COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATES
After many conversations and thoughtful deliberation, we have reached the difficult decision to cancel the final mainstage production of our 2019-20 season, EVERYBODY by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. We considered many alternate scenarios, from modified seating configurations to different venues and livestreaming. However, we feel that we cannot provide a safe environment for our company and patrons without compromising the artistic quality of the play. If you have a 2019-20 Season Pass that has not been fully redeemed, we will honor your pass during our next season.
We’re disappointed that we can’t give this season the ending we’d planned, but we are committed to providing unique theatrical experiences remotely. This weekend, we’ll present the final two performances of our livestream staged reading, SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson. Additionally, on Saturday, Shawn Clerkin will offer his latest Director Emeritus lecture via Facebook Live. We are also planning other ways to utilize technology to continue to fulfill our mission and serve our community.
We know these are challenging times for everyone. For many of us, theatre provides a solace from the chaos in the world, and a way to come together and be part of a community. We plan to do everything we can to continue to provide those opportunities, and as soon as we can open our doors and gather together in person, we will.
In the meantime, be safe, take care of each other, and stay strong.
Over the weekend, we announced the decision to delay our staged reading of Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson. Performances are now scheduled for April 24, 25, May 1 & 2 at 8pm. Earlier this week, it was announced by the White House that gatherings of ten people are to be avoided for at least the next two weeks. Obviously, it’s hard to know what the situation will be at the end of April, but we exceed the 10-person cap with cast and crew alone. It is possible that we will not be able to host an audience in our theatre at that time.
Happily, though, we have some good news to share (and couldn’t we ALL use some good news?!)! We have received permission from Dramatists Play Service, Inc. to livestream all four performances of SILENT SKY. Thanks to our friends at Grise AV, who are donating streaming services in support of our community, we’re going to make it happen! Anyone wishing to watch via livestream will have to get a ticket through our website (starting the week of the performances), and in turn will be provided with login information for the stream. We hope to be in the position to have an in-house audience as well. If not, and as long as it is safe for our cast and crew, the show will go on via livestream. More details to come!
We are so excited that Dramatists and Grise AV are able to empower Dramashop and our SILENT SKY company to share this beautiful play and provide some light in dark times. Art is good for the soul, and we’re looking forward to providing our community with this opportunity.
As we continue to assess our upcoming plans, we have decided to clear our calendar of public events for the entire month of March and the first half of April. This includes delaying the run of our staged reading of SILENT SKY, originally slated to open March 27. Pending approval from Dramatists Play Service, which we expect to get this week, the production will run April 24, 25, May 1 & 2 at 8pm. While our venue is below the recommended crowd capacity, and as much as we believe people need art in trying times, we want to do everything we can to help “flatten the curve” and to minimize social interactions. With this delay comes a pause in face-to-face rehearsals for our cast and crew as well.
Here’s how we’re handling other events scheduled for the month of April:
MONDAY, APRIL 6 – AUDITIONS FOR EVERYBODY: Auditions for EVERYBODY will be held on Monday, April 6 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. We are doing this in order to control the number of people auditioning at a time and encourage social distancing. We’ll audition people individually while others wait in the lobby. Once you complete your audition, we’ll ask you to head out. If you don’t feel comfortable auditioning in person and want to make other arrangements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Rehearsals will begin on or after Sunday, April 19. Please, for the sake of public safety, no walk-ins or guests!
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15 – SHOP TALK LIVE!: We are currently planning our next SHOP TALK LIVE! podcast recording, scheduled for Wednesday, April 15 at 6:00 p.m. At this time, we plan to go ahead with this event with no restrictions. However, as we get closer to the date, we will assess if we need to restrict the number of attendees or make other changes.
SATURDAY, APRIL 18 – DRAMASHOP BOOK CLUB: We hope Book Club can return to normal and we can meet at Ember+Forge to discuss our next play, OSLO by J.T. Rogers, on Saturday, April 18 at 11:00 a.m. Again, we’ll monitor the situation and make changes as warranted.
There are still a lot of unknowns about this virus, and we’re opting to play it safe until we know more. We hope we can count on your continued support, and we also hope we’ll be back to normal soon!
Take care of yourselves and each other.
As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic we have decided to cancel tomorrow’s Dramashop Book Club gathering. While we love a good play and a great discussion over coffee, it’s simply not worth putting anyone at risk when there are still so many unknowns.
However, if you do find yourself out and about, don’t forget about local businesses like Ember+Forge, our book club host, as they and their employees depend on customers like you. Or, if you’re staying home, consider buying a gift card from their website, https://squareup.com/gift/51CZQ1J2MF49X/order
AN UPDATE REGARDING CORONAVIRUS:
With the health and safety of our patrons, volunteers and community at the fore, Dramashop’s board and creative team have been evaluating plans for the remainder of our season, consulting information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Governor Tom Wolf’s Office and other state and local agencies. At this time, we are not making any changes beyond April 1, though we will constantly reevaluate as new information becomes available.
Events scheduled for this month will be impacted in the following ways:
1. This weekend, we will hold our March Book Club meet-up at Ember+Forge as scheduled, but we ask attendees to use their best judgment in deciding to attend. If you or others in your household are sick or symptomatic, please stay home. This is generally a very small gathering, and the CDC currently advises against large group gatherings. We have consulted with our friends at Ember+Forge, and they currently plan to stay open as scheduled.
2. We are postponing our March 21 Chekhov workshop, and are currently reaching out to those who have signed up for regarding an alternative date. If you have signed up, watch your email inbox for more information and please respond as soon as possible. If you are unable to attend once the event is rescheduled, you will be refunded in full.
3. Outside groups planning to use our space for special events have been notified that the space will be unavailable as we attempt to limit traffic and keep the venue clean. Please contact those organizations directly for more information.
4. We plan to open our staged reading of SILENT SKY as scheduled on Friday, March 27 as scheduled, and at present, we do not anticipate any impact to the production schedule. Rehearsals will be limited to company members only. Cast and crew will receive communications from our board and creative team reiterating what has already been stated in rehearsal: if you or someone you come in contact with regularly is sick, stay home. If any company members need to withdraw from the production, you are absolutely welcome to do so, no hard feelings. Your health and safety take priority over any production.
Currently, the Governor’s Office is advising against gatherings of 250 individuals or more, which has necessitated the cancelation of a number of large events in our area. Given the size of our 48-seat venue, we fall well below that restriction.
However, if those recommendations change, we will absolutely adjust our plans. Your safety is our top priority. We will continue to evaluate our plans, as well as updates from the CDC, state and local officials in the coming days and weeks and inform you of any additional changes. Our team will be vigilant about cleaning and sanitizing our venue, and the Renaissance Centre management is doing the same with all common areas, including restrooms.
From the Pennsylvania Department of Health, here are a few ways you can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
• Clean surfaces frequently.
• If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
For additional information regarding COVID-19, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Again, the health and safety of our community outweighs all other factors in making these decisions. We thank you for your understanding, and wish you the best during this challenging time.