The Road Back: Coming Soon - COVID Updates

Posted May 26, 2021

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Though it was just two short weeks ago that we announced that regular installments of "The Road Back" series would come to an end. But we reserved the right to come back to it with important changes, and we have some news important enough to bring the series out of retirement. Read more in this week's return to "The Road Back."

As you may know, APT now has plays on stage. And while seating was initially limited, we’ve found ways to fit more seats within that 25% capacity. So if you’ve been missing APT and you want to come visit, tickets are available for both The Mountaintop in the Touchstone Theatre and An Improbable Fiction in the Hill Theatre here. All that is to say that, though the road back has officially ended, the road forward promises some more twists and turns. And now, we’re back on the cusp of one of those twists with some updates.

In response to the improving pandemic conditions, we will be making some changes with the blessing of the Iowa County Health Department and the labor unions we work with. These policy changes will take effect with the next round of plays – An Iliad in the Touchstone Theatre and Rough Crossing in the Hill Theatre, which kick off June 25 and July 5, respectively. (Tickets to these shows will go on sale to the general public on June 7, and to priority groups the week before. If you didn't receive an email with your on-sale date, and believe you should have, contact the Box Office). And with that, away we go.

What’s Will Change?

Capacity and distance: Beginning with An Iliad and Rough Crossing, we will allow up to 50% capacity. There will still be plenty of distance between parties, but instead of three seats between each group, we’ll leave at least two. We’ll also make sure that folks aren’t sitting directly in front of or behind each other. APT’s Box Office staff is working diligently to find patrons the best seats available, while keeping them distanced from other groups. Please be patient, and feel free to give them a proverbial pat on the back if the mood takes you.

No More Shuttle Reservations: Starting with An Iliad and Rough Crossing, you won’t need to claim a time slot to get your ride up the Hill. We’ll still be running two shuttles, so even with the increased capacity, they won’t be too crowded.

Fully Vaccinated Production Staff: A big change behind the scenes has been in effect for several weeks now. According to Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers, we have status as a fully vaccinated workplace. This means that all the actors, stage managers and those in regular contact with them, including the directors, assistant stage managers and crew members, are all vaccinated. This status affords the company much more flexibility on what they are able to do – everything from sing within six feet of each other to sharing props to less frequent COVID testing. This status has been a game-changer for the company.

Gift Shops: We have relaxed the 4-person limit in the gift shops, though we still ask you mask up and watch your distance while shopping.

What Will Remain the Same? (Or, at least, mostly the same...)

Masks Required: As mandated by Actors’ Equity Association, masks will still be required in both theaters and in other indoor spaces at APT such as the gift shops, restrooms and shuttles. However, if you’d like to have an unmasked picnic with members of your fully vaccinated group, please do. You may also unmask on the paths and in the parking lot, but we ask that you watch your distance as a courtesy to others.

Masks for Staff: Though the vast majority of our patron experience staff is fully vaccinated, they will all be wearing masks when patrons are present at APT. Production staff, with the exception of actors, will also be masked per union requirements.

Don't come if you’re sick: As a reminder, please don’t come to APT if you’re feeling sick. We offer plenty of flexibility for what to do with your tickets. Call the box office at 608-588-2361 up to an hour before your performance to discuss options.

About Vaccinations: We are not currently requiring vaccination or checking vaccination status to come to APT. Actors’ Equity Association requires that audience members be masked, so until that requirement changes and we begin to consider some form of loosening mask requirements, we don’t feel we need to consider this. We could possibly revisit this down the road, though a recent survey indicated that the vaccination rate among our patrons is very high.

Food & Beverages in the Theaters: Since the mask requirement is still in place, so too is the rule against food and drink in the theaters (with the exception of water in the Hill Theatre). Concessions will be available in the picnic area and Hill lobby whenever there is a performance in the Hill Theatre. Get that gummy bear fix before you go in!

Finally, thanks to all of you who participated in the survey we sent out last week. Your responses are very helpful as we chart our course. Our motto for this season – subject to change – still holds, but this is our game plan for Rough Crossing and An Iliad. We’re constantly monitoring conditions and re-assessing. When we have news, you’ll see it here.