SHIne On -
Support Your local Theatre
In keeping with an old theatre tradition Putney Arts Theatre has hung a ghost light in our main auditorium as a symbol of hope for when our doors open once more.
Inspired by this image we have renamed our theatre’s fundraiser ‘Shine on - Support your local theatre’ and will keep this spirit of optimism with us throughout the challenging months ahead.
When we closed our classes, shows and other income-generating activities we knew we would be faced with an uncertain future. It is now becoming more apparent that we will not be able to ‘go back to normal’ as soon as we hoped or would like. As a result we now estimate that our funding gap may be £69k. We have been fortunate to receive a government grant of £25k and are taking part in the government-sponsored furlough scheme for staff. We are also actively seeking other ways of meeting this new target.
We have received many generous donations and want to thank you all for these and your continuing support. We are increasing our donation goal to £20k and hope this will help us to bridge the funding gap. If you are able to support us through a one-off donation or regular monthly giving this will help us to ‘Shine On’ until we are back. Thank you again for your support.
Help Putney Arts Theatre
Although following government advice we are currently closed our artistic, creative and social events for members & youth have continued to go from strength to strength and include a series of monologues, play readings, workshops and plans for our first online adult play performance, The Magistrate, by Arthur Pinero.
Meanwhile, the Trustees have been looking to the longer term and the level of activities we will be able to provide for the rest of 2020. It is becoming increasingly apparent that we are unlikely to be able to go “back to normal” in the short to medium term. We initially hoped that we would be able to offer a full autumn season of productions. However, based on current assumptions across the theatre world, it looks highly unlikely that we will be able to offer productions this year without addressing social distancing requirements. Not only is this likely to mean reduced capacity in the auditorium, but we’ll need to consider the overall access to the building, our restroom facilities and bar. We are desperately keen to schedule shows as soon as we can in the autumn/winter, but, even if this is possible, we are likely to have a limited season.
What is clear is that our initial assumption of returning to normal operations in the autumn is no longer a sound basis for planning, and the initial £30k estimated deficit for the financial year 2020-21 is an underestimate. Instead, our latest planning assumption is that, without mitigation, we might face a funding gap of up to £69k.
This is obviously far from welcome news, but we have been looking at all the ways in which we can reduce this gap. Most significantly, last week we received the £25k government grant set up by the Treasury to support small businesses, having initially been told we were not eligible, as we paid charity rather than business rates. We are extremely grateful for the support of our local MP, Fleur Anderson, and Wandsworth Council (particularly the Arts Office) in helping us secure this money. The grant will go a long way to securing our long-term sustainability, along with other government support including the employee furlough scheme, which is currently available until the end of June. Together, these will give us an expected contribution of £35k.
In such an environment, we will continue to be dependent on charitable grants and our own fundraising efforts to meet the remaining funding gap. We’ve been very fortunate to have received many generous donations for our fundraising campaign, Shine On, including a £1000 donation from local estate agent, Allan Fuller, a regular sponsor. To date, £12k has been given or pledged for the Shine On campaign (including gift aid), and we are now setting a new target of £20k for the campaign, to help close our funding gap for the year. We hope that our income will continue to grow with the support of our friends, and would encourage anyone who is able to donate through our website.
You can read a statement from Group 64 about their current situation here.
You can read a statement from Putney Theatre Company about their current situation here.
What We Do
Putney Arts Theatre is home to two theatre groups, as well as having exhibitions, events and outside performance groups in regularly from the local community.
PUTNEY THEATRE COMPANY
One of the leading adult amateur theatre companies in the UK.
We produce theatre that challenges our audiences, but also entertains them. We provide a friendly atmosphere, a rehearsal process that helps actors develop, get to know new friends and become a part of our local community.
GROUP 64 Theatre FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
We are a Young People's Theatre Company based in the heart of Putney.
We run weekly drama classes for ages 4-19, holiday projects, and opportunities to be involved in performance, directing and technical theatre. We also have an education department and a graduate company called Little Echo.
We are a community theatre.
We make work that is any and sometimes all of the following: bold, adventurous, challenging, classic, new and sometimes more than a little bit silly. Above all, our work always strives to be of the highest standard.
We are driven by a community of active members that includes local Putney residents, people from the borough of Wandsworth and from further afield throughout London. Being the base of both Putney Theatre Company and Group 64 Youth Theatre, we are driven by the hard work of our adult members and the playful experimentation of our youth.
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Formed in 1964 out of the coming together of a couple of local community drama groups, we began life as Group 64. 1968 saw us find a home in the Old Union Church which we continue to inhabit, gaining the freehold in the late 1990s with the help of a Lottery/Arts Council grant.
Throughout the years our plans for the building, acts of refurbishment and artistic output continued to expand alongside each other. In 1999 we brought Putney Players into our community and they became Putney Theatre Company with Group 64 looking after the dramatic pursuits of our young people.