen to retain online streaming as a secondary platform for offerings. This new way might increase the theatres reach and create solid building blocks for young and upcoming artists as Sekhabi says.
Through a created Pay per View platform, the Theatre has managed to put content and generate income that will be ploughed back into new projects. Audiences are able to view content online after buying tickets on Webtickets through a link sent to them via e-mail or a short message.
The theatre also intends to present the Vavasati International Festival soon, where women’s voices are heard as Gender Based Violence increases.