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Theatre Safety and Re-Opening FAQs

Aug 19, 2020

Theatre Safety and Re-Opening FAQs - Last Updated 09/3/2020

Resources for Audiences, Artists, and Theatres

In these “unprecedented times”, unprecedented things are happening: theatre leaders from across the Philadelphia region have created working groups to imagine our new futures, share resources, determine safety protocol, and engage with our community. A big question lingers: when can theatres re-open?

We can’t say exactly when. Even though Philadelphia and the region have moved to the “green” phase, theatres will not be opening right away.  We want you to know that theatres are committed to the health and well-being of our artists and audiences. So while there’s still a lot we don’t know, there are a few resources we can provide.

The following information is just a start. Feel free to fill out THIS FORM to ask questions, request additional resources, or provide input. For more information, contact info@theatrephiladelphia.org.

For Audiences

When will live theatre return in Philadelphia?

While the city of Philadelphia has released guidelines for theatre to resume on September 8th, theatres may not be returning just yet. Guidelines include 50% capacity and a cap of 25 people in a room; masks, distancing, and barriers for performers and audiences; a maximum of 10 performers in a production; and the prohibiting of food and drink to be sold or consumed. Learn more about theatres and re-opening here: https://www.inquirer.com/entertainment/theater-coronavirus-reopening-philadelphia-guidelines-20200902.html

What are the current Best Practices for theatres in Philadelphia?

What do I do if I attend an event that does not follow guidelines and best practices?

Which theatres have released a re-opening plan?

Who is performing and “What’s On-Stage”?

  • Theatre Philadelphia’s What’s On Stage is a searchable, visual calendar of upcoming theatrical events in the Philadelphia region. Learn More at www.theatrephiladelphia.org/whats-on-stage and use the “Category” function to find events by genre or by type, including virtual, live, or outdoor events.

Where can I find resources on accessing popular digital performance platforms?

There are many ways that artists are using digital platforms to share their art and most of the time, they will explain to you how to access their work on the platform they are using. Here are four of the most commonly used platforms, with some tips about how to access them:

  • YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/): YouTube is a huge database of pre-recorded and sometimes live-feed videos. You can access them on your computer or phone. Most productions/performances will give you a link to view.

  • Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/): Facebook Live videos are hosted on Facebook and streamed in real-time. You can access them on your computer or phone. You can’t be seen as a viewer, but you can leave comments and questions that the host can see. You do need a Facebook account to participate. Most of the time, you will be given a direct link to watch or directed to a group’s Facebook page. 

  • Zoom (https://zoom.com): Zoom is a video communication platform on your phone or computer; all you need is a link to view, though you do need an account to host a meeting. You can access Zoom on your computer or phone. Some Zoom rooms are participatory, where your video and audio functions are on, but some are in “webinar” format, where only the speakers can be seen or heard. 

  • Instagram Live (https://www.instagram.com/): Instagram Live videos are hosted on Instragram and streamed in real-time. You can access them on your computer or phone. You can’t be seen as a viewer, but you can leave comments and questions that the host can see. You do need an Instagram account to participate. Most of the time, you will be given a direct link to watch or directed to an artist’s Instagram page.

When live performances resume, what are best health and safety practices for audiences?

  • Wear your mask at all times

  • Do not approach performers or workers

  • Maintain 6 feet of distance from others

  • Do not attend events if you have a fever, experienced Coronavirus symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus

Where can I find resources on accessibility, including closed captioned performances, autism friendly programming, and other access information?

How can I help?

The two best ways to help performing arts right now are by making donations directly to your favorite companies or artists, and by contributing to emergency relief funds.

  • Make a Donation to your Favorite Artists or Organizations
    Theatres need your support during this difficult time. If you attend a virtual event or class, please consider making a donation (even if it’s free to attend)! Find a list of companies in our region at www.theatrephiladelphia.org/discover-a-theatre.

  • Make a Donation to an Emergency Relief Program

Due to theatre shut-downs, hundreds of theatre workers, artists, and administrators in our region have lost primary sources of income. One way to show your support is to donate to an Emergency Fund or Program that assists these workers. Funds and programs include: 

For Artists and Theatres

What are the current best practices for event safety?

What do I do if a theatre or an event does not follow guidelines and best practices?

What are the union regulations, tips, and guidelines?

Where can I find resources for creating digital content?

Where can I find more info or assistance with PUA?

Where can I find resources offering financial support for artists or independent contractors?

Where can I find mental health and wellness resources?

Where can I find Anti-Racist resources?

Additional Resources

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