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 2019 Edinburgh Fringe there were 367 productions (35.5%) from a total of 1,033 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 opinion piece was in The Scotsman in August 2018 and sets out our case for change. Edinburgh Festival Fringe could help change the world
Below is an analysis of productions in 2018 and 2019 relating to social issues:-
|Gender and identity||57||15.50%||29||11.40%|
|Health and Disability||30||8.20%||21||8.20%|
|Grief and Death||24||6.50%||15||5.90%|
|Abuse and Bullying||17||4.60%||22||8.60%|
|Human Rights and Prison||13||3.50%||2||0.80%|
|Dementia and Alzheimers||6||1.60%||6||2.40%|
|Poverty and Homeless||5||1.40%||11||4.30%|