Chichester Festival Theatre update – keeping connected

Despite the Chichester Festival Theatre being in lockdown with all staff working remotely and the opening shows of Festival 2020 postponed, they are committed to finding ways to support our community and enliven the days for those staying at home.

They’re actively exploring the possibility of making some of our past productions available to watch online and hope to have more news on that very soon. In the meantime, as we celebrate World Theatre Day, here’s a little of what CFT has been up to over the last week:

Five Day Plays launched
To encourage people to keep their creative juices flowing, Chichester Festival Theatre has launched the Five Day Play. Every Monday we’re setting a short brief (for example, ‘a play with two characters, one of whom has a secret to tell the other’), inviting people to respond with a short play of no more than 10 pages. It’s open to all ages, and each week one winning writer will have their play posted on the CFT website and receive professional feedback on their work. For further details visit https://www.cft.org.uk/prologue/blog/five-day-play

Digital Arts Awards
CFT has created digital resource packs so that children and young people can complete an Arts Award project from home over the coming weeks. This can just be for fun, or they can be moderated for a small fee. To achieve their Arts Award, young people aged up to 25 take on challenges, get inspired by other artists and share their skills with others, producing a portfolio of their creative journey. More details at https://www.cft.org.uk/…/children-young-p…/remote-arts-award

Making resources available to the NHS and local charities
We’ve offered our 11-bedroom house, normally used to accommodate creative teams during the Festival season, to Chichester’s St Richard’s Hospital for use by medical staff; and offered our vans to our partner food rescue charity UK Harvest for food deliveries, while our staff have been volunteering to clear their new warehouse space and give out food parcels.

Support for isolated people in the community
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre members are writing letters and creating artwork for residents of the local Wellington Grange care home; we hope to be able to roll this out more widely over the coming weeks. Our Learning, Education and Participation (LEAP) team are phoning vulnerable users of our ‘CFT Buddies’ scheme and participants of our adult community programmes to make sure they are supported and hearing a friendly voice. 

Online resources
We’ve created a list of resources to help families looking for ways to entertain kids at home, and of recommendations for mental health and wellbeing: from practical tips for coping with anxiety to links to free yoga and dance sessions. Both are on our website, cft.org.uk.