All crew must attend COVID safety training workshops and crew drills during pre-production. It is incumbent on all crew members to thoroughly study and practice these safety protocols in advance of production.
Casting & Rehearsals
In-person auditions and callbacks are discouraged. If an in-person audition should take place, doing the audition outdoors is recommended, and face-covering and physical distancing rules must be observed. Casting local actors is encouraged, to reduce the risks and complications of bringing in people from outside of town. For rehearsals, face-covering and physical distancing rules must be observed for all involved. Actors are not to be closer than six-feet without a face covering during rehearsals. Students are encouraged to have more rehearsal time with actors, to minimize the amount of rehearsing during the production day.
Favor virtual scouting to minimize in-person scouting. Select known, controllable locations wherever possible. Report all in-person location scouts to the Head of Production in advance, including the address and the names of attendees. Treat locations as if they are infected and use PPE accordingly. Do not touch items native to the location while scouting. Have as much conversation outdoors as possible. Give special consideration to size and space when assessing a location. Assume that you’ll need twice the amount of space than normal to accommodate the additional safety protocols. Give special consideration to the ability to create a secure perimeter, so that there can be a controlled work area for the production. Assess: Is the location inhabited? Are any residents in a vulnerable category? Are any residents currently quarantined due to COVID exposure, posing a potential risk to cast and crew? Use digital copies of paperwork to acquire signatures.
Report all tech scouts to the Head of Production in advance, including the address and the names of attendees. Treat locations as if they are infected and use PPE accordingly. Do not touch items native to the location while scouting unless absolutely necessary. Have as much conversation outdoors as possible. Try to maximize space and air flow when selecting spaces. Create a plan for maintaining a secure perimeter at the location for a controlled, closed work area, free from outsiders to the production. Create a sanitization plan for the location: What surfaces need disinfecting? Who will be responsible for doing this? When and how frequently will it occur? Map out spaces for: Parking – assuming more vehicles than usual; Outdoor reception checkpoint – for clock-in and deliveries; Base camp – which should not be moved during the day; Green room for first team – as close to set as possible; Set(s) – where scenes will be shot; Team spaces – for each department to work and stage gear; Outdoor mask-free zone – with room for physical distancing; Lunch – with room for physical distancing. Assess and determine: If any spaces will make physical distancing difficult for the necessary cast/crew; Access to bathrooms and hand-washing/sanitizing stations; Signage needs – e.g., directions to the reception checkpoint; directions to hand-washing stations; safety guidelines. Whether any special considerations need to be made regarding air flow and/or HVAC, especially in Zone A areas. How COVID might impact the emergency plan — e.g., the ability for people to evacuate or congregate.
All casting and locations must be locked prior to Director’s Prep. Producer must present a robust safety plan for each location, using the COVID Addendum to the Location Hazard Assessment form. Producer must present a robust safety plan for the execution of each individual set-up. Prep faculty signs an authorization form if the show demonstrates a robust plan. May require follow-up action items to be addressed before green light.
Green Light Meeting
Producer presents relevant planning documents and authorization forms to the Head of Production in order to secure a green light. Producer provides a list of cast, crew, and volunteers. Nobody else will be authorized to be in Zone B.
Be sure to address COVID protocols in the meeting. Holding the production meeting virtually or outdoors is recommended, especially on productions with larger crew sizes.