Statement, Policies & Safety Precautions (RE: SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

The health and safety of our audience, actors, directors, and staff are of utmost importance to us. In these challenging times of a worldwide pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (coronavirus), we are all forced to adopt new behavior patterns to protect ourselves and others. At this time, we are holding auditions by video submission only and continue to plan for our 44th Performance Season. As the pandemic continues to evolve day-to-day, we will reevaluate our positions and policies and provide you with timely updates.

Everyone is encouraged to follow the most conservative guidelines available from leading global and local health authorities (such as the CDC and WHO) which include frequent washing of hands for 20 seconds, suppressing and covering your coughs and sneezes, and social distancing yourself (6-foot minimum separation) and avoidance of large gatherings, especially in closed spaces.

The Hip Pocket Theatre is unique from most theatres because we are an outdoor venue with limited capacity. That being said, we are putting in place new policies to help reduce risks and protect our family and friends.

What you can do to help:

  • If you are symptomatic (have a dry cough, shortness of breath, or temperature), have been exposed to someone with these symptoms or who has tested positive for Covid-19, do not come to any event at the Hip Pocket Theatre.

  • If you are otherwise healthy, you will be required to wear a mask or facial covering. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided at no charge.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and use hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain a safe separation between yourself and others (6-foot minimum).

What we are doing to help protect you:

  • Cleaning all bathrooms, sinks, tables, and chairs with sanitizing wipes and agents.
  • Spreading out tables and chairs in our Backyard to increase the separation between guests.
  • Our Concessions staff will wear gloves and masks at all times.
  • We'll make hand sanitizer readily available.
  • We have reduced our audience capacity from 125 to 35-40 for all performances. To do this, we removed seating benches within the theatre to maximize separation between audience members.
  • We'll post signs to remind everyone to refrain from hugging and shaking hands and to maintain a safe separation while in lines at concessions or while entering the theatre.
  • We will work with our Directors and Actors to provide you with quality entertainment during this difficult period that minimizes risks and maximizes your health and wellbeing.

Auditions:

In-person auditions will not take place. Auditions will be by video submission only. Please refer to the Auditions section of the home page for details.

Rehearsals:

  • Rehearsal dates, times, and locations will be determined by each director once we are cleared to begin production.
  • We will encourage all directors to hold their rehearsals on the main stage of the theatre instead of off-site in an enclosed space.
  • All actors will be asked to maintain contact with their directors and stage managers concerning their health and possible exposure circumstances.
  • Directors and Stage Managers will keep theatre management informed of the health status of their cast members.
  • No actor should agree to be in a play if they are symptomatic, have been exposed to a person or persons who have tested positive for Covid-19, or are in close proximity to such individuals.
  • Any actor showing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 infection (cough, shortness of breath, temperature) should immediately contact their director or stage manager and not attend the rehearsal.
  • Temperatures will be taken at all rehearsals. Any actor, technician, director, stage manager, intern, or guest with a temperature above 100 degrees F will not be allowed into rehearsal.
  • Any rehearsal can be canceled at any time.
  • All actors will be instructed in best practices to reduce disease transmission and will be required to follow all recommendations.
  • The above rules also apply to all theatre technicians and any other personnel involved in any production.

Performances:

The Hip Pocket Theatre's 44th Performance Season does not begin until Friday, July 10, 2020. As the Covid-19 pandemic is an evolving health crisis worldwide, the theatre administration will be monitoring policy changes and recommendations from health professionals and adjusting our positions as appropriate.

At this time, the season will proceed as currently planned.

We have already stated above the actions we are taking to protect our patrons, staff, directors, and actors. These actions will be updated and modified over time as the need arises.

We will maintain transparency and communications through our normal channels that include this website, e-mail, Facebook, and any other Social Media platforms we may choose to emply.

Dr. Robert Bourdage, President, Hip Pocket Theatre Board of Directors, will be the main point of contact for all policy-related communications from the Hip Pocket Theatre. He can be reached by phone at (817) 994-7111 or by e-mail at hpt@hippocket.org or though his personal e-mail at robert@bourdage.net.

If you have any questions or suggestions pertaining to any of the policies enumerated above, please contact Dr. Bourdage or Rebo Hill, Office Manager, by phone at (817) 246-9775 or by e-mail at hpt@hippocket.org.

These are extraordinary times. The coronavirus pandemic is pulling us through a common global experience, the likes of which many of us have never seen before. The uncertainty of what the coming weeks and months will bring has all of us feeling a little on edge. But extraordinary times also bring our humanity and creative active to the surface. Many people shining in the darkness. As we look toward the countries that have been hit the hardest so far, we can see these beacons of light as sources of hope. We'd like to think the Hip Pocket Theatre is one of those sources. From all of us at Hip Pocket, we wish you and your loved ones strength and wellness.

"The light shines in the darkness and the darkness will never put it out." - Johnny Simons

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