COVID-19, HEALTH & SAFETY PLANS

Some time ago, Board began the process of surveying theaters around the state regarding their Covid protocols for actors and crew wishing to participate in live productions.  The vast majority of theaters around the state are requiring Covid vaccinations for their actors and stage crew members.  Many of those theaters are not allowing any exceptions to that requirement.  In addition, we surveyed the Kittitas County Community. We received over 150 responses and appreciate the time each person took to give us their feedback.  The Board met and discussed this issue at length, and there were strong feelings on both sides of the issue. It was clear that no one policy could satisfy everyone, or fit all situations. The Board voted to implement the following policy regarding participation in Valley Musical Theater productions:

Each production team, along with the Board Executive Committee, and the Executive Director will set the vaccination requirement for that production.  What this means is that the requirements for our Rising Stars production may be different from our summer production. The Rising Stars team may decide that vaccinations are not required, while the summer show may require them.  This allows VMT to adjust based on several factors including:


a)    the size of the cast/crew required for the production,
b)    the length of the production schedule,
c)    ability of production to rehearse in small cohorts versus large groups,
d)    ability to double-cast roles if necessary,
e)    fiscal considerations if outbreak were to happen that would affect rehearsal or performance schedule,
f)    if it is a youth production versus an adult production,
g)    as well as updates in the public health guidelines provided by the CDC, State or County Health Departments.

Therefore, before you participate in a VMT production, check the vaccination requirements for that production.  This only applies to actors and crew, and has nothing to do with any requirements on the audience.  Since VMT does not own a performance space, the rules for audience attendance are set by the venue in which we perform, as well as state/county health guidelines.

While this is not a perfect solution, it allows the production team of each show to set out requirements with which they are comfortable and believe are best for their show.  A “one size fits all” solution was not seen as the right solution for our community.  Unfortunately, since that vote there has been quite a bit of misinformation about our policy spread around our community.  We hope everyone will take a deep breath, relax, and know that we are doing what we think will work best for our shows.

This is the policy at this time, but as the past two years have shown us, things change. This is a living, not a static policy that is routinely reviewed.  However, at this point in time, it makes the most sense for us to allow the individual show production teams to set out the requirements for their show.  We thank everyone for their support, and look forward to seeing you for Mamma Mia! in July. 

VMT remains committed to enriching lives through theatre in a safe and responsible way as we do what we can in striving to protect our performers, volunteers and patrons from inadvertent exposure. Valley Musical Theatre will take all measures possible to ensure the health and safety of our volunteers, patrons, and performers. However, we also make no representation regarding the effectiveness of any risk mitigation measure in preventing or reducing the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Participation in future VMT productions is voluntary, and participants must understand and acknowledge that VMT is not responsible nor liable for any individual that develops COVID-19. 

 

 

FOR THEATRE PATRONS

We are beyond pleased to be back open again and are hard at work rescheduling the shows we had to postpone as well as offering new and exciting shows. In order to be a covid compliant theater, our procedures look a little different than what you may be used to.  We are doing it all with your safety in mind.  We ask that you please thoroughly read the guidelines below before coming to the theater in order to ensure a safe environment for yourself, your family, our volunteers, and performers.


-Capacity of audience may be limited according to current health requirements. For some productions, we will have reserved seating only, and may implement social distanced seating between groups of patrons if required. If it is general (open) seating, we encourage you to leave 1-2 chairs between groups of patrons that you feel comfortable with.

-Vaccination status – we do NOT require proof of COVID vaccination to attend VMT performances. We do encourage social distancing between groups of patrons not from the same household when possible.  
 
-If you are running a fever or feel sick in any way, we ask that you please stay home for the safety of everybody else. Please contact us at valleymusicaltheatre@gmail.com if you need to exchange your ticket for a different performance due to sickness.  We will accommodate requests if we have availability.
 
-Face coverings. We will follow state guidelines for audience members. If we are in a phase where they are required, they must be worn at all times, regardless of vaccination status, even while seated for the performance.  The only exception to this is during actively eating or drinking.  We will have masks available at the box office for those who do not have them, and nobody will be permitted to enter the theater without proper facial covering. 
 
-Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the building, and we are sanitizing all hard surfaces in common areas before and after each show.
 
- Depending upon the show and current health guidelines, concessions may or may not be offered. If concessions are allowed, lines for concessions are marked with six-foot queuing spots. Please observe the markings to ensure proper social distancing.

FOR ACTORS/CREW

COVID Vaccination Requirements:

  1. For reasons indicated above, vaccination requirements will be determined on a production-by-production basis.  This allows VMT to adjust policy based on

    1. a)       the size of the cast/crew required for the production

    2. b)      the length of the production schedule

    3. c)       ability of production to rehearse in small cohorts versus large groups

    4. d)      ability to double-cast roles if necessary

    5. e)      fiscal considerations if outbreak were to happen that would affect performances

    6. f)        if it is a youth production versus an adult production

    7. g)       as well as updates in the public health guidelines provided by the CDC, State or County Health Departments.

  2.  If a COVID Vaccination policy is adopted for a particular production, there will be exemption options available for medical or religious reasons. 

  3. Policies for productions will be clearly stated prior to auditions.

  4. Policies will be determined by the VMT Executive Committee along with the Show Director and Show Producer; Exemptions will be reviewed/approved by the same group.

 

 

GENERAL HEALTH GUIDELINES

During Rehearsals:

 

  • Auditions, rehearsals and performances will try to maintain social distancing among individuals to the extent possible. When not possible, limit the amount and length of close contact.

  • In person auditions, callbacks and dance auditions will be done at the performance space where social distancing can be done efficiently.

  • Masks may be required depending upon restrictions.  VMT will provide performance related masks if they are required.

  • All participants and production staff members must wear a mask while attending auditions and rehearsals, except when actively performing.

  • Group vocal rehearsals will be held in the House or on the Mainstage so that participants can social distance themselves.

  • Health screening questions will be asked at each rehearsal.

  • We will follow current CDC and local public health guidelines for COVID exposures.

  • No sharing of pencils during rehearsal.

  • No sharing of water bottles or snacks

  • Stage Manager will make sure all props, and set pieces are disinfected after each rehearsal/performance.

  • All props must be sanitized while being pulled for rehearsal.

  • Props will ONLY be touched by actor who uses said prop. Props must be preset and checked by actor ONLY. (Stage Managers can double check but will NOT move props prior to the show.)

  

During a show:

 

  • Masks may be required depending upon health restrictions.  VMT will provide performance related masks if they are required.

  • All individual props sanitized at the end of each night by stage crew.

  • Limit use of shared props between cast members when possible.

  • No backstage/green room guests, prior or after show.

  • Close contact between performers and patrons before and after performances is prohibited (including backstage and post-performance meet-and-greets).

 

After Show Run:

 

  • All props will be sanitized before returning to storage

  • Costumes will be sanitized often and as thoroughly as possible.   

 

Tech Booth:

 

  • Mic packs and mics wiped down before being returned to bags

  • Soundboard and light board disinfected at the end of each night.

  • Computer mice, keyboards and monitors will be cleaned daily.

  • No more than 3 people in the Tech Booth at any given time. 

  • Tablets will be sanitized after each use.

  • Disinfect light switches and doorknobs when leaving