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Rehearsal and Production

Rehearsal and Production

Second Edition July 22, 2020
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Rehearsal

Rehearsal rooms are collaborative environments: actors, stage managers, directing staff, music and choreography teams, creative team members, and producing staff all traditionally work together in these spaces. These combinations necessitate careful management in light of recommendations for physical distancing, contact chains, and other risk-mitigation measures. Rehearsal strategies must be developed in close communication with all these constituencies, as well as with the unions and service organizations that represent their interests.

In editions to come, this roadmap will consider various strategies for minimizing risk during rehearsal and outline the specific steps that A.R.T. is undertaking. The following questions are central to ongoing considerations:

  • What steps can be taken to shorten the traditional in-person timeline of rehearsals?

  • Should casts and creative teams be quarantined prior to the start of a rehearsal process?

  • What can be done online while in quarantine?

  • What housing strategies for visiting artists might minimize the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2?

  • What transportation policies (between housing locations, rehearsal spaces, and performance venues) might minimize the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2?

  • How can actor calls be scheduled in a way that minimizes contact and de-densifies the rehearsal room?

  • What role will screening and testing play in the rehearsal process?

  • How can risk-mitigation protocols be integrated into the traditional rhythm and activities of a rehearsal process?

  • How can safety and consent measures surrounding physical contact be implemented effectively in the rehearsal room?

  • How can theaters provide easy access to suitable hand-washing and hand-sanitizing facilities?

  • How can theaters create separate stations in the rehearsal room for each actor’s belongings, props, script, and hospitality items?

  • How can theaters minimize in-person contact between performers, stage management, and creative team members?

  • What strategies for coverage/understudies best protect a production for the event of an illness or quarantine?

Production

The production period of a show involves the collaboration of many different teams. Scenic, costume, lighting, sound, video, and props staff all consult with creative teams and producing staff, and they often work on tight schedules in order to meet deadlines. In shops, many different hands contribute to the creation of production elements.

In editions to come, this roadmap will consider various strategies for minimizing risk during production processes and will outline the specific steps that A.R.T. is undertaking. The following questions are central to ongoing considerations:

  • How can theaters reimagine the timeline for build, load-in, and tech to allow for de-densified workspaces, increased cleaning, and new knowledge about the lifespan of viral material on surfaces?

  • What steps can be taken to reduce risk for production work that must be done in close proximity, such as costume fittings, loading trucks, carrying heavy items, and putting microphones on actors?

  • How can theaters ensure a supply of personal protective equipment for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 uses (i.e. in a shop)? How can theaters best manage, store, and dispose of PPE?

  • How can institutions support production staff in staying safe at home and in transit? What staffing plans, policies, and procedures create space for staff to stay home when sick despite a culture of “the show must go on”?

Healthy Buildings

This roadmap is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as a set of directions. Please see About the Use of This Resource for further explanation.

Above, Lance Horne and the cast of ExtraOrdinary in rehearsal.