Union suggests no ‘stage-dooring’ once live performances resume

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The areas around stage doors could look as deserted as the one above if theaters implement a union’s guideline prohibiting autograph seeking following live theater productions.

 

 

If you loved seeking autographs and taking backstage tours following stage productions, new safety guidelines may disappoint you.

A theater union suggests prohibiting “stage-dooring” and backstage tours at union theaters once live performances resume. These are two of the many recommendations within a 27-page list of COVID-19 safety guidelines for stagecraft workers and union entertainment venues. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) drafted the guidelines.

In addition to axing autograph sessions and backstage tours, the recommendations cover a variety of areas. They include diagnostic testing and paid sick leave for workers.

The released document is “intended to only provide general information,” according to the union’s website. Further, the set of guidelines is not “a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment, legal advice, or a legal opinion.

The IATSE is an international union. It represents more than 150,000 members. They work in the stagecraft, motion picture and television production, and trade show industries throughout the U.S., its territories, and Canada. In live theater, the union represents a variety of employees. Among them are theatrical technicians, stagehands, front-of-house workers, ticket sellers, as well as hair and makeup artists.

The guidelines “address the unique challenges stagecraft workplaces face in a global pandemic,” according to the IATSE’s website. “The International’s Stagecraft Department collaborated with local union officers from Stage, Wardrobe, Treasurer’s and Ticket Sellers, Front of House, Make-up Artists and Hairstylists, and Designers locals in the United States and Canada to ensure that the guidelines included all relevant crafts.”

Medical experts in occupational health and safety reviewed the document, according to the website.

If union theaters implement these guidelines, you will no longer receive programs from ushers. Rather, patrons will take programs from a table or rack.

Meanwhile, other guidelines call for union theaters to adopt a COVID-19 safety plan and provide personal protective equipment for employees if required. The document also covers areas such as hand hygiene, disinfection and maintenance, and safety in regard to food and beverages.

To read the entire 27 page document, visit https://www.iatse.net/sites/default/files/stagecraft_reopening_guidelines_final.pdf.

 

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  • Anne Siegel#1

    August 4, 2020

    Aaron – I read your article on Facebook and I’m so glad they reprinted it in the ATCA weekly newsletter. While critics may not be as affected by these changes as “regular” audiences, it is understandable that the unions want to keep their members safe.However, for many theatergoers, seeing and perhaps even talking to a “star” after seeing a show is just as much of a thrill as the production itself. It allows a personal connection between actor and audience that one cannot get by seeing a film, etc. I realize you know all this. I hope they can work out an arrangement that will satisfy everybody. Thanks for keeping us posted on this.

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