Dear OLT Supporter,
On March 12th, 2020 , just one week before the opening of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, the theatre made the difficult decision to delay the production. At that time, we were hoping we could present it later that spring. Little did we know what was in store for not only our theatre but for the whole world.
While things have improved since then, we still find ourselves in the position of navigating ourselves forward as the province and the Artistic community gears towards a full re-opening.
As you are no doubt aware, The Ontario government is lifting the requirement for vaccine passports to be presented for attendance at ticketed events as of March 1st and we’ve been wrestling with how we proceed forward. While some of us cheer the news as a signal that the world is opening at long last, others of us remain concerned that it is happening too soon and that particularly the most vulnerable may still be at risk. This is a serious concern for us as we recognize we are supported by a more “mature” demographic who may remain uncomfortable returning to what a normal theatre experience was prior to COVID 19.
Some theatres have decided to keep a vaccination requirement at least temporarily. Even outside of Ontario we see this, with Broadway extending the use of a vaccine passport through the end of April. Yesterday the Stratford Festival announced that it was keeping audience mandates in place until April 30th. The process of making these sorts of decisions is extremely difficult, as you can imagine, but we want to ensure the welfare of our performers, volunteers and patrons is our primary concern no matter how desperately we long to return to normal.
Unlike movie theatres, for example, which need only consider the audience and the limited number of staff required to interact with them, live theatre venues must also consider the performers, who are in close contact with a portion of the audience, and then are themselves in close contact with each other and the backstage crew. The spread of COVID backstage could lead to the cancellations of numerous performances – or worse. Then there are our volunteers who are in close contact our audience members, many of whom are in vulnerable demographics, all of whom we want to keep safe. We must consider the science, of course, but also people’s readiness.
We have made the decision that our upcoming production of “Ordinary Days’ will only have a limited capacity audience of 33% capacity for some performances and 50% for others. Each audience capacity is listed on the website portal when you go to purchase tickets. As well, the Board of Directors has determined that we will continue to require our audiences comply with the vaccination status and show proof of vaccination upon entering the theatre and remain masked while in the building.
After “Ordinary Days” we will reassess the situation and make a decision for our youth group production of “Suessical” which is slated to open in May. We will continue to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the theatre is cleaned and ready for each audience. At this time, we will continue to require masking at all performances, to protect our performers and staff as well as audience members. Internally we have a vaccination mandate for all our performers, staff and volunteers.
We will be reaching out to you as we progress and of course we would be eager to hear from you as well. In addition, we will soon be releasing our 2022-2023 subscription series along with ticket information. Look for that in your inbox soon.
Thank you in advance for your continued support of Oshawa Little Theatre and we look forward to welcoming you back to 62 Russett at the end of March.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
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