COVID-19 dims the lights on the film and theatre industry
HALIFAX -- Industries across the world have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the theatre and film industries in the Maritimes.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, several major film and theatre productions have come to a halt.
Laura MacKenzie, executive director of Screen Nova Scotia, says the pandemic has been a huge blow to the actors, crew, and local economy -- in some cases costing million-dollar budgets and hundreds of jobs.
“While that budget was going to be used to employ local Nova Scotians, it’s also going to go into rural and urban communities, goods and services,” says MacKenzie.
“We're seeing a jump in the loss of jobs climb every day.”
Ciel Crosby is mom to 12-year-old actress Nadia Tonen, who was recently cast in her dream role -- a musical that has now been postponed.
“It was very hard to tell her,” says Crosby. “Even though we tried to prepare her, it was a very hard conversation to have for sure.”
“I just started crying and crying,” says Nadia. “I just felt so sick to my stomach.”
Nadia’s doing everything she can so that she’s prepared to get back on the stage when the time comes.
“Right now I’m just going over the scripts, going deep into the story, also I’m stretching a lot to make sure my muscles don’t get weak, and taking dance classes online,” says Nadia.
Jeremy Webb, artistic director at Neptune Theatre, says the resilience of the cast and crew has been remarkable.
“We’re all still working, we’re all still trying to plan for the future,” says Webb.
Webb is just one of the Maritimers taking part in “Places Please” -- a 24-hour livestream fundraiser that is raising money for the Actors Fund of Canada
“I think its going to be very entertaining, very moving, and very informative about what the arts and entertainment industry is going through right now,” says Webb.
In the meantime, there are many other ways to show support for the local theatre and film industry, like watching your favourite performers online and streaming locally-made movies.