National Youth Theater, like the rest of the world, finds 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 your family makes a decision to withdraw from a camp or show at this time, we understand. There will be no penalty for doing so. We expect each family to make the decision that best suits them and their children.
Here is a summary of National Youth Theater’s planned response to the COVID-19 pandemic as our camps and productions resume.
As of May 28, 2020
- No one with any symptoms of illness are allowed to attend a camp, rehearsal, or performance (from here on referred to as “activity”). Even if symptoms are mild, or thought to be from an illness other than CV-19, participation will be denied.
- Each activity participant will be screened regarding illness or symptoms as they arrive each day.
- 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.
- Day camps will separate campers into groups of 15-16 who will stay together throughout the week of camp. There will be distancing between the groups during the week at camp. The exception to this will be during rehearsals and performance of the camp showcase when actors will have closer proximity to each other on stage for a limited amount of time.
- Matilda, The Little Mermaid, & Aladdin rehearsals will call actors in groups as to limit large gatherings. However, there will be times when the cast will be all together, such as run-throughs closer to the show weekend. The maximum group size will be limited to adhere to the current guidelines for size of group gatherings issues by the Governor’s Task Force to Open Texas.
- For Matilda, The Little Mermaid, & Aladdin during Tech Week and Show Weekend, the green room will be divided into smaller groups. Those groups will be socially distanced from each other as to limit a large gathering at one time. Actors will be together on stage as normal.
- Adults will maintain a distance of 6′ from children as much as possible.
- An exception will be made for Matilda, The Little Mermaid, & Aladdin, and only with very specific roles, such as a those involved with costuming, hair & makeup, props, etc. In those cases, adults will be assigned specific cast members. Those cast members will only have close proximity to that individual adult. And those adults will be asked to wear a mask.
- Parents are not allowed on premises (except for directors, coordinators, or essential parent volunteers), and will be asked to stay in their cars for drop-off and pick-up. Parents will receive more specific directions from the coordinators or managers of each program.
- Specific staff will be designated to perform increased daily sanitization protocols for common surfaces, 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.
- Food: With the exception of teen camp, NYT will not provide snacks at camps or rehearsals. Participants are welcome to bring snacks from home.
- For teen camp, lunch & snacks will be brought from home. Dinners will be plated by staff and served to campers; no buffet lines or handling of communal food. Disposable paper goods and utensils will be used.
- Teen camp excursions will be limited. There may be one or two, and those will follow TX guidelines.
- One individual per seat and every other row in a vehicle
- Staggered seating for maximum distancing
- Asking campers and staff to wear face coverings or masks while in vehicle
- Theater seating
- For Matilda, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin, NYT will adhere to the Standard Health Protocols set forth by the governor’s task force. Currently that is a space of two seats between each party, and a row skipped between patrons.
- For camps this year, the showcases will be videotaped without an audience. Families will be allowed to view the showcase online.
Please note that there is an enhanced risks of campers or cast members being in direct contact with anyone age 65 or older for 14 days after the end of the activity session.
Drop Policy: Our policy of only allowing auditioning for ensemble in the next show, after dropping out of a current show, has been suspended for Matilda, The Little Mermaid, & Aladdin. There will be no future consequences for those who determine that they are not able to participate in the show. We will miss you, but we do understand.
If you have any questions, please email AnnWood@nationalyouththeater.org.