The Confederation of State Theatre Companies (CAST) – which comprises subsidised companies Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Circus Oz, State Theatre Company of South Australia and Queensland Theatre – has issued an open letter to Greg Hywood, CEO of Fairfax Media, “to review its decision to dramatically reduce the arts coverage and loss of experienced arts editorial staff across mastheads The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.”
The move comes as the #fairgofairfax campaign protesting Fairfax’s decimation of arts coverage gathers momentum. The CAST letter follows another from former Fairfax Arts Editors. Fairfax journalists are curently on strike.
The full letter from CAST, signed by the creative executive of each organistion, is published below.
The Confederation of State Theatre Companies (CAST) calls on Fairfax Media to review its decision to dramatically reduce the arts coverage and loss of experienced arts editorial staff across mastheads The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
CAST – Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Circus Oz, State Theatre Company of South Australia and Queensland Theatre – have collective annual audiences of over 1 million and employ over 2000 actors and creatives.
Fairfax Media over many decades has been an outstanding supporter of the arts in Australia. Independent reviews, analysis and debate has been a hallmark of its arts and culture sections, and its papers. As the journals of record for their respective cities, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald have chronicled the evolution of Australian culture for present day readers, but also for researchers and historians of the future.
Arts, culture and creative thinking is core to a smart and civilised society. With the continuing erosion of independent critical analysis, specialist coverage and reviews, we believe that Australian public life will be all the poorer.
Arts organisations have supported Fairfax as customers of its print and digital titles for decades, and we ask that Fairfax maintains its commitment to comprehensive, specialised, meaningful and entertaining arts and cultural coverage.
This statement is co-signed by the Confederation of Australian State Theatre Companies and the executive management of each organisation.
Gill Perkins, General Manager
Peter Evans, Artistic Director
Black Swan State Theatre Company
Clare Watson, Artistic Director
Rob Tannion, Artistic Director
Sarah Neal, Executive Producer
Matt Lutton, Artistic Director
Melbourne Theatre Company
Virginia Lovett, Executive Director
Brett Sheehy AO,
Sue Donnelly, Executive Director
Sam Strong, Artistic Director
State Theatre Company of South Australia
Jodi Glass, Executive Director/Producer
Sydney Theatre Company
Kip Williams, Artistic Director