Theatre Safety Precautions

Written By: Catherine Weddle

The theatre industry has looked different this past year due to Covid-19. Many theatre productions have been postponed or cancelled to protect the health of actors, staff, and viewers. The industry has not set any specified precautions or regulations for theatre communities to follow. However, theatre Associate Professor, Annissa Moregensen-Lindsay, has worked diligently with the Adrian College theatre department to continue the education of students. 

“We are certainly trying our best under these circumstances to ensure that our students can continue to do what they love: perform and create art for an audience while ensuring the health and safety of all.”, said Moregensen-Lindsay. 

The Moors, an Adrian College production, took place this February at Downs Hall Theatre. According to Morgensen-Lindsay, extensive precautions were taken throughout the entire rehearsal and performance process. All actors and staff were required to provide an approved MI Symptoms app, wear face coverings at all times, and maintain a comfortable distance from others. 

The Adrian College Theatre department has developed ways to adjust to new regulations without taking away from traditions and performance value. Scenes that normally included physical intimacy, such as kissing, were changed to other forms of touch and emotion. Masks with clear panels were provided for actors, so facial expressions were still visible to audience members. Actors were then faced with vocal issues due to facial covering. 

“Actors worked diligently and earnestly to overcome any vocal, volume, and/or diction impediments created by the masks.”, said Morgensen-Lindsay. 

The safety of audience members was also a concern for the theatre department. The precautions taken for audience members included:

  • Removing the first row of seats to maintain a 6-feet distance between actors and the audience.
  • Selling tickets on a reservation basis only to allow easy contact if needed.
  • Maintaining a 6-feet distance between all audience members.
  • Limiting the audience to 25% capacity. 
  • Requiring face masks. 
  • Closing concession stands to limit the removal of masks. 

For updates on upcoming auditions and performances you can follow the Adrian College Theatre instagram page, @adriancollegetheatre_dance. 

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