National Youth Theater, like the rest of the world, continues to find itself in uncharted territory. Our management team has spent many hours behind the scenes working out a plan that we feel best encompasses the health & safety of all involved, the hopes & desires of our NYT families, and the best scenarios given current options.

We understand that some families will be ready to participate now, while others may not.  If you or a close family member have any increased health risks, or live with anyone over the age of 65, we strongly recommend you do not participate at this time. Additionally, we encourage you to sit out this season if you are anxious about any of our guidelines. We expect each family to make the decision that best suits them and their children. And we respect any decisions that are made.

Here is a summary of National Youth Theater’s program guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as our Fall 2020 season opens. Information provided by the Open Texas Task Force, Texas Education Association, and University Interscholastic League was used in developing these guidelines.

As of August 14, 2020

  • All participants (students, staff, volunteers) will be screened upon arrival to any camp, rehearsal, or performance (from here on referred to as “activity”).
    • No one with any symptoms of illness is allowed to attend.  Even if symptoms are mild, or thought to be from an illness other than CV-19, participation will be denied.
    • If any adult or child develops any symptoms after arriving at an activity, they will be required to go home.
    • If a participant tests positive for CV-19, NYT will contact parents of children who came into contact with that person.
  • Groups:
    • Classes will be divided into 2 groups of 20 each.  These groups will be kept separate.  Social distancing among individuals will be encouraged throughout the class.
    • Production (Aladdin & Grimm) rehearsals will call actors in smaller groups and establish social distancing whenever possible.
    • Dress rehearsals and performances (Aladdin & Grimm) will not be socially distanced on stage, however as soon as the actors leave the stage they will resume a 6’ distance from others and be separated into groups.
  • Face Coverings
    • All students (ages 10 & up), actors, staff, & volunteers will be required to wear a mask or face shield  to and from any activity, according to the governor’s order.
    • Teachers and directors may remove their masks/shields to teach and direct while maintaining a distance of 6’ or greater from others.
    • Students and actors may remove their masks/shields only to perform or practice singing, dancing, or acting.  Masks must go back on as soon as that is completed.
    • All participants present at an activity will wear a mask/shield except as outlined above.
    • Here is information on disabilities that would preclude wearing a face covering.
  • Drop off and pick up
    • Classes:  the class coordinator will provide instructions for carline drop off and pick up.  Only students & staff will be allowed to enter the building.
    • Auditions:  only auditioners will be allowed in the building, along with essential staff.  Instructions for drop off and pick up will be provided prior to auditions.
    • Show rehearsals:  only cast members and those volunteers deemed essential (& given express permission) will be allowed to enter the building.  The production manager will give specific instructions on drop-off and pick-up procedures.
  • Sanitation
    • Specific staff will be designated to perform increased daily sanitization protocols for common surfaces, high touch areas, restrooms, and dining areas.
    • Hand sanitizer and soap & water will be readily available.  Children will be encouraged to use both frequently.
    • Children will be asked not to share food or belongings.
  • Performances
    • All patrons, staff, & volunteers will be required to wear a mask.  
    • Distancing between seating as outlined by the Open Texas Task Force will be established.
    • Consideration will be given to distancing patrons before and after shows, as well as during intermission.
    • Online and paperless ticketing systems will be used.
    • Hand sanitizer will be provided upon arrival to the theater.
    • Concessions will be distributed according to UIL and state guidelines.
    • Arm rests will be sanitized between performances.

Please note that there is an enhanced risk of students or cast members being in direct contact with anyone age 65 or older for 14 days after the end of the activity session.

If you have any questions, please email our program director, AnnWood@nationalyouththeater.org.