Every new theatre production should have a “Covid monitor” who manages health and safety, according to new practice guidelines released last week.
The monitor would take responsibility for safety measure from stage management and costume teams, as those teams don’t want the burden, according to the Stage Management Association (SMA) guidance.
The guidance stated that professionals had expressed “significant concern” that being in charge mean they’d be unable to “perform either their normal duties or that monitoring effectively”.
The monitor would be involved in ensuring social distancing was enforced to reduce coronavirus transmission.
They would also be in charge of ensuring safety protocols were in place throughout any production, according to The Stage.
While stage management professionals typically have “positive working relationships,” responsibility for guidelines would “permanently change those good working relationships.”
Other SMA recommendations including video conferencing meetings and quarantining props for 72 hours.
The report was produced after discussions between the SMA, the Association of British Theatre Technicians and other associations.
By returning to work, the report states members of theatre companies may have to curtail their “social activities outside the cohort.”
The guidance also stated “reduced productivity will lead to significant extra costs” which could harm the financial security of “fringe and independent shows.”
Words by Noah Keate.