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The situation of theatres in the EU member states

The purpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive mapping of the social and economic profile and impact of the theatre sector in EU Member States. 

The study had four main objectives:

  • Make relevant data available, which will bridge the knowledge gap about the theatre sector. This includes data on the socio-economic situation and an overall picture of the sector; data about the reactions of theatres following the COVID-19 crisis; data on the educational aspect of theatre professionals.
  • Highlight best practices created and displayed during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Facilitate action at European level as well as cooperation between organisations and artistic companies.
  • Provide input for policy recommendations and follow-up at European level.

A mixed-methods approach was used. The team:

  • Carried out 75 interviews with various stakeholders of the theatre sector (policy representatives at EU and national levels; EU- and national-level networks, associations, trade unions; theatre venues and companies (both public and private), festivals; educational institutions; national level networks, associations and independent experts).
  • Prepared 10 country case studies (Spain, Italy, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, and France).
  • Conducted an online survey in English, French, and German. Survey questions focused on such aspects as funding models of theatre companies, employment conditions of theatre professionals, collaboration within the sector and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey collected 153 usable responses from 20 EU Member States and 6 non-EU countries. The distribution of responses per different stakeholder groups was: theatre companies – 42, theatre professionals – 70, educational institutions – 8, and sectoral institutions and other interested groups – 33.
  • Organised an online validation seminar in June 2021. The purpose of this validation seminar was to present the main findings of the study to the European Commission officials and a wider audience of theatre experts and stakeholders. The seminar, in total, brought togeter 16 participants.