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Actors' Equity Releases Updated Covid-19 Safety Guidelines for Live Productions

After months of development, Actors Equity has published four new worksheets detailing Covid-19 safety guidelines for live productions.

Actors' Equity Releases Updated Covid-19 Safety Guidelines for Live Productions

After months of development, Actors Equity has published four new worksheets detailing Covid-19 safety guidelines for live productions.

In consultation with Dr. David Michaels, former head of OSHA, Equity's safety team has created detailed instructions arranged according to the four types of productions commonly seen currently: outdoor with an audience, outdoor without an audience, indoor with an audience and indoor without an audience.

These guidelines provide the entry point for working with Equity to ensure a safe workplace, offering clear guidance on key aspects of production, from ventilation to testing, while also streamlining the preproduction process for producers.

The guidelines were created in collaboration with dozens of Equity producers over the last nine months, a number of whom went on to mount productions that created multiple work weeks for actors and stage managers.

The union has also published a stand-alone safety guide with additional information on how to maintain a safe workplace for the duration of the pandemic.

The science-based guidance has evolved as new information becomes available and will be regularly updated in accordance with new research and industry innovation. The union continues to approve new safety plans on a weekly basis.

Mary McColl, Executive Director of Actors' Equity said in an email, "We have not been able to approve every safety plan that has been put before our safety team. Some of those employers have gone ahead without appropriate safety protocols in place. Sadly, we know how that story can end. A non-Equity production in Texas made headlines after it abruptly stopped production following 17 COVID-19 cases among their cast and crew in October. Unfortunately, they are far from the only example of what can happen when care isn't taken to protect stage managers, actors and every worker in the theatre."

She continued, "I am proud to say that no Equity-approved show that opened with our safety protocols in place has been shut down this year because of COVID-19. Our guidelines are keeping workers and audience members alike safe. This happened not just because of our safety standards. The protocols only work if everyone commits to following them. You, standing together in solidarity, make the workplace safer."

See the full guidelines and learn more here.




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