Liepāja Theater could close unless state aid is received

Liepāja Theater director Herberts Laukšteins told Rus.lsm.lv on July 21 that Liepāja was the only theater which had not received compensation in the COVID-19 crisis and will be forced to close unless the money comes in.

“We're the only theater in the country that hasn't been compensated, the government banned all activity during the emergency, because we have the status of a municipal theater,” Laukšteins said.

“All state theaters and independent theaters received funds. We were shown the finger. I'm very angry. I wrote to the Ministry of Culture and received a refusal. We wrote to the Education and Culture Commission of the Saeima, waiting for an answer. It's unfair! All the more so, it is not Latvia's budget money – it is funds from the European Union to help those who have suffered from this situation. And in the context of COVID-19 theater and concert halls have ended up in an extremely difficult situation. And we won't get anything," said the director, adding that they might stop operating in October as there is no money to pay wages.

“Now we're sitting and thinking how to refund the shows we've sold to audiences. We can't return the money, we just don't have it,” he said.

Despite the circumstances, Liepāja Theater returns to audiences on August 1. As reported on the website, they will be offered exclusive backyard concerts on seven August nights in the Teātra Street 3 courtyard. Concerts will take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 19.00, but the final performance is scheduled for Saturday. Actors will perform songs in Latvian, English and French.

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