Green light for theatres

Feu vert pour les théâtres

The theatres were waiting for this moment with impatience. They now have the right time and they will be able, from Monday, to prepare and build a fall season.

The establishment of a guide to health standards published by the standards Commission, equity, health and safety in the workplace for the sector of the performing arts, the theater and the cinema enables theatres to move forward.

“We feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel”, has launched Lorraine Pintal, artistic director of the Theatre of the New World.

The new rules for the creation

The guide of the CNESST specifies the rules that the theaters will put in place to resume the creation of performances. He explained that the numbers in duos or in groups, are to be avoided, unless the performers wear a mask and a visor. It also allows the work of the staff assigned to the costumes, to the sets and the makeup of the actors. Everything will have to be carried out in compliance with health standards in place.

With the guide, theatre companies will be able to prepare for their season by presenting productions on a smaller scale, with a few actors and a limited number of spectators.

The TNM will unveil its fall programming in August and will open its doors in September. Lorraine Pintal wish that the situation evolves in the right direction in order to prepare for genuine revival to January 2021. “We speak of going from 50 to 250 spectators in July and a reduction in social distancing. It will be maybe 400 in the fall and with a certain relaxation of the measures on the stage,” she said, during a phone interview.

Logistical challenges

At the Trident in Quebec city, we have been working for some weeks in the planning of an appointment in the fall that will be different from the one that was intended to mark its 50th anniversary.

“The standards are going in a direction similar to what the Trident wanted to put in place. We certainly have several logistical challenges to solve, but we are enthused with the idea of proposing again a meeting between the public and the artists,” said Sophie Vaillancourt-Leonard, coordinator, communications and media relations.

The Diamond of Québec has three scenarios on the table in anticipation of a reopening in September. “We’re going to celebrate our first anniversary with a re-opening. This is what we hope for. I’m very confident,” quipped the general manager Bernard Gilbert.

He said that the shows, at least for a change, will be of a small form. It will be necessary to forget about the popular nights of struggle.

“Duets or live performances where the actors would be in the containment before, during and after the performances”, he remarked.

Give work

Bernard Gilbert cites the solo show 887 Robert Lepage as an example.

“Robert is alone on stage, but there are ten people who work in the back. It remains to be assessed, if it can be done while respecting the standards in place,” he mentioned.

He wished, also, to see the number of 50 spectators to expand in July and go to 250. The salle Hydro-Québec of the Diamond has a total capacity of 600 seats.

“It would be more interesting financially. This is the key element”, he dropped.

With the déconfinement present, the director general of the Diamond believe that things could, if all goes well, become favorable in September.

“Is that it would be possible, for example, to be able to host more people, if the masks were mandatory?”, is he asks.

As to the Trident, as in the TNM and in other theaters, we want to give the job to a maximum of actors.

“We will perhaps succeed in giving the work of 25 artists before Christmas and that, that scares me. We want to make work a maximum of actors. It is the survival of our business,” dropped Lorraine Pintal.

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