The SIT-UP Awards were first launched at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe to recognise Social Impact Theatre.
Every year, there are fantastic plays that delicately and powerfully tell stories about important social issues.
At the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe there were 255 productions (26.4%) from a total of 965 productions that related to social issues, ranging from mental health, grief and death to abuse. See the survey results below.
Usually the momentum ends once the audience leaves the auditorium. When we surveyed production companies, we found that most did not engage with their audiences beyond the production itself and provide one or more "calls to action". There are many ways this can be done by providing a flyer, getting your audience to make a social pledge, holding a post-show discussion or linking with a charity to provide educational materials.
These are missed opportunities to harness empathy and make a difference.
So we decided to provide help and support to theatre makers to amplify and extend the reach of their work before, during, and after their productions. This has involved facilitating post show discussions, linking companies and charities, funding information sheets for audiences, buying tickets for those affected to see shows and more. This year we will have two full time co-ordinators providing support and advice and we have also put together some case studies and resources that will help all productions to achieve meaningful impact.
This opinion piece was in The Scotsman in August 2018 and sets out our case for change. Edinburgh Festival Fringe could help change the world
Summary of 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Productions
Of 965 productions, 255 (26.4%) were identified as being related to social issues.
|Women in Society||29||11.4%|
|Disability and Health||16||6.3%|
|Grief and Death||15||5.9%|
|Poverty and Homeless||11||4.3%|
|Dementia and Alzheimer’s||6||2.4%|