Though Broadway performances will not return from their coronavirus-induced hiatus until at least January of next year, IATSE—the union covering stagehands, front-of-house workers, hair stylists, makeup artists, wardrobe team members, and other behind-the-scenes technicians—has begun to share guidelines for its members and their employers upon reopening.
The newly released, 27-page document reviewed by medical experts calls for the implementation of various steps for venues, including but not limited to the providing of required PPE, the establishment of an autonomous COVID-19 Compliance Officer program, staggering call times, daily screening, and assured communication and fluidity of protocols (and consequences for violations) based on adequacy.
Additional requests affect how audiences interact with the theatre as well, including eliminating all backstage tours and post-show stage door greetings, and having theatregoers acquire their own Playbills (instead of receiving them from ushers).
The requests follow similar calls from another major union in the theatre industry, Actors’ Equity. Earlier this month, Equity shared testing guidelines and a pre-production safety sheet that theatre companies across the country must abide by before its members, including performers and stage managers, will be permitted to return to work.