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Five more months. At least. :(posted Mar 28 2021

The first show still on our schedule is five months from yesterday, and it feels dicey. Our last show before the shutdown was more than a year ago.

We’ve sent the following out to everybody booked in the remainder of 2021. It describes the restrictions Vermont’s performance venues will continue to face for the next few months, so it’s of general interest as well.

Hi ____, I’m just checking in with everybody on the Stage 33 Live schedule in the remainder of 2021. You don’t need to respond to this – just keeping you abreast.

Our spring dates have all been nixed. Looking ahead, there are reasons for hope but it still seems things could wobble either way. Vermont’s been going gangbusters on vaccinations, however also had its highest single-day Covid case total this week. 

The state’s Commerce people are thinking that the indoor venue rules probably won’t change until after summer sometime. Our fall shows actually start during the end of summer, which doesn’t technically doesn’t stop until September 22. Who knows what things will look like by then. We also haven’t yet received the green light to resume from the building owners and tenants.

Vermont’s rules include “1 person per 100 square feet” and “seating must allow for physical distancing of at least 6 feet between seated parties. No standing or mingling is allowed.” In our room, that means an audience of about 10 people with decentish proximity and reasonable sightline. (That includes minimum separation from singers: “Live entertainment that requires the rapid expulsion of air from an individual, including singing and playing certain musical instruments, has been linked to the spread of the virus and should be discouraged. Should an organization wish to host such activities, performers must be separated from the audience/attendees and each other by at least 6 feet.” They specifically state that stage barriers don’t negate that rule.)

Although they confusingly say that “restaurants, bars and clubs may seat multiple households at the same table, but no more than six people can be seated at the same table”, word is that needs to simultaneously accommodate the “1 person per 100 square feet” rule… which puts our potential audience numbers back at square one.

Masks are still required when not eating. (Of minor concern, we’d either have to axe the snacks or have a volunteer dispense them. “Use of shared food service [buffet style] and self-serve utensils, plates or napkins, are prohibited.”)

Other requirements include particular signage, taking and maintaining contact-tracing info, having a “designated health officer”, all volunteers completing VOSHA health and safety training… and more – I didn’t even dive deep into the current HVAC and air-changes guidance.

Your show is still a long ways off. If you choose to postpone, that will be graciously accepted and I hope you’ll consider rescheduling down the road. My preferred hope is that you’ll choose to wait a bit more and see how things develop.

I’ll be back in touch in about four months. Stay healthy, find ways to be happy.


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