Performing arts reopen after COVID-19 in NSW and Victoria, but without script

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“We know the schools are back from October 25, so it seemed like a good bet to be right before that,” said the producer, who after a record-breaking run at Melbourne’s Comedy Theater from July 2019 , has since seen the seasons of Brisbane and Sydney. for Come from afar stopped after they barely started.

“But we also know there will be bumps along the way, and we have to be flexible.”

Rigby can also be sure to have a healthy following for the return of Come from afar, which celebrates the kindness and resilience of the people of Gander, Newfoundland, and the 7,000 air passengers who flew there in the aftermath of the 2001 Twin Towers.

Sydney’s June short-season ticket holders retention rate is over 95%, with some holding their tickets for two years. An email was sent three weeks ago to just under 5,000 of them, informing them that their performances would be rescheduled soon, and Rigby said the response was overwhelming.

“We had a town hall with the cast right after that, and the first thing we did was read a selection of goodwill messages from our ticket holders,” he says.

“By telling us to keep the faith and that they can’t wait to come and see the show.”

A survey of 1,200 Australians this week by consumer research firm Glow found that 60% of them would avoid places that allow unvaccinated people to enter.

Rigby has already picked up on that sentiment and has become the first performing arts workplace to enforce dual vaccination for Come from afarof 60 employees.

Although the NSW government has previously signaled that a full vaccination will be required to enjoy the freedoms set out in its roadmap for reopening, NSW Health confirmed this week that the public health orders required for their enforcement are still pending. of finalization.

In their absence, Rigby was required under the Fair Work Act to consult with his staff on this requirement, but said he encountered no resistance.

“It has been recognized that we need to lead by example,” he says.

“We need to assure all of our employees that they are working in the safest environments, we need to assure our audience that they are entering the safest environments to enjoy the great storytelling.”

In the United States, where shows and tours are recurring despite more than one million active cases of COVID-19, evidence of vaccination is common. All Broadway shows in New York City require it, while major artists like Tame Impala have made vaccination a condition of entry to their concerts.

Meanwhile, producer Michael Cassel announced this week that Hamilton will return to the Lyric Theater on October 19, 14 weeks and nearly $ 30 million in revenue lost after the lights went out in early July. As Cassel awaits a public health order from NSW Health before finalizing details, he says the logistics of reorganizing hundreds of thousands of bookings in a Sydney season due to end on February 27 is “not for sensitive souls “.

“What we know now is that we have fewer stocks available than the people we have displaced. Who would have thought you would have this problem? We do. So we’re just trying to do it as fair and equitably as possible. “

Cassel said there is now an additional layer of communication required.

“We have to say, ‘Okay, you’re planning to come to the salon, but the new salon conditions now require you to be double vaccinated.’ We have to make sure that this communication is really clear. Because otherwise you have people getting ready for the show and going “great, my show wasn’t canceled”. But if they haven’t done their vaccinations properly, they still can’t come and be there. It becomes difficult.

Ribgy hoped that the NSW government’s promised integration of state immunization status information into its NSW Service app would be ready in time for Come From Away’s return.

However, his Capitol Theater home was ready to verify vaccination status in the format required, whether it was a paper form or a MyGov vaccination certificate uploaded to a digital wallet.

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