Rehearsal Safety Protocol

Introduction

NTPA’s safety protocol builds upon the requirements recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Texas Governor’s Strike Force, and expands beyond them to provide a comprehensive and careful standard of care.

In order to maximize the safety of NTPA actors, patrons and staff, the North Texas Performing Arts created its Reopening Task force of some 25 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.

Release of Liability and Participation Release Form 

IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN AN NTPA ACTIVITY OR ENTER AN NTPA FACILITY, ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE COVID 19 PARTICIPANT RELEASE FORM.

Phase III NTPA Regular Rehearsal Safety Protocol + Phase III Drawdown

We are pleased to introduce PHASE III of the NTPA Regular Rehearsal Safety Protocol that will guide the safety procedures and processes for all regular rehearsals ON AND AFTER JULY 5, 2020.

General Guidance

  • Rehearsals may continue and are recommended to be conducted online unless it is determined by the Director and Theatre Managing Director that in order to accomplish a specific rehearsal objective participants must participate-in person.
  • Rehearsal Calls should only include required cast members for related scenes and Directors are recommended not to exceed twenty (20) Participants in a single rehearsal room and should make every effort to minimize the number of participants in a room.  A “Participant” is considered any other personnel in the room which could include the director, show manager, and any additional creative staff.
  • Rehearsals must adhere to NTPA safe-social distance guidelines and masks must be worn at all times.
  • Shows performing after June 1, 2021 may block without social distancing.

Drop-Off Process

  • We expect all actors to follow social distancing guidelines as they enter and exit the facility.
  • Prior to admission, and once inside the facility, Participants will be asked a series of standard health screening questions and have their temperature taken with a touchless thermometer. Any actor with a fever of 100.0 or above must be sent home.
  • The actor acknowledges that they have not observed or have any reason to suspect their actor is ill or about to become ill or has been exposed or recently placed in a high-risk situation and therefore should be in quarantine as defined by the Center for Disease Control.
  • Actors should bring their own water bottle, and if necessary, their own script. The NTPA water fountains will not be available for their use. If they do not have a water bottle, water can be made available upon request.
  • For the protection of the actors and staff, all persons onsite at every NTPA facility must wear a facemask, including actors or visitors, at all times. Those appearing without a mask must acquire one before entering or will not be admitted. Actors are encouraged to gain experience with their facemask for prolonged periods in advance of coming to rehearsal.
  • 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. 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, an actor appearing with one of these will be provided a temporary surgical mask to be used while in an NTPA facility.
  • NTPA will have reusable face masks available for sale for $10 each and single-use disposable masks for sale for $2.00 each for those who arrive without a mask. NTPA will provide single-use masks to actors in financial need on an individual basis at prior request and as available on an exceptional basis.
  • On the first in-person rehearsal day, NTPA staff members will check that all liability forms are complete.
  • Actors are required to use hand sanitizer provided by NTPA before entering the building at the entry of each of NTPA’s facilities.
  • Doors will remain open subject to individual theater requirements.
  • Actors will be directed to walk directly to their rehearsal room once cleared at the health check station.
  • Specific Rehearsal studio locations should be communicated in advance and confirmed by the show manager so that actors can go directly to their rehearsal room without congregating in the theatre lobby.

In-Rehearsal Conduct

  • All participants (Actors, Staff & Volunteers) must wear masks at all times during a rehearsal.
  • All actors should bring water bottles to every rehearsal. Actors must social distance before they remove their mask to sip their water. They must use hand sanitizer before and after their water break. Water fountains will not be available.
  • Live singing during rehearsals is only allowed at a “low volume” (25% of normal volume) during in-person rehearsals/classes. Live singing at full volume will be allowed for all rehearsals and productions beginning June 1.
  • Shows may require re-blocking to eliminate actor-to-actor contact. There should be no actor contact during rehearsals and blocking should maximize SSD onstage when possible.
  • Breaks must either remain in the rehearsal room or can be moved outside.
  • Non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities will not be permitted within NTPA facilities.
  • There will be no sharing of items, including but not limited to phones, scripts, electronic devices. Each actor will be required to store personal belongings assigned.
  • If actors need to remove their masks for any reason, they may go outside the facility individually to do so.
  • If an actor becomes sick or fevered, they will immediately be separated and NTPA will follow the approved State of Texas Protocol for notification.
  • The last five minutes of every rehearsal will be reserved for sanitizing hands and safe collection of belongings.
  • The facility will be cleaned and sanitized between each group’s use.
  • Promo photos may be taken without masks and/or safe social distance as long as no close contact is maintained. As defined by the CDC, this means individuals can not be within 6 feet of each other for more than 15 cumulative minutes over a 24 hour period.

Phase III NTPA Technical Rehearsal Safety Protocol

The Technical Rehearsal Safety Protocol is the same as the Rehearsal Protocol with these modifications:

General Guidance

  • Technical Rehearsal Calls should be limited to performing casts. Ensembles should be limited if their attendance is not necessary.
  • Actors should come to the theatre already in costume and make-up and ready to take the stage.
  • 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 available 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
  • Live singing with full projection with masks on is permitted ONLY for performance recordings, tech rehearsals and performances. Live singing with full projection will be permitted for all rehearsals/performances on June 1.
  • Those actors requiring a microphone should come to their Tech Rehearsal with MICROPHONE ALREADY AFFIXED as described in the instructions accompanying the microphone.
  • Face masks must be worn at all times in the theatre, onstage, backstage and in dressing rooms.  Casts are encouraged to integrate their masks into their costume theme.
  • ONLY required personnel may be admitted to the theatre, backstage or dressing room during a tech rehearsal.
  • Directors are encouraged to minimize costume changes, use of props and set and movement of sets.
  • 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.

Technical Booth Protocol

  • Tech booth volunteers will be required to wear face masks at all times, and pass health checks given to actors.
  • Only two 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.