Israel: Performers stage protests in empty theatres to call for govt. aid

Theatre workers and stage performers held demonstrations in multiple locations this Tuesday, calling on the Israeli government to provide funds to help the institutions stay afloat amid continued COVID-related restrictions on the sector. Workers and crew at the Cameri Theatre and the Israel Opera in Tel Aviv stood on their respective stages holding signs reading, «Don't leave the stage empty... Еще.» «There are hundreds of thousands of workers that are just sitting at home, unemployed, and waiting for this stage to come back to life. We in the Israeli Opera have sent 600 workers for an unpaid holiday, some of them are couples, some of them work in this sector in very specific professions, and can only do that, and we are just waiting to come back to work,» said Yonat Ofra, a worker at The Israel Opera. While it is likely that such performance halls will open in the future, the groups involved in the protests say that social distancing requirements will be a de facto hamper on their activity. «Just this morning I heard the government say 'one chair with a person, two chairs without,' meaning only a third of a hall. How will we cover the costs with only a third of the hall full? How long till we collapse? Most of the workers here were sent for an unpaid holiday, so if they are brought back they have to be paid their salaries,» said Amos Tamam, an actor who was involved in the demonstrations. The Israeli government and relevant authorities have yet to conceive of a definitive plan that will allow all business types, such as restaurants, to re-open, but has lifted many lockdown restrictions in recent days.

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