Performance Safety Protocol

Introduction

In order to maximize the safety of NTPA actors, patrons and staff, the North Texas Performing Arts created its Reopening Task force of professionals including four doctors, legal counsel, board members and others. The Task Force defined the procedures and protocols outlined in this document to ensure that NTPA Productions are opened in a safe and deliberate manner that best protects the health of its actors and patrons.

This team and others that will follow have been working with us to come up with best plan to allow our get our actors, families, patrons, actors and staff come back to our theatres with these objectives:

  • To create and execute a plan that provides for the best possible safety of our Actors, Patrons and Staff.
  • To effectively and safely open the theatres on the dates approved by the Governing Board of Directors.
  • To ensure the cleanliness and readiness of the facilities to support all necessary operations.
  • To provide a safe, efficient and thoughtful admittance, performance/rehearsal, and exit process for actors, patrons and staff.

In addition to the safety protocols outlined below, NTPA Staff have been trained upon and will enforce a detailed “Staff Safety Protocol” and “NTPA Facilities Protocol” also approved by the NTPA Task Force outlining their obligations and responsibilities. This Staff Safety Protocol includes the continuous wearing of masks, the maintenance of a “safe social distance” of six feet at all times, the vigilance for signs of potentially unhealthy actors or staff members and appropriate response, the availability of hand sanitizers at all times, the on-going cleaning and sanitizing of all facilities, the wiping down of commonly-touched facilities on a regular schedule and other protocols consistent with the Governor’s Strike Force recommendations for personnel and facilities for these purposes.

A copy of the full detailed staff guidance may be made available upon request.

In compliance with the Governor’s Strike Force Guidelines, NTPA’s Production activity was entitled to open on or after June 3rd and are enhanced by NTPA Reopening Task Force Recommendation and Governing Board authorization and effective June 16, 2020 providing greater safety measures outlined below that may be relaxed or tightened based on its own experience and state and local guidance.

Our thanks to the Members of the NTPA Re-Opening Task Force

Task Force Members

  • Mark Frankenfeld, Board President
  • Elly Marsh, Board President-Elect
  • Steve Flad, Past Board President
  • Michelle Hoffman Board Vice President
  • Trysh Pope, Board Secretary
  • Tamara Jones, Board Treasurer
  • Michael Massiatte, Board Counsel
  • Dr. Candice Addison
  • Dr. Seth Kaplan
  • Dr. Jenny Duewall
  • Dr. Jeri Tidwell
  • Connor Bourland

Management Board Chairpersons

  • Laura Coppedge, Plano
  • Holly Tripp, Fairview
  • Sara Johnson, Dallas
  • Erika Bazan, Frisco
  • Lisa Rodenbaugh, Repertory
  • Fred Lamb, Starcatchers
  • Holly Dalton, Academy
  • Jennifer Harrison, Principal
  • Steve McMurray, Board Set-Build Oversight
  • Tammy Thies, NTPA Ticketing, RN

NTPA Staff Members

  • Darrell Rodenbaugh, Chief Executive Officer
  • Lindsey Lederer, VP of Youth Theatres
  • Lauren Boykin, Senior Marketing Director
  • Mike Mazur, Academy Head of School & Plano Managing Director
  • Cibby Bowden, Fairview Managing Director
  • Christian Black, Dallas Program Director
  • Hannah Makepeace, Frisco Program Director
  • Danny Miranda, Rep Theatre Artistic Director
  • Greg McKnight, NTPA Technical Director
  • Riley Gray, Starcatchers Theatre
  • Jackie Miller, Business Manager

Notice of Risk Acceptance to All Guests

By entering our theatres, you agree that in bringing yourself, your children, other family members or friends to these premises that there could be a reasonable, foreseeable risk of exposure to a communicable and contagious diseases, such as COVID-19, and/or contract or be around others that are ill, whether they are symptomatic or not, or carry this disease home to others and you are voluntarily and upon your own responsibility and determination accepting this risk.  You agree to follow all NTPA protocols, respect the directives and abide by the posted requirements.  You agree that neither you nor family members have medical, physical or mental condition that could result in injury or illness for others.

You agree to indemnify, release and hold harmless North Texas Performing Arts. (“NTPA”), its employees, directors, officers, volunteers, and all others from any and all liability, claims, demands, actions or causes of action, of any kind or nature, arising out of or related to any COVID-19 or related illness or injury, regardless of severity, resulting from the participating, attending and/or engaging in an NTPA activity or entering an NTPA premise.

Phase III NTPA Performance Safety Protocol + Phase III Drawdown

We are pleased to introduce the NTPA Phase III Performance Safety Protocol Drawdown that will guide the safety procedures and processes for all shows and productions until updated by future announcement and be in effect for all productions taking the stage May 6, 2021 and beyond.

Performing in outdoor venues or pre-recording vocals will be preferred methods to advance our risk-mitigation strategies. Directors are required to evaluate these options first, taking into account preferences of cast members. Directors must review their show risk-mitigation plan with the Managing Director.

Admissions, Ticketing and Exits

  • All personnel on-site including Actors, Audience Members, Volunteers and Staff and others must have their temperature checked by the assigned Volunteer or staff member (who will be required to wear a mask and gloves) with a touchless thermometer and affirmed not to have a fever exceeding 100.00 in order to perform or be on site, and asked a series of health quick questions. Tickets will then be reviewed and admission continued.
  • Performances taking place in multi-theatre complexes will have staggered show start times. Entrances to theatres may differ and audiences are requested to watch for signage to direct them to their theatre.
  • NTPA will require only electronic tickets by advanced purchase. No walk-up sales will be allowed.
  • All Participants and Patrons must wear an acceptably protective mask.  Consistent with CDC recommendations, multi-layer cloth or surgical-type masks that fit snugly to the face are the accepted standard. Face shields (worn without a mask), respirator masks (with a breathable valve), neck “gaiters” (a form of mask usually made out of a stretchy and moisture-wicking fabric that can be pulled down over your head and worn over the nose and mouth) and simple bandanas are not considered adequate protection. Except for those with other specific doctor’s orders, a patron appearing with one of these will be provided a temporary surgical-type mask and encouraged to enjoy this level of protection while in an NTPA facility.
  • Each performance will have an usher to ensure compliance with all seating requirements and will be available to answer questions.
  • Where possible, shows will be performed without intermissions to minimize lines.
  • Patrons must purchase their tickets via the NTPA ticketing system at NTPARep.org and that system will automatically provide the necessary distance “buffer” between groups.
  • For shows performing after June 1, both socially distanced and non socially distanced tickets will be made available to ticket buyers.
  • Socially distanced seating will not be permitted within 12 feet of the general performance area (except in those venues where this spacing is not possible). At no time may an actor be within 6 feet of an audience member.
  • Groups of family members may sit together though may not be seated within 2 vacant seats or rows from another party in socially distanced seating.
  • Patrons must sit in assigned seating. Late seating (more than 2 minutes past curtain time) will not be allowed.
  • Patrons must exit BY ROW starting with those rows nearest the exit, maintaining a 6-foot barrier between groups.After the performance, Patrons should proceed directly to their automobiles and regroup with their actors there. Patrons will not be allowed to congregate in hallways, lobby, or facilities entrance.  Actors will be directed to proceed to their automobiles after the show.
  • Seats, armrests, countertops and other high-touch surfaces will be treated with disinfectant after each performance.
  • Patrons are asked to limit occupancy of restrooms to ensure social distancing.
  • For adult productions only, at the approval of the Repertory Artistic Director, a production may perform without masks only if all actors are fully vaccinated and/or have shown immunity by having a positive Covid test no more than 90 days before a performance and no less than 14 days before a performance. All actors must still wear a mask at all times except when performing on stage during tech week and performances. Any actor who has received a positive Covid test must notify NTPA immediately following NTPA Covid Notification Protocols and must quarantine for the required amount of time before returning to an NTPA facility.

Protocol for Actors

  • Shows will be blocked to minimize the number of on-stage actors at any one time, and generally recommended to be no more than twenty actors with reasonable exceptions for larger mainstage productions.
  • Phase III allows for musical and non-musical performances and singing is allowed during this phase.
  • Actors must provide their own acceptably protective face mask. Consistent with CDC recommendations, only cloth or surgical-type masks that fit snugly to the face will be allowed to be worn. Cloth face masks that have a clear shield making the mouth area visible are also permissible, provided there is a cloth border surrounding the shield that fits snugly to the face.  Face shields (worn without a mask), respirator masks (with a breathable valve), neck “gaiters” (a form of mask usually made out of a stretchy and moisture-wicking fabric that can be pulled down over your head and worn over the nose and mouth) and simple bandanas are not considered adequate protection and will not be permitted for actor use.
  • Calls should be limited to performing “On” casts. Ensembles should be limited if their attendance is not necessary. Number of actors called will be determined by the size of the performance venue and its capacity for safe social distancing. Outdoor venues are encouraged.
  • ACTORS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY YOUR DIRECTOR IF YOU NEED A MICROPHONE.  Actors requiring microphones may purchase a personal microphone kit from NTPA for a fee of $29 (microphones cannot be shared). NTPA will provide a “Microphone Kit” that includes a microphone, gloves, a protective cloth bag, and microphone tape and will provide directions for those that would prefer to assemble their own kits. For those actors who do not have their own microphone, NTPA will provide a reusable microphone as avaialble that must be returned damage-free. NTPA will be sanitizing and reusing shared microphones. Damaged microphones must be paid for by the actor. Microphones may be purchased at: https://ntpa.thundertix.com/events/173173
  • Actors should come to the theatre already in costume, makeup, hair, and with THEIR MICROPHONE ALREADY AFFIXED and properly in place for those wearing microphones.
  • All Productions are encouraged to consider outside venues or pre-recording their musical vocals to further mitigate the potential risks of Covid-19 infection.
  • If actors need to remove their masks for any reason, they may go outside the facility individually to do so.
  • There should be spikes on the floor backstage indicating where actors must wait before making entrances.
  • Shows should be blocked to manage to a safe social distance. Actors may touch as part of their on-stage blocking only if no close contact is maintained. As defined by the CDC, this means that actors can not remain within 6 feet of each other for a cumulative of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. Kissing will not be permitted.
  • Shows performing after June 1, 2021 may block without social distancing.
  • Movement of actors through the aisles is permitted. Actors may not sing while in an aisle.
  • ONLY required personnel (directors, artistic staff, compensated volunteers, backstage coordinator, and volunteer coordinator), may be admitted backstage, into Tech Booths or dressing rooms.
  • Directors are encouraged to minimize costume changes, set and movement of sets.
  • At the end of the performance, all participants must exit upon and proceed directly to their individual vehicles according to that space’s corresponding exit procedure. Actors will be escorted to the parking garage by the assigned backstage volunteer. Participants are asked not to group in hallways, entry ways, or parking lot.
  • House will be thoroughly sanitized by Volunteers between performances.
  • Performance times will be staggered to allow for sufficient turnover in between shows.

Backstage Operations

  • All participants and backstage crew must wear masks at all times backstage. Mask specifications for actors also applies to backstage crew and other volunteers.
  • Those volunteers moving sets must clean hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • Hand sanitizers will be located off either side of the stage, as well as at backstage entrance.
  • Props should be cleaned and disinfected after each performance by assigned Backstage Volunteer and checked by Costume Coordinator.
  • Sets should be cleaned and disinfected after each performance by the Facilities crew.
  • Floors will be marked with glo-tape to mark safe social distancing and assigned seating.
  • “Overflow” backstage actors for will be assigned an appropriate backstage space that may differ for each theatre.

Videographer

  • NTPA will supply the tripod for Videographer, and Videographer will supply their own device for filming use (recommended iPhone 10 or higher).
  • The Videographer must arrive at the show and allow for adequate time to set-up and start the live broadcast no less than 30 minutes prior to production’s start-time.
  • The Videographer may videotape and livestream/upload the production as defined by NTPA and may not make, keep or distribute in any other manner any video from the show.
  • Multiple Videographers for a given production are encouraged to provide the online audience different viewing perspectives.

Light and Sound Operations

  • Only three people are allowed in the tech booth at a time (including Director). Door must remain open to provide proper ventilation.
  • Tech Booth operators should wipe down all equipment with disinfectant (provided by NTPA) upon entry to the booth before every show.
  • Directors are advised to maintain simplified lighting and sound formats with generally simple, broad lighting to better enable video quality.
  • Tech booth volunteers will be required to wear face masks at all times, and pass health checks given to actors.
  • Only the operators of the tech equipment will be allowed in the booth, the door is advised to stay open to encourage ventilation.
  • Consoles, computers, and desktops will be wiped between operators and after every performance by tech volunteers.
  • Actors with microphones should come to the show with their microphone on and properly in place. The technical booth volunteer will insert the microphone receiver into the “sock/bag” and turn it on and test.

Set Build Operations

  • All set-build volunteers must wear masks at all times during their set-build activities. Before commencing a set-build activity, all participants will be subject to the same health tests as general admission to the show.
  • Sets should be minimized to eliminate unnecessary “touching” and to minimize expense.
  • Only authorized personnel (Set Coordinator, NTPA Staff, and any volunteers who signed up in advance of set build date) may have access to Set-build Areas. This number will be determined by the capacity for each set build area.

Concessions, Promotions and Wine Donations

  • Concessions will remain closed until otherwise announced.
  • Promotions may proceed employing “Touchless” electronic purchasing via an online system provided by NTPA. Show Promotions Managers should consult the NTPA Volunteer Manual for details.
  • Wine by donation may reopen in all theatres. Patrons should maintain safe social distance at all times when drinking beverages within NTPA venues and should pull down masks only when taking a drink.