Creating a Responsible Theatre Experience
We have received an outpouring of support and desire for careful and socially distanced in-person programming. We hear our community asking for responsible opportunities to participate in and patronize the arts. There are others who are not ready and will not be ready to return to public events for a long time – we understand and support both of those feelings from members of our community.
We are working to bring opportunities to Downtown Waukesha and to support our fellow businesses but in order to do this, we need our patrons to help by following guidelines we are putting in place to reopen a Responsible Theatre.
There have been developments in education regarding COVID-19 and how to adapt our practices to best care for everyone at our theatre. Most significantly, it is now recognized that coronavirus is primarily transmitted by aerosolized droplets, the germs we exhale as we breathe, speak, sing, cough, or sneeze. The key health issue is to avoid “close contact” with someone infected with COVID-19. In this context, the CDC defines close contact as:
Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to testing specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
With this in mind, we are focusing our efforts on face coverings, reduced capacity, socially distanced seating, and audience distancing from performers. This doesn’t mean that we will stop cleaning – we will continue our increased cleaning and disinfection practices of surfaces, armrests, and handles as a new standard of best practices for health and safety at WCT.
Patrons, Volunteers, and staff MUST provide and wear face masks when inside Waukesha Civic Theatre. If mask is forgotten, WCT will have them available – $2 donation suggested.
Patrons are instructed to stay home if not feeling well. If any of the following symptoms exist, patron MUST reschedule their tickets: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
Doors to building will open 30 minutes before show starts. As patrons enter, they shall maintain social distance and move directly to their reserved seats.
Patrons will find social distance markings in lobby and hallways.
Will-call will not be available for ticket pickup.
Coat check will not be available, please bring personal items into the theatre.
The Box Office, concessions, and bar feature glass, plastic, or plexiglass barriers.
Ushers will wear gloves and will not touch tickets.
Programs will be single-page and recyclable but not reusable.
There will be sanitizing stations in the lobby – please use before entering the theatre.
High-touch surfaces will be cleaned on a regular basis.
Pre-show and post-show lobby gatherings will not be possible.
Additional guidelines may be added or removed as the situation evolves.
Guidelines to Reopening
Air Movement: WCT has six HVAC units. The theatre house seating area, the lobby, and the backstage area are all on separate air handlers and increase circulation.
Face Coverings: Masks are required at WCT.
Performers: Wear face coverings in all areas backstage and on stage, removing face covering while speaking only and in compliance with the WI mask mandate.
Staff: As recommended by the Event Safety Alliance, all staff members or volunteers will be given a single-use disposable mask at the beginning of each shift in order to ensure clean and dry conditions of face coverings.
Patrons: Patrons are required to wear face coverings in all spaces and may remove the mask only while taking a drink or a bite WHILE sitting in socially distanced seats in the theatre. Eating or drinking in the lobby will NOT be permitted.
Capacity and Distancing:
Audience: Our theatre has a capacity of 261 patrons. We have reduced capacity to 25% or 65 patrons at each event. You may select seats to purchase online in groups of two or you may contact the box office for larger households sitting together. At all times, we ask households to keep a distance of 6’ or two theatre seats/one row apart.
Rehearsals, Meetings, or Classes: The WCT’s building capacity is much higher, but we will reduce the number of people in the building at all times and limit class sizes to 10 or fewer.
Performers: We will keep casts safely spaced in backstage areas, utilizing rehearsal halls and the scene shop, and reduced shared spaces. We stock cleaning and disinfecting products in all areas of the theatre. On stage, performers will be distanced if there is the potential for face coverings to be removed and will wear masks if in close proximity.
Temperature Checks and Screening at Entrance: We will be taking the temperature of every patron, staff member, and volunteer upon entry of the theatre. Studies show that as many as 40% of people with COVID-19 will be asymptomatic or presymptomatic, but taking temperatures and asking health questions establishes a culture in that event space in which people take health and safety seriously.
The following questions will be asked: Are you feeling symptoms of illness? Have you been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
Lobby and Shared Spaces
There must be NO loitering in the lobby before or after a performance. WCT cannot and will not be responsible for or tolerate this kind of behavior. We are not encouraging or supporting gatherings – we are enabling responsible event attendance.
All auditions in the 2020-2021 season will be held using a sign-up genius and time slots to reduce capacity. We ask ALL actors who are auditioning to wear a face-covering while in the building and remain at a 6-foot distance while waiting. Actors may remove face-covering when in place for the audition and at the direction of the Director or Stage Manager. Face covering should be worn in all public spaces.