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Actors' Equity Outlines Conditions for Members to Return to Work

The four core principles were developed with Dr. David Michaels.

Kate Shindle is president of Actors' Equity Association.
(© David Gordon)

Actors' Equity Association, the national union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers working in live theater, has announced four major conditions needed for its members to safely return to work following the COVID-19 pandemic.

These four conditions are as follows:

* The epidemic must be under control, with effective testing, few new cases in the area, and contact tracing.

* Individuals who may be infectious can be readily identified and isolated, with frequent, regular, and accurate testing with speedy results.

* The way we audition, rehearse, perform, and stage manage may need to change, and the venues we work in may need to undergo changes in order to reduce the risk.

* Efforts to control COVID-19 exposure must be collaborative, involving Equity members, employers, the union and all others involved in the production of theater. There must be collective buy-in and ongoing evaluation and improvement of health and safety practices.

These principles were developed by Equity and Dr. David Michaels, former head of the OSHA during the Obama administration. "These four principles are the foundation for our continued work with Dr. Michaels," said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors' Equity Association. "We intend to build out protocols that can be used by our employers and all of our colleagues to insure that everyone who works in the theatre has the safest workplace possible."

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