Youth Shows Update – 7/11

Welcome to show week! There are a LOT of critical items to go through this week from an administrative side of things in addition to the information you are getting from directors.

Per updated guidance from IDPH on outside activities, the Arc Light Board has made the determination to allow kids to be unmasked WHILE ON STAGE. ALL ACTORS, regardless of vaccination status, will remain masked while backstage or performing show responsibilities in other locations. Actors will be allowed to remove their mask as they approach the stage and are expected to return it as soon as they step down from the platforms. When actors arrive on site they should be masked once they move into show mode, meaning meeting at designated locations or entering backstage. Unvaccinated individuals should be masked at all times from arrival to departure other than their time on stage. We want to avoid any last rounds of quarantining that could impact a show.

It is our hope that using the physical stage platforms as the “barrier” for mask wearing will help kids remember to restore their masks when not on stage. At director discretion, performers who do not follow mask wearing requirements may be sent home from rehearsal, prohibited from entering into backstage, or removed from the show. Please reinforce this with your participant – if we have issues with this then we may go back to requiring masks on stage to eliminate any question.

Starting Monday morning, all available tickets will be available for purchase through our Square site. You may also purchase tickets directly through me at the sound booth each night Tuesday-Friday. We encourage you to share the digital posters, event pages, and online ticket sales link that we will push on Facebook Monday morning. All performance times are held to a maximum capacity of 75 guests. Once a show is sold out, no additional tickets will be available.

*All of these purchase links are live now – we won’t push on social media until tomorrow morning, so if you want to give extended family/friends a 24-hour head start, feel free to direct them to our website or Square store.

We are still in need of individuals at the ticket booth for the Sunday performances. Please see here to sign-up to help for a 1 hour slot:

This week is very chaotic on site with 5 different plays to put on stage each night. Please ensure that you are adhering to the schedules provided by directors to help ensure everything goes smoothly and communicate with them immediately/as necessary for questions and issues. Because of trying to get 5 shows rehearsed each night, the timeline is very tight: directors are required to start their runs each night at specific times to make room for the next show and will be unable to wait for late arrivals.

The gate at the front of the park is closed each night at dusk. This will not impact most families, but likely will impact pick-up for the last rehearsal of each night. If you arrive to pick-up your child and the gate is already shut then you will need to open and close the gate to enter/exit the park. This should only be an issue for Tuesday-Friday as the actual performances should finish before the sun has set.

Please check your pre-purchased tickets for accuracy. If I have given you the wrong date or time, come exchange them with me one night this week Tuesday-Friday. This MUST be done prior to performance nights – the ticket booth will only have access to that specific performance’s set of tickets and not the entire weekend.

Tickets are required for performances. Due to the limited space inside the pavilion, only those with a ticket that matches that specific performance, day, and time will be admitted.

Please remind your guests that they need to bring their own seating. Limited seating options on picnic tables flanking the sides of the shelter will be available. Weather permitting, individuals can also spread their seating into the surrounding grass – there are plenty of places with clear line of sight to the stage.

In addition to the gravel lot at Oz, over-flow parking will be in the grass closer to the ball diamond. We encourage you to greet and support performers after each show, but we have a tight timeline on each performance to try and clear one audience out and get the next in as well as resetting the stages.

We know that you will want lots of pictures with your performer and attending family members: please let performers complete their post-show tasks FIRST (returning mics, putting away props, etc) before you grab them for photos. If you want to use the stage as background, do this quickly as we will immediately move to reset/strike each show at the conclusion and cannot wait for picture opportunities.

There is a restroom building located on your right as you get closer to the back of the park. There are also a couple of smaller out-house type structures closer to the Oz shelter.

All shows will start promptly at their published time. With 7 performances happening each day, there is not time in the schedule to wait for late arriving audience members.

We have a photographer coming to the Friday evening dress rehearsals to capture each show and a cast photo. I will send out ordering information when I have it if you would like to purchase a copy of these.

Additionally, we record each night of the performances and I will edit together an archival DVD. One copy per family is provided at no charge; additional copies will be asked to make a small purchase to cover supplies and mailing costs. A Google Form link will be sent to request your copy – please understand that it may be several months before you receive this link. I move into the Cabaret performances next week, followed immediately by the IBHS musical, and then our madrigal dinner. Depending on schedules, sometimes the video edits are not ready for distribution until the end of December.

I saved this one for last because it’s kind of the “big one” for this week. As discussed in our last weather-related update, in the event of lightning or thunder all activities must cease for 30 minutes from the last detectable strike/heard thunder. This includes performances. Hearing thunder and seeing or detecting lightning within 6 miles will cause an immediate halt of the show and all individuals will be sent to vehicles until the weather is clear. Any cumulative delay of more than 45 minutes will result in the canceling of that performance.

There are rain/storm chances almost daily this week based on the current forecast. Please be flexible and attentive to Remind messages. We will attempt to update one hour before start of rehearsals if anything is going to change in terms of timing or location. It is still possible that storms can spin up and catch us off guard even if we think things look clear and proceed as scheduled.

If there is rain only, events will continue as planned. We are under the cover of the shelter and will be fine from light rain (with perhaps some adjustments to backstage layouts). The same goes for extreme heat – cast members will be encouraged to bring extra water and we will run additional fans backstage, but otherwise do not intend to make any changes based on temperature.

It gets more complicated when there is severe weather or the threat of such. As we watch forecasts, please know that directors and I are in constant communication to make the determinations of how to proceed safely. Our first update on any weather threat will come about 4 hours prior to the start time. Depending on the timing of severe weather, we may need to delay setup of the stage/lights/sound. An additional update will be made about 1 hour prior to start time with any further details regarding delays or cancelations. Our primary source of updating will be through our Facebook page. Directors may use Remind to update cast families, but the general public should be directed to Facebook. (During the week for rehearsals communication will be exclusively through Remind.)

Some of the difficult decisions we have to make are compounded by having show times spread across an 8 hour window. Storms that pass through at 2pm may lead to clear weather by 5pm. It is unlikely that we would make a blanket decision to cancel an entire day of performances due to weather – we anticipate this being handled on a show-by-show basis. It is possible that we could cancel afternoon shows but still perform in the evening or vice versa.

When possible we will look to delay the start time of shows in order to try and get all performances in. Once severe weather clears and the lightning passes, it still takes about an hour to set up everything before performances can begin. Depending on the timeline for storms to clear, or the timeline for when storms may be approaching, the decision may be made to limit the amount of lighting/sound/staging elements that are utilized to help speed up the setup or tear-down process.

In the event of a performance cancelation any tickets held for that performance will be valid for any remaining performances of that show. No exchange will be necessary. If a ticket-holder cannot attend any of the remaining shows, they must contact us within 7 days to secure a refund that can be sent through point of purchase (Venmo, Square), or a check can be mailed. Refunds will not be provided onsite (meaning you cannot request a refund for Saturday tickets at the Sunday show, etc).

If a cancelation impacts the final performance of a show, the above refund policy will apply. At this time, there will not be any rescheduling of performances at the Oz Shelter. We ARE actively exploring a couple of back-up options for weather related issues based on the potential forecast, but are unsure if options will work out at this time. While unfortunate, it’s the risk that comes with outdoor performances, as we have cautioned since the parent meeting: there is no guarantee of performances this year. Directors may look to do a simplified staging at an alternate location/date at their discretion pending cast availability.

(*In the event of extreme bad luck that were to cancel the entire weekend, the directors will communicate a time/location where cast members will meet to perform without an audience in order to be recorded and distributed to parents.)

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