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American Repertory Theater Explores Measures to Be Taken For Reopening in New Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience

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As BroadwayWorld previously reported, the American Repertory Theater has collaborated with the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in developing a Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater.

The Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience for Theater is a living document hosted on the A.R.T.'s website for theaters across the country and around the world to access. The roadmap addresses areas such as rehearsal and performance practice; audience interactions, including ticketing, restrooms, and concessions; back-of-house operations; and overall healthy building strategies. The Roadmap will also offer ideas for pivoting to new models, including outdoor experiences.

In the venue's facilities, there will be increased ventilation and filtration, as well as no-contact infrastructure, physical barriers, and increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

Some ideas to reduce contact within the facilities include changes to restrooms, including automatic touchless faucets, soap dispensers, towel dispensers, and toilet flushers. In addition, conventional doors could be replaced with automatic doors or doors with foot handles. No-contact payment platforms as also being considered, as well as moving tickets and programs to a digital format.

In addition, A.R.T. is looking into screening and testing measures for its employees, including symptom questionnaires (taken either at home or upon arrival) and temperature screening, as well as viral testing and antibody testing. Other measures that will be taken include isolating objects, so only one person is using them, as well as physical distancing, and increased hand washing.

The early edition of the roadmap has outlined some issues regarding rehearsal and production, that will be explored in a later edition. These include steps taken to shorten in-person rehearsal time, possible quarantining of cast members, online rehearsal methods, transportation policies, screening and testing, easy access to hand washing facilities, isolating actors' belongings and props, and minimizing contact between performers and crew members.

Similar issues are being explored regarding the performances themselves.

Finally, the theater is looking into new models of production, including online work and outdoor performances at the Arnold Arboretum. Rather than gathering audience members in one place, the company is looking into a "promenade experience" which will utilize the large area of the Arboretum and allow patrons to follow social distancing guidelines.

The full roadmap can be found here, and will continue to be updated over time.

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