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WIBU to rehearse if you're an actor?

(13 Posts)
LimeLemonOrange Sat 23-May-20 14:24:37

The government guidelines are unclear. They state that theatres should be closed to the public. But they do not specify whether actors can work inside the building to rehearse a play.

So - WIBU for 3 actors to rehearse inside a building if they stay 2 metres away from each other?

The play they would be rehearsing is a socially distant event, very small scale, for 1-4 audience members at a time, audience would also be 2 metres away from each other, coming in one way, out another door etc. Obviously wouldn't open for public until legal to do so.

Devlesko Sat 23-May-20 14:27:25

Would the theatre be able to open for rehearsals first of all.
We aren't doing anything, but for us it's work and we are furloughed from our own entertainment business.
We have singers, dancers, musicians, and a new show waiting to be rehearsed but can't do it.

I suppose if you are amateurs you may be able to, but does the theatre have insurance cover for these times.

LimeLemonOrange Sat 23-May-20 14:34:34

Interesting point re the insurance cover.

It's my DH who is the actor by the way. He wants to do it, I'm just trying to work out whether it's a) the right thing to do and b) legal.

I'd assumed the theatre would be closed, but we live in a small town, council run theatre, the person who manages the theatre is his mate, he has the keys, he's been going in to check the building on a regular basis, he insists that it's his decision whether to run rehearsals in the building as it won't be open to the public.

Devlesko Sat 23-May-20 14:37:00

can they not do it online, if it's just rehearsing a script?

LimeLemonOrange Sat 23-May-20 14:39:48

It's devised theatre so is more of an in person thing, and they need to work out the logistics of how they'd safely move people in and out of the building and around the space - not sure exactly but I think they plan to use the various spaces creatively e.g. having one audience member standing or seating in xx spot, with the three actors over the other side of the space. It won't be a traditional theatre show where audience is seated and actors on stage.

TheHighestSardine Sat 23-May-20 14:39:56

Actors I know are all doing it via videocall.

LouiseTrees Sat 23-May-20 14:59:21

Emmerdale have started filming again at 2m distance.

LimeLemonOrange Sat 23-May-20 15:07:25

That's interesting re Emmerdale. Wonder if that includes indoors as well as outdoor filming.

Shoppingwithmother Sat 23-May-20 15:14:56

There are a number of different issues I guess.

Are theatres legally allowed to be open? No. Does this include for rehearsals? I don’t know.

People are allowed to carry on going to work if they cannot do their job from home. Is he being paid for this, so it is actually classified as work? If so maybe it can be done from that point of view.

Three friends wouldn’t be allowed to meet up together and rehearse an amateur play though, as it wouldn’t count as being at work and there would be more than 2 people.

LemonTT Sat 23-May-20 15:21:35

The first question is whether this is paid work or not? If paid work, then the first question is whether it could be done from home. I would say yes using technology but if they need to go into the theatre then risk assessments must be done. Lots of issues with this proposal in terms of infection control.

By the sounds of it there is no planned public performance. Just some people getting together to entertain themselves indoors. Bit of a piss take to all those who accept this is illegal.

LimeLemonOrange Sat 23-May-20 15:55:12

Yes, he's paid to do this, so it is work. But he does have another job he does from home so doesn't NEED that income.

There's a public performance planned - as soon as theatres are opened again they will be able to perform to a very small audience of 1-4 people.

I wish I knew whether it was legal though. It says in the government guidelines that theatres must not open to the public. With a rehearsal, they are not opening to the public - it seems to be open to interpretation.

ChocolatelyAsFuck Sat 23-May-20 16:23:50

I work in theatre, and my partner is a well-known theatre industry figure and currently advising the government on its (woeful) COVID arts policy.

The theatre your DH works for should have drawn up various provisional plans to cover the various eventualities for when lockdown is lifted, and should be giving all their employees and freelance staff explicit guidance. It sounds like the theatre is not being well run. Do they have an artistic director or a board, or is it literally one person?

All the theatres I’m under contract with have kept me informed about provisional re-opening dates and what this means got cancelled or postponed productions. I have one production which is tentatively scheduled to start rehearsals in September, and that’s the earliest, but depends what happens with lockdown over the next few months.

Right now, all rehearsals have either been halted, or are online. I don’t know of any theatre doing in-person rehearsals right now. (With the exception of actors who live together.)

This forum is probably not the best place to seek guidance on something so specialist. There are active theatre and acting communities online where people with proper legal and procedural knowledge (like Equity officials, or artistic directors) can give much better support and guidance than I or most MNers are capable of giving.

LimeLemonOrange Sat 23-May-20 17:40:09

Thanks so much ChocolatelyAsFuck that is an enormously helpful reply.

This is a local, council funded arts centre, very small scale. I don't know his role title but the building is run by one man, he decides what theatre companies come in, there are also musicians, comedians etc. There are a couple of part time bar and admin staff but it's run by this one man. My DH does a lot of shows for this arts centre and has an ongoing relationship with the theatre manager / producer (or whatever he calls himself).

There hasn't been any guidance given, it is all very blurry as the theatre manager is friends with my DH, they've been planning this new show together over zoom, and this producer / manager has keys to the building and has decided it's safe to go in and have a meeting and start working together.

I'll see if I can find any of the more specialist forum types you mention.

I've been talking to this theatre manager / producer today by message and his interpretation is that you are allowed to go back to work if you can't work from home, and this is work, so therefore this is allowed.

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