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In March, stage manager Samantha Chia commenced rehearsals for a mid-year theatre production.
As news reports of the Covid-19 outbreak came streaming in, she began wondering if the play might be cancelled, but was assured that it would go on.
Then came April, when the cast and creative team learnt that the show would be postponed to next year. Those involved would get paid 20 per cent of their fees in advance – provided they were able to commit to the new dates.
Ms Chia and many others in the production, which she declined to name, could not. This meant they would get nothing for the three weeks of rehearsals they had already done.
“We’re talking about designers, cast members, crew members,” says the 38-year-old. “Music that has been arranged, a script that has been written, costumes that have been designed.
“The company said if we couldn’t make it for the new dates, they just didn’t have the means to pay us. We felt that it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right to just brush us aside and not make any kind of compensation at all.”
The coronavirus pandemic has been a major blow to performing arts the world over, with theatres …
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