The Road Back: On the Grounds

Posted February 24, 2021

Trb On The Grounds Website

Limiting capacity in the theaters is just one of the changes in store this season - learn more in this week's The Road Back.

We’re all excited to get back on the APT campus this summer, and from the notes we’ve received from you all, it’s pretty clear that you’re excited, too. There is, after all, so much to miss, and the plays are just the beginning. And while many of the best parts of visiting APT will remain, the experience is, simply, going to be different this year. So prepare yourself for a little time travel, as this week’s TRB takes you on an as-yet hypothetical tour of what we expect it will be like this summer. Some details will surely change before we get to the season – or even during the season – but here’s a snapshot as it stands today.

You drive in the parking lot. Right off the bat - a bright spot! Since we’re limiting audiences to 25% of capacity, parking promises to be a breeze this year, with plenty of room in the parking lot. So pull into an amply distanced spot, put on your mask and grab your cooler. It's time to head to the picnic area.

Welcome back for an APT picnic. You’ll notice that there aren’t as many tables, and they are further apart to allow for social distancing. But since the crowd isn’t as big, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect spot for your picnic. Hubbard Avenue Diner will be back with us if you’d like to order ahead, and, of course, you’re still welcome to bring your own. Pick up drinks and snacks at Lower Concessions – we plan to have it open whenever there’s a performance on the Hill.

The Play Around the Play. Midsummer Music will be back, though the musicians won’t roam; rather, they will stay in their socially distanced spots, but close enough for you to enjoy the music. We also plan to present a new edition of Art in the Woods, a collection of nature and APT-inspired art installations, which debuted in 2019. We’re eager to share season two. Looking forward to a Beyond the Plays event? Perhaps a Play Talk or the Sunday Salon? They’re all a go, but you won’t find them in John’s Place or downtown Spring Green. Instead, we’ll head back to Zoom to hold these events virtually. Don’t forget a stop in The Shops at APT before the play. The shop in Gateway will be open before the play, and the Hill Theatre shop will be open pre-show and at intermission. Due to the small audience size (less than 50!) we won’t have a Touchstone gift shop this season, or concessions either; both will return in 2022.

The APT Horns Sound to let you know it’s time to make your way to the Hill or Touchstone Theatre. Be sure to put your mask back on if you’ve taken it off to enjoy your picnic. Masks are required on the grounds, unless you are actively eating or drinking. Need the shuttle? We’ll be offering service, but at a reduced capacity to allow for distancing. Because it will take more trips to get everyone to the theater, we’ll need your cooperation in getting to the shuttles sooner (we’re working on devising a system to accomplish this – stay tuned for details closer to when tickets go on sale).

Walking up the Hill or to the Touchstone. Nothing out of the ordinary to report here other than you’ll be wearing your mask. But while we’re here, let’s take a beat to consider just how great it will feel to be walking up the path to an APT play!

You’ll notice a few changes in the lobby. Concessions on the Hill will be open, but you’ll need to finish your snack in the lobby. For the safety of the actors (who will be performing without masks), we’re not allowing any food and drink in the theater this year. Also, you’ll notice that the restrooms have been fashioned for social distance, with every other stall and wash basin closed (but again, at 25% capacity the bathroom lines will be shorter than ever). And, thanks to a generous donation from Kohler Co., we will have touchless faucets and soap dispensers.

As you take your seat, we’ll offer you a print playbill that is smaller than usual – just the basics. A full, electronic version will be sent to you before the play. You can read it online before you leave home, or even have it on your phone to look at before (but not during!) the play. You’ll notice that you’re seated at least six feet from those outside your party. You can also rest assured that your seat, the railings and really everything in the theater and lobby have been sanitized before your arrival, and we’ll clean high touch surfaces again during intermission.

The play begins, and that’s where the changes end. The stage, the actors, the stars and yes, the whippoorwills, are all gloriously familiar as they all take their places at long last.

Next Week: Everything There is to Know (that we can tell you at this point) About Ticketing