Sinn Féin calls for Directors of Abbey Theatre to appear before Oireachtas Committee - Senator Fintan Warfield
Sinn Féin’s Seanad spokesperson for Culture, Senator Fintan Warfield has said that the Directors of the Abbey Theatre should address the Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Senator Warfield said:
“Sinn Féin believe that long term, systematic underfunding of the arts is at the core of where we find ourselves following the publication of an open letter to the Minister for Culture.
"We cannot ignore the effects of prolonged under-investment as we assess why this new model and programming choice has been pursued by the board and the directors of the Abbey Theatre.
“Sinn Féin acknowledge the positive work undertaken by the Directors and team at the Abbey Theatre in transforming public engagement and audience development.
"However, a direction that leads to wage depression of up to 25% - accidental or otherwise - for freelance theatre workers is unacceptable.
“Every person working at our national theatre should be valued and afforded the highest industry pay scales that reflect the stature and importance of the national theatre and that set a bar for the wider industry.
“We note with concern the 54% reduction in the number of actors directly employed by the Abbey Theatre and the move away from original works leading to a smaller pool of theatre work for all.
“Sinn Féin will be proposing that the Directors of the Abbey Theatre be invited to the Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to discuss recent changes in policy at the national theatre”.