Archaeologists believe they have found the remains the earliest purpose-built playhouse in Britain. The Red Lion is believed to have been built around 1567 and is thought to be the first purpose-built theatre of the Elizabethan era but its location has long been disputed but archaeologists are as certain as they can be that they have found its remains at a site in the East End of London.
Over the past couple of months, many organizations have written white papers and/or set up web pages on the impact of COVID-19 on the performing arts, reopening, bringing audiences back and more. I thought it would be helpful to bring them together into one post. So, here are summaries and links to some of the better resources. I hope at least one is helpful to you. Obviously newer information will be the most relevant, but the older information is still very useful.
If you know of other useful resources, please let me know. I’ll update this page as I learn of additional information.
Let’s start with the basics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a home page for COVID-19 information.
Second, keeping the PAC clean and safe. What can PACs do and what are employers required to do?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a web page outlining the basic Hierarchy of Controls from most effective to least effective. The page notes that “Controlling exposures to occupational hazards is the fundamental method of protecting workers. Traditionally, a hierarchy of controls has been used as a means of determining how to implement feasible and effective control solutions.” Here’s the key graphic:
Similarly, the OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 contains recommendations and descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards that employers must comply with.
The CDC has information on Cleaning and Disinfecting Facilities.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a list of products that meet their criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The American Institute of Architects’ Re-occupancy Assessment Tool V1.0 was published on May 6th. The document isn’t specific to theatres but provides information and checklists for a whole-building approach to mitigation strategies.
You may have heard that UV-C can kill the virus. The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) has a few resources regarding UV-C disinfection.
Third, what about the organization itself? The National Endowment for the Arts has a great list of COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations.
The Event Safety Alliance published The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide on May 11th. Like the IAAPA guide, this is comprehensive and, I think, a little more relevant to performing arts venues.
AMS Analytics has published a 2nd draft edition of Guide to Reopening Theatrical Venues on May 15th under the banner of The Performing Arts Center Consortium. The guide is well written and has clear tables describing aspects of a PAC, Phases of reopening and safety and mitigation actions to take at each phase.
AMS Analytics also published The Long Runway to Return: The Role of Anchor Cultural Institutions, which urges major institutions to focus on their mission as they adapt to new artistic and financial realties.
Shugoll Research published Coronavirus Theatre Survey: National Sample of Theatregoers on May 11th. The results aren’t surprising and include statistics such 63% of theatregoesrs are likely to wait a few months before returning to the theatre.
IAAPA published COVID-19 Reopening Guidance: Considerations for the Global Attractions Industry on May 1st . It is a comprehensive paper on general considerations as well as considerations for specific elements of a venue such as food service, offices, and backstage spaces.
Handwashing (World Health Organization)
Physical Distancing (CDC)
Cloth Face Coverings (CDC)
Coronavirus Symptoms (CDC)
Gensler has a blog with posts related to how companies and architectural design may need to change in response to COVID-19
This short article in Scientific American is about the state of 3-D printing in construction and a look at a few recent projects. It’s well worth the time.
One of America’s greatest and most prolific theatre architects, Hugh Hardy, passed away on Thursday at the age of 84. We had the great privilege of being the lighting designers for Hugh and his team on the renovation of the public spaces of the New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street, which will open later this year. His wit, generosity, and knowledge were always evident and always appreciated. Here is his obituary in the New York Times.