The guidelines, which were released Tuesday, will be implemented to ensure the safety of the actors and stage crew so they are not treated like “epidemiological guinea pigs” writes Deadline.
“I do not think that making everything safe for the audience – although that is important – and leaving the people on stage to be epidemiological guinea pigs is the right answer,” says Equity President Kate Shindle.
The four guidelines for Broadway’s reopening are:
- The epidemic must be under control, with effective testing, few new cases in the area and contact tracing
- Individuals who may be infectious can be readily identified and isolated, with frequent, regular and accurate testing with speedy results
- The way we audition, rehearse, perform and stage-manage may need to change and the venues we work in may need to undergo changes in order to reduce the risk
- Efforts to control COVID-19 exposure must be collaborative, involving Equity members, employers, the union and all others involved in the production of theatre. There must be collective buy-in and ongoing evaluation and improvement of health and safety practices.
The guidelines were presented by AEA officials and public safety consultant Dr. David Michaels, who said that more detailed plans were in the works, but it was too early to give anything concrete.
“These four principles are the foundation for our continued work with Dr. Michaels,” said Executive Director, Mary McColl.
“We intend to build out protocols that can be used by our employers and all of our colleagues to ensure that everyone who works in the theatre has the safest workplace possible.”
As of now, Broadway is scheduled to reopen Sept. 8, provided that it meets the guidelines, as well as the city’s own directives.