UPDATE March 13: This story is now outdated. See the latest news here.
The show will go on.
With news that Broadway shows have been suspended until April 12, theatregoers in New Westminster still have their own spring musical theatre extravaganza to look forward to.
Royal City Musical Theatre, which is set to open its spring production of Crazy for You on April 9, intends to continue as scheduled.
"Over the past weeks, RCMT been closely monitoring and evaluating the situation around COVID-19,” said a just-released statement from its board of directors.
“We are committed to the health and safety of our entire company and audiences. Along with our longtime partner, the Massey Theatre, we're following government guidelines to provide a sanitary environment. Based on recommendations from the health authorities, we intend to move forward with our production of Crazy For You as scheduled.”
The statement does note that the situation is changing, adding: “We are remaining vigilant and prepared to respond to official regulations."
The Massey Theatre has also posted a letter regarding the emergence of COVID-19.
“As of today, the risk to residents of British Columbia remains very low. At this time the theatre will remain open,” said the letter from executive director Jessica Schneider. “We will continue to adhere to guidance from the government health authorities moving forward.”
The letter notes that Massey Theatre is working with the school district and municipality to ensure they are guided by “evidence-based recommendations” published by Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The theatre is taking the following measures to mitigate risks:
* encouraging members of the public experiencing fever, cough or difficulty breathing to stay home;
* encouraging audience members to spread out in the theatre to create space between parties and increase enjoyment of the program;
* supplying lobby areas and entrances with hand sanitizer liquids and wipes;
* posting signage in washrooms, dressing rooms, staff areas encouraging frequent handwashing;
* increasing the sanitizing of touch points such as doorknobs, door handles, hand rails and seating; and
* making sure our staff and the staff of the venues we utilize are washing hands frequently and practising safe ways of interacting with our audience members.
The theatre also issued a few reminders about things people can do for their own personal safety:
* Do not touch your face;
* Do not shake hands – bump elbows;
* Use a key or other item to push elevator buttons;
* Use a sleeve to grasp handles and latches.
“Should any new governmental directives require cancellation or closure, audience members will be advised and messages will be posted on the website,” said the letter. “We encourage you to continue to enjoy performances with an eye to your own self-care and safety. There are so many wonderful and uplifting opportunities to be found at the theatre.”
See www.masseytheatre.com for all the latest on the situation.