facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
TAF_Interviews_CJ_Mitchell_2x1_fxikda

How the Theatre Artists Fund has helped: CJ Mitchell

First Published 24 August 2020, Last Updated 26 August 2020

Last month, the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre launched the Theatre Artists Fund to support theatre workers and freelancers across the UK who have not been able to work since theatres closed in March and those who were not eligible for Government aid.

Spearheaded by director Sam Mendes and initially established with a £500k donation from Netflix, the fund grew significantly over the first few weeks with The Estate Of Sir Peter and Lady Saunders joining Netflix as headline supporters.

Over £2,400,000 has been raised and donations have been made far and wide from members of the public to industry leaders and stage stars including The Mackintosh Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter, Imelda Staunton, Sonia Friedman, Caro Newling, Colin Firth, and many more.

The fund provides quick, efficient and easy grants of £1000 for theatre practitioners who find themselves with nowhere else to turn and particularly, those from underrepresented groups disproportionately affected by the crisis.

The first round of the fund opened on Monday 6 July and saw almost 4,000 applications in just one week! We reached out to some of the recipients to find out how the pandemic has affected them and we’re highlighting some of their stories throughout the next few weeks.

In today’s Theatre Artists Fund interview, we’re sharing the story of youth and stage manager, CJ Mitchell and why she applied for the grant.

How has the pandemic affected you?

It has been a strain emotionally and financially. I was made redundant. I was also doing a freelance project as part of a team to direct and production manage a Youth Production of Little Shop of Horrors that was going to incorporate young people from many ethnic and financial backgrounds to get involved on stage and backstage. This was cancelled due to the pandemic so not only am I out of work but many young people have missed out on chances to participate in theatre in this way this summer. I also had to become a teacher for my boys in Reception and Year 2 and with no available childcare, it was difficult to take on any roles.

Why did you apply for the Theatre Artists Fund grant?

I have 2 wonderful little boys who depend on me.

What does getting this grant mean to you?

The grant is a lifeline. It allows me to still survive this with my family and hopefully do all I can to protect them until our industry opens successfully again.

What will theatres re-opening mean to you?

Theatre can show other perspectives to an audience. It allows people to become emotionally involved in storytelling and I think that’s something the world really needs right now. All through this pandemic, people have been listening to music, watching streaming services and binge-watching media created by artists and others in our industry. I need theatre because it’s what I’m passionate about and as a black woman in our industry I want to continue to make a difference.

If you’d like to find out more about the Theatre Artists Fund or if you’d like to donate, please click the button below.

Share

Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.