Classroom and Rehearsal Safety Protocol

Introduction

In order to maximize the safety of NTPA students, parents, patrons and staff, the North Texas Performing Arts created its Reopening Task force of some 25 professionals including four medical doctors, legal counsel, board members and others. The Task Force defined the procedures and protocols outlined in this document to ensure that NTPA’s Production Rehearsals are opened in a safe and deliberate manner that best protects the health of its students and patrons.

In addition to the NTPA PRODUCTION REHEARSAL SAFETY PROTOCOL outlined below, NTPA Staff have been trained upon and will enforce a detailed “Staff Safety 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 students or staff members and appropriate response, 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 to Parents or Guardians upon request.

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.

This team and others that will follow have been working with us to come up with best plan to allow our get our students, 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 Students, 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 students, patrons and staff.

Now More Than Ever

We’ve been SO FOCUSED on executing the safest and most comprehensive COVID-19 Protocol in the state. Now we want to share WHY we’ve spent so much time developing these protocols and why we believe educational performing arts programs are important NOW MORE THAN EVER.

Mask Safety Video Series

NTPA Reopening Task Force Member, Dr. Jenny Duewall, explains why wearing a mask is important, how to talk to children about wearing a mask, and proper methods for putting on and taking off a mask.

Our thanks to the Members of the NTPA Re-Opening Task Force

  • 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. 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

Release of Liability – Participation Release Form 

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

Student (Under Age 18) and Family Release Form

For all students  participating in an NTPA production and their family members.

Complete the Release Form Online
Print and Sign the Release Form

Adult Participants and Volunteers Release Form

For all adult participants or volunteers that did not complete the student/family release form.

Complete the Release Form Online
Print and Sign the Release Form

Phase III NTPA Regular Rehearsal/Classroom Safety Protocol

We are pleased to introduce PHASE III of the NTPA Regular Rehearsal/Classroom Safety Protocol that will guide the safety procedures and processes for all regular weekly rehearsals/classes 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/classes must adhere to NTPA safe-social distance guidelines and masks must be worn at all times.
  • It is assumed that all Summer 2-week Productions will rehearse in-person and follow these guidelines.

Drop-Off Process

  • To minimize parent movement in the facility, a show volunteer or staff member will be positioned outside the doors of the theatre and encourage parents to safely drop their children off curbside. 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 child with a fever of 100.0 or above must be sent home, so parents should ensure their child has passed these tests before leaving the area.
  • In admitting their actor, the Parent 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.
  • Students 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.
  • If a child needs to leave rehearsal/class early or arrive late, the parent must text the show manager, and the parent will meet the actor at the designated drop-off/pick-up spot.
  • For the protection of the Student and staff, all persons onsite at every NTPA facility must wear a facemask, including students, Parents or visitors, at all times. Those appearing without a mask must acquire one before entering or will not be admitted. Parents are encouraged to work with their children to gain experience with their facemask for prolonged periods in advance of coming to rehearsal/class.
  • The students must provide their own acceptably protective face mask. 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 families in financial need on an individual basis at prior request and as available and on an exceptional basis.
  • On the first in-person rehearsal/class day, NTPA staff members will check that all liability forms are complete.
  • Students 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.
  • Students will be directed to walk directly to their rehearsal/class room once cleared by the show manager.
  • Car monitors will routinely ask the actors if they have their mask, water bottle, snack, and script before they enter the building.
  • Directors will determine if staggered drop off/pick-up times are needed.
  • Specific Rehearsal studio locations should be communicated in advance and confirmed by the show manager so that students can go directly to their rehearsal room without congregating in the theatre lobby. From the moment a student enters to the time they leave, social distancing will be enforced.

Pick-Up Process

  • Students will be ushered to the pick-up zone and will be dismissed only to parent guardians.
  • Students should respect a safe social distance while waiting for their ride.

In-Rehearsal/In-Class Conduct

  • All participants (Students, Staff & Volunteers) must wear masks at all times during a rehearsal/class.
  • All students should bring water bottles to every rehearsal/class. Students 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.
  • There can be no student-to-student contact or touching. Hugging, kissing or close dance will not be permitted.
  • Shows must be blocked to manage to a safe social distance (maintaining six feet between actors) onstage. In those instances where a Director cannot manage to six-feet between actors onstage, they must review and gain approval from the managing director after exhausting all other reasonable options.
  • Students may not be within six-feet of other participants, directors or adults in excess of 15 minutes to avoid any and all “close contacts” as defined by the CDC.
  • There should not be “group” bathroom breaks, and students should be excused individually to go to the restrooms as necessary. Younger students will be accompanied.
  • Breaks must either remain in the rehearsal room or can be moved outside pending adult supervision.
  • 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, toys, books, and other games or learning aids. 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 with the show manager to do so.
  • If an actor becomes sick or fevered, they will immediately be separated and parent’s contacted for pick-up and NTPA will follow the approved State of Texas Protocol for notification.
  • If necessary, NTPA will discipline undesirable behavior invoking its “Three Strike” rule which will apply to rules surrounding COVID-19 safety precautions, including the mask-wearing and other special details. Upon first violation, the child is counseled. Upon second violation, the parent is contacted, and if there is a third violation (depending on the violation) the child may be excused from the activity or the entire program.
  • The last five minutes of every rehearsal/class will be reserved for sanitizing hands and safe collection of belongings.
  • The facility will be cleaned and sanitized between each group’s use.

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 “On” casts. Ensembles should be limited if their attendance is not necessary.
  • Students 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.  Students requiring microphones are expected to PURCHASE THEIR OWN (microphones cannot be shared). NTPA will provide a “Microphone Kit” that includes a microphone, gloves, a protective cloth bag, and microphone tape for a fee of $29 and will provide directions for those that would prefer to assemble their own kits. For those Students unable to afford to purchase a microphone, NTPA will provide a reusable microphone that must be returned damage-free and students/parents should make requests to the Directors.  NTPA will be sanitizing and reusing shared microphones.  Damaged microphones must be paid for by the student/parent.  Microphones may be purchased at: https://ntpa.thundertix.com/events/173173
  • Live singing with full projection with masks on is permitted ONLY for Tech rehearsals and performances where it has been approved to not employ vocalist pre-recordings.
  • Those students 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.
  • There can be no student-to-student contact or touching. Hugging, kissing or close dance will not be permitted.
  • Shows must be blocked to manage to a safe social distance (maintaining six feet between actors) onstage. In those instances where a Director cannot manage to six-feet between actors onstage, they must review and gain approval from the managing director after exhausting all other reasonable options.
  • Students may not be within six-feet of other participants, directors or adults in excess of 15 minutes to avoid any and all “close contacts” as defined by the CDC.

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.
View Performance Safety Protocols