One of the professions that has been hard hit by the coronavirus lockdown is acting. Getting a bunch of people together on a stage is totally not in keeping with social distancing requirements – never mind the folk in the audience.

Our friends at the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa (SSoSA) have come up with a scheme to help out-of-work actors potentially make a bit of cash by recording themselves filming a Shakespeare monologue and sharing it on social media.

The blog below appeared here on the SSoSA website a couple of days ago. Read it if you’re an actor or if you’d like to donate some money to the cause. Or if you’re interested in what’s happening in general under lockdown…

In South Africa, as around the world, the necessary measures taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 have hit artists hard – performing artists in particular. At Shakespeare ZA, we’d like to do our bit to keep the arts economy going by promoting theatre makers and helping to provide some financial support. So we are pleased to announce:


How does it work?

Actors, we invite you to record yourself performing a monologue from a Shakespeare play of your choice (between 90 seconds and three minutes in length). Or maybe a sonnet? It can take any form and can be in any language!

  1. Post it on the social media platforms you use, with the hashtag #lockdownshakespeare (don’t forget to tag Shakespeare ZA on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). Then …
  2. … email us on so that we can follow up with you. We’ll set up a file-sharing option, ask you to tell us a bit more about your performance choices and ensure that …
  3. … the videos are added to Shakespeare ZA’s resources pages for other theatre makers, teachers, learners and members of the public to enjoy!

What about the money?

SSoSA has established a small fund to kick-start this initiative, committing to paying 20 actors R1000 each for their recorded performances and for a short explanatory text or accompanying video. Shakespeare ZA will be trying to raise further funds to keep the project going, and readers/viewers will be able to donate via BUSQR. Use the QR code on the right to go directly to the donations page. You can contribute using SnapScan, PayPal or Zapper.

Actors who are in the fortunate position of being externally funded or whose employment hasn’t been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak are encouraged to contribute their videos pro bono so that more people can benefit! If so, please let us know when you send us your email.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get those monologues memorised and those cameras rolling!