COVID SECURE PERFORMANCES 2021/2022

Although things are starting to edge towards a cautious normality with regard to dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, things are still far from normal, and the risk from Covid is ever-present, so our school presentations will continue to reflect the on-going risk.  In the late Autumn Term 2020 - at the height of the pandemic - we successfully visited dozens of secondary schools with our ‘Covid-Secure’ presentation of ‘A Christmas Carol’, and we demonstrated that our Covid-Secure procedures worked well.  During 2021/2022 we will continue to visit schools with these same secure procedures. 
We have laid down some ground rules with regard to visiting schools to ensure that all of our visits are SAFE and COVID SECURE, in order to best protect school staff, students, and also our performers.  It is our intention that at all times the performers will have as little close contact as possible with students and school staff during the entirety of our visit, and we request that schools assist us to achieve that aim.  Where we need action from school staff to achieve a secure visit then this will be show below in BLUE TEXT.  These arrangements will remain in place for as long as necessary.

 

1.  GENERAL:
All of our performers have been fully (double) vaccinated before contracted to work with us, and they will be routinely health-checked in Manchester each morning before setting off to visit schools.  They will apply hand sanitiser BEFORE entering school premises, and will wear face-masks upon arrival at school and throughout their time on school premises, EXCEPT during the period of setting up the performance area; during the actual performance; and during the follow-up Q&A session.  It is our intention throughout our visit that the performers will remain at least two metres from school staff when arriving at school and being escorted to and from the performance area; and will remain at least five metres from the audience during the whole presentation.

 

2.  ARRIVAL AT SCHOOL RECEPTION:
In advance of our visit we will inform our school booking contact of the names of the performers who will be visiting you on the day, in order to make the signing-in process as easy as possible.  All our performers have recently been DBS checked to enhanced level.  They will bring with them their DBS certificate, and also relevant Photo-ID.   As soon as the performers arrive at the school gates they will telephone the school reception to inform them of their arrival and to receive any instructions, if necessary, about entering the school building. 
It is our intention that our performers have as little contact as possible with students and school staff during the entirety of our visit, and so it would be extremely helpful that once the group arrives with you and have signed in, that they should be escorted to the performance area as quickly as possible, and not left in your school reception area unattended for any length of time. 

 

3. SETTING UP IN THE PERFORMANCE AREA.
There is no set to erect, and our group will arrive each with a bag containing costume changes and small props that are specific to each performer.  During set-up we request that we have the performance space to ourselves for preparation, therefore no students and a minimum of staff should be in the performance hall whilst we are setting up.  By the time we are ready to allow the audience into the seating area all the preparations will be complete.   Our performance is presented front-on to the audience, and we would request that the seating is arranged to accommodate this prior to our visit.  For our part, we will work to a maximum audience size of 240. Up to that number, how many you actually want to have attending the performance is entirely up to you: its all a matter of how many you can fit into the performance seating area, and still maintain any social distancing rules your school has in place at the time of our performance. We request that school staff are responsible for ensuring that the audience are seated correctly, and that our performers will not be involved in seating the audience.   It is our intention that the performers will remain a MINIMUM of 5 metres from the audience at all times, and so we request that the front occupied row of the seating area is at least 5 metres from the performing area to allow the performers the chance to keep their distance from the audience at all times.  The performers will mark out a boundary on the performing area itself which we will not cross, to ensure that we maintain the minimum of 5 metres from the front of the audience throughout.

 

4.  DURING THE PRESENTATION.
Each performance lasts approx. 60 minutes.  Despite any restrictions, you can expect that our performers will present a robust, lively, powerful, well-spoken, well-acted professional performance of the play.  After the performance there is an OPTIONAL Q&A session that can last up to a maximum of 30 minutes. This session will be directed by the performers, and will involve a dialogue with the audience, to encourage the students to delve deeper into the text, and ask any relevant questions that they would like to be answered.  These Q&A sessions are often quite lively, but we will maintain our 5 metre minimum distance AT ALL TIMES.

 

5.  AFTER THE PRESENTATION IS COMPLETE.
Once the presentation is complete then the performers will retreat to the rear of the performance area.  Often at schools, once the presentation has finished some students and staff members like to have quick chat with the performers, which we usually like to encourage, but under these current conditions we CAN NOT allow this to happen.  We want to maintain our distance at all times throughout our visit.  Once the seating area is totally cleared of staff and students, our performers will start to pack up costumes and props, and prepare to leave the premises, replacing their face masks.  We request that one member of staff remains behind to safely escort our group back to the school reception and off the premises, to ensure that we do not encounter other staff or students on the way.

These measures will ensure that our school visit will be as safe as possible for all parties, and and also ensure that the presentation to the audience will be as robust as ever.

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