“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Sound Designer Wants Theater Industry to Help New Talent
With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child getting ready to open on Broadway, Gareth Fry (the sound designer for the production) took to Twitter earlier this month to express what he believes is a solution to an important issue in the theater industry.
The Olivier Award-winning sound designer for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child authored a series of tweets earlier this March calling for support in the theater industry. Fry points out that the entire industry needs to take responsibility and create a solution to the exploitation of cast and crew members from the lesser known “fringe” area of their industry.
Before advocating for possible solutions to the exploitation being experienced in the fringe, Fry first made a note about how important that side of the field is to the theater industry.
Producers aren’t doing Fringe to make a profit, to exploit workers – there’s not much profit to be made. Everyone was doing Fringe for love and/or to break into paid work. It’s difficult to break into paid work if you don’t have experience/credits, which Fringe gives you.
Not everyone doing Fringe is doing it as a stepping stone, for many it is where they love to work most. The scale and intimacy is one of it’s [sic] strengths. But also why it’s economically difficult…
So much talk of exploitation seems to focus on producers as ‘baddies’. But often they’re in same position as everyone else, building a career, learning as they go, trying to be bigger & better with each subsequent show. Every show has risk of failure, there is no risk-free.
He then pointed out exactly what he believes to be the problem.
It’s not fringe producers who are exploiting fringe workers. It is the rest of the theatre industry.
Fry continued his thread by making some suggestions.
It is established theatre that we should be railing at, not fringe producers, to improve the fringe. Established theatres have a wealth of resources, both physically and information that could be used to help improve the situation of those who work on the fringe.
We should be examining how we, the gatekeepers, the employers within established theatre, let people into our industry. Fringe is a hard path into the industry, which I’ve heard described as a way ‘to sort the wheat from the chaff’, to weed out those who aren’t passionate.
He concluded his points with the following tweet:
I appreciate these aren’t fully formed ideas or solutions. But lets move away from talking about the Fringe being the problem and accept that this is a problem to do with our whole industry
So what do you think? Do you have any other suggestions that might help the fringe?
Leave your thoughts and comments below!