How has and will StoryBook keep artists and volunteers safe while creating theatre during the pandemic?

The most asked question about our 2020 season is how we plan to keep our artists safe during this incredible time.  The following is a step by step plan on how the rehearsal process has and will work as we move forward based on our first process of the season, Spring Awakening.

First and foremost - the safety of our artists and volunteers is paramount to the creation of our work.   Throughout the first process of the season, our hard-working team made sure to pivot and adapt as safety regulations required.  In fact, StoryBook has been working directly with Alberta Health Services to ensure that everything we are doing not only adheres to the requirements laid forth but pushes them to the next level.  This included weekly conversations and regular site inspections.

As we move forward with our processes AHS will continue to be a part and offer approval on the plans as they pertain to health and safety standards as set by the province and municipality.  The health and safety of everyone will always be a factor and consideration regardless of Phase progression and allotments of certain activities.

STEP ONE - Online >

STEP TWO - In-Person >

STEP THREE - Audio Recording​ >

STEP FOUR- Cohorting​ >

The following is how StoryBook plans to move forward but this is also a reflection of the Spring Awakening process and how it worked with modifications as guided by AHS.  While this process was approved at the time for Spring Awakening we understand that AHS rulings may change and we will be required to adapt to those changes to keep everyone safe.

STEP ONE: Online

At this time the first part of all our rehearsal processes will take place ONLINE.  All our rehearsals will be conducted via the ZOOM app, a free open software that StoryBook can use to its advantage to engage with our production teams safely and effectively.

Part of the process that will take place ONLINE:

  • Meet & Greet

  • Vocal Part Assignments

  • Script Table Work

  • Choreographer teaching and learning

It is our plan to do anything that can be done via Zoom in this way.

As each process will have uniquely different time-lines we will adapt this portion of the schedule based on each shows needs.

STEP TWO:  In-Person

The move to in-person rehearsals will come when it is most appropriate for production to move forward.  This part of the process is within the parameters as set forth by Alberta Health Services STAGE 2 protocols.

  • 50 people maximum: indoor social gatherings

  • Masks required at all times

  • Maintain social distance when possible

  • No physical contact

  • Sanitization of all surfaces each person encounters, before & after

  • Maximum limits to each room (see specifics below)

  • ZOOM will be offered as an alternative to in-person rehearsals with notice.


Ultimately the production is working toward becoming a COHORT.  Please review this document and gain a full understanding of what it will mean to become a COHORT when the time comes. 

While it would be most ideal to become a cohort one the in-person rehearsals commence, the reality of asking 50 people to do so for one-month is not a reasonable ask and one we know we can mitigate with extra safety precautions.

We would, however,  ask everyone to assume and act as though they are in a cohort so that when the time comes the change can be quickly implemented and practiced with confidence.


All participants and guardians of any minors will be required to sign an Assumption of Risk, Waiver of Liability, Release and Indemnification which can be found.  Without this waiver, no artist or volunteer MAY NOT participate in-person or as part of the cohort.



  • Everyone is required to ENTER THROUGH GREEN ROOM entrance and asked to keep 6ft/2m apart while waiting for entry.  Please use floor markings to accurately measure distance.  When waiting outside, the cracks in the sidewalk serve as a good indication of appropriate distance.

  • TEMPERATURE CHECK – upon arrival temperature will be checked and must be between 35.5 degrees to 37.5 degrees. Anyone with a temperature below or above the safe parameters will be asked to go outside and return in 15 minutes to be checked again.  If at that time they are still not within the safe parameters, they will be asked to return home.  Anyone failing their temperature check twice in a row will be required to get a BOOK A TEST with AHS and will not be permitted to attend rehearsals until they have a negative test with a confirmation.

  • COMPLETE THE DAILY CHECKLIST – everyone will be required to complete the AHS Daily Checklist and must be able to answer truthfully in the negative to all the questions asked in order to be permitted.

  • WASH HANDS, SCRIPT & PHONES – everyone will then wait in a socially distanced formation to use the backstage washrooms and kitchen to wash their hands with soap. While waiting they will wipe down their cell phones and scripts.  Using the restroom at this time would be advised to limit the back and forth throughout the rehearsal space.

  • COLLECT FACE SHIELDS – everyone will be provided with a clear plastic face shield at the start of the process.  Each day these shields can be collected via the Stage right wing where they will collect their assigned face shield.

  • COLLECT SHIELD RAG - a rag will be provided to keep your shield clean

  • CHOOSE WRIST BAND – everyone will be assigned two wristbands symbolizing their own personal comfort level with the safety measures or their own feelings that day in particular.  Everyone will wear the wrist band to assist others in being aware of their space and comfort within it.

    • YELLOW BAND – Heightened Concern & Attention to Safety

    • ORANGE BAND – Casual Concern & Attention to Safety


In Rehearsal Plans


  • ALL CHOREOGRAPHY will continue to take place via ZOOM and will continue to be recorded


  • All STAGING REHEARSALS will take place in Studio 3.

  • ENTER THE THEATRE - entering through the upstage right Theatre door everyone will walk on the black floor area and exit out the main theatre doors doing their best to avoid coming in contact with others.   Everyone will then move to Studio 3 and using their best judgement they will maintain 6ft/2m distance from one another.  Studio 3 has a sink with running water along with soap and paper towels.  Hand sanitizer will be readily available within the space.  Once in the space students will be asked to maintain their personal space as well as their own hygiene and care.

  • MASKS – everyone is required to keep their masks on while in the rehearsal room at all times and may choose between their shield or mask for any acting scenes rehearsed.

  • FACE SHIELDS – everyone is required to have their face shields on at any time they are going to be lip-syncing or in close proximity to other actors.

  • PROPS/SET PIECES - prior to the use of any props or set pieces (chairs or tables) they will be sanitized by the stage management team.  Everyone will also be required to personally sanitize these pieces before and after touching any items.  After use, the user is to hand sanitize as well.

  • SINGING -Singing of ANY KIND is not acceptable nor will it be tolerated in the staging room.  Please refrain from the practice of singing for the safety of everyone when in the staging room.


  • All SINGING REHEARSALS will take place in the Theatre

  • ENTER THE THEATRE - entering through the Upstage Right Theatre door everyone will walk on black floor areas to their assigned seating locations.   Assignments will be found on Trello prior to each rehearsal.  Each square on the theatre floor is 2m/6ftx2m/2ft with a 1.5ft' path on either side.  If a square is not occupied it may be used to cross the theatre space by maintaining social distance and NOT touching any of the chairs or stands when doing so.  There may be NO MOVEMENT in the space when singing is taking place.  Everyone may only move about the theatre space on the black painted floor, again, only when no one is singing.  Each square will have a chair, a Plexi shield, a music stand, a bottle of hand sanitizer, a sanitization rage, and sanitizer with approved DIN# by AHS. Once in their square, everyone will be asked to maintain their personal space as well as their own hygiene and care.

  • MASKS – everyone is  required to keep their masks on while in the rehearsal room at all times

  • FACE SHIELDS – everyone in the space is required to have their face shield AND facemask on at any time they or someone else is singing without exception.

  • SINGING - Singing is a high-risk activity because infected people can transmit the virus through their saliva or respiratory droplets.  Everyone must sing facing away from others around them in a direct line of vocal projection and must stay in their seat while singing at all times within their designated area. 

    Please note:  There is no evidence to determine exactly what a safe distance would be between singers and others, but greater distances can reduce risk.  


  • SANITIZE STATION – everyone will be provided with a sanitizer with approved DIN# by AHS to wipe down their stations with a rag provided on each stand at the start of rehearsal.

  • SANITIZE FACE SHIELDS – everyone will wipe down their face shields as well. Face Shields will then be hung on the portable unit as everyone exits avoiding contact with other shields.  These will remain in isolation until the next rehearsal.

  • WRIST BANDS - can be then put in scripts for use at the next rehearsal.

  • EXIT - at the end of the evening everyone will exit out the Stage Left exit of the facility.

  • POST REHEARSAL - Everyone is strongly encouraged not to fraternize post-rehearsal or if they do they must maintain social distancing measures and protections.


  • BREAKS - While in the facility everyone will be reminded to maintain social distance and to respect the boundaries set by their peers and AHS.  Socializing on breaks will be acceptable provided boundaries are met.

  • MEALS – On our longer days everyone is invited to bring a bagged lunch.  If a student leaves to go get lunch they will be required to go through the screening process again.  Everyone will be required to sanitize pre and post meal times.

  • TRAVEL -  We appreciate that some may choose to carpool.  Anything outside of the facility is at the discretion of the individuals involved.  If a minor is in consideration we would suggest written consent from both parties on their willingness to travel together and strongly suggest masks and extra sanitization while carpooling.

  • RESTROOMS - all surfaces touched by a single person while using the facilities will require immediate sanitation when complete.  This includes the toilet seat, handle, sink and any other pieces a single person comes in contact with.

STEP THREE:  Audio Recording

So long as there are restrictions with singing the only way that we can then perform a musical is to pre-record the entire production,  Therefore until such time allows for live singing we will produce a full-cast recording of the production for use in the performance of our production, be it live or on film.

There are multiple options in consideration for how we make this happen. On  Spring Awakening a week of rehearsals was dedicated to the recording of the show.  Other options include making recordings during the learning process or staggering the recording.

The following are the protocols in place for safety. There will be 6 booths set up in the theatre space, all facing the main theatre booth behind the audience seating.

Each booth will include:

  • plexiglass surround on all sides of each person

  • microphone on stand

  • music stand with light

  • 1/8 inch headphone jack for each person to hear the track (each person provide their own headphone)

  • sound baffling

Each booth will be fully sanitized with AHS approved sanitizer before and after each session including the following:

  • plexiglass wiped down on all sides

  • mic stand, music stand and all cables wiped down

  • baffling cover removed and replaced with new clean cover (removed cover sanitized through laundering)

STEP FOUR: Cohorting & Filming

As each process will be different the plan is for the production to become a cohort for the last part of the process which could be for live presentation of filming.  At this time live presentation does not present itself as an option and therefore we are only planning for the filming process.​

An exact film schedule will be set for each production specifically.  At this time the film schedule coincides with the 15 days of tech leading up to the scheduled "opening night" of each production. 

Therefore the expectation is that the production becomes a cohort for just 15 days of the whole process at this time.

When live presentation and singing are allowed this timing could change.


  • Belong to only one core cohort

  • Limit interactions with people outside the core cohort 

  • When interacting with people outside the core cohort, do it safely, in ways that keep risks low. Maintain a distance of 2 metres or wear a mask when closer than 2 metres with others. 

  • Please read through this document to understand the term and the impact on not only the student but the family cohort as well.


As we move into the cohort we have determined the following safety protocols will be in practice:

  • TEMPERATURE CHECK – as the cohort arrives their temperature will be checked and must be between 35.5 degrees to 37.5 degrees. Anyone with a temperature below or above the safe parameters will be asked to go outside and return in 15 minutes to be checked again.  If at that time they are still not within the safe parameters, they will be asked to return home. ​

  • COMPLETE THE DAILY CHECKLIST – upon arrival all members of the cohort will be required to complete the AHS Daily Checklist.  Each member must be able to answer truthfully in the negative to all the questions asked in order to be permitted.

Anyone unable to answer in the negative to any of the Daily Checklist answers will be required to not attend filming and get tested for COVID-19 within 12 hours.  They must then confirm the date and time of their testing with the Stage Manager as well as follow guidelines as set for by AHS.  Test results must be communicated to the production team lead (producer or stage manager) immediately. 

NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS - member will be permitted to resume filming

POSITIVE TEST RESULTS - production will shut down immediately.  The entire cohort MUST self-isolate for the mandatory 10 days and must be tested within 12 hours of notification and confirm the date and time of their testing.  Production may only resume 14 days after shutting down at the sole discretion of the producer, consultation with the production team. and AHS.

  • WASH HANDS, SCRIPT & PHONES – upon arrival all cohort members MUST wash their hands and sanitize personal devices
  • HAND SANITIZER & CLEANING PRODUCTS - hand sanitizer and approved cleaning products will be distributed around the facility for use by everyone regularly.

  • SANITIZATION - all cohort members are expected to sanitize anywhere they touch or use regularly.  This includes counters, tables, chairs, dressing rooms and even restrooms.

  • PROP & SET PIECES - all cohort members must be sure to sanitize all props and set pieces before and after use

  • TOUCHING - while touching is still strongly discouraged it may be required in the filming process.  A production assistant will be on-site for all planned touching and provide sanitizer to anyone who is touching or being touched.

  • MASKS - masks are encouraged to be used in smaller spaces and in some locations they may be mandatory including - green room, kitchen, hallway & dressing rooms if the cohort cannot adhere to basic distancing measures.  Cohort members are welcome to wear masks for their own comfort as much as they would like but masks will not be worn during filming.

  • BREAKS & MEALS - cohort members are encouraged to sit in their own designated areas to take breaks and meals and respect physical distancing measures.  If the weather is cooperating meals are encouraged to be outdoors where social distancing measures can be practiced.  All stations must be sanitized before and after meals.

  • TEAM STATIONS - all team members are designated areas for work.  These stations may not be used by other members of the cohort for any reason.  This includes chairs, tables and devices.

  • DRESSING ROOMS - all cast will be designated a dressing room space which they must keep sanitized.  Hand sanitizer and cleaning sanitizer will be provided in all dressing rooms withing close proximity to each actor.  NO OTHER CAST MEMBER who is not designated on the door may enter the room under any circumstances and team members will be limited entrance.

  • COSTUMES - costumes will be cleaned daily with a wardrobe person on site for all costuming needs.  The cast may NOT share costume pieces under any circumstances and any pieces that may not be laundered through the machine will be sanitized at a higher concentration of alcohol disinfectant.

As our processes continue to be shaped and moulded we will update these safety measures as needed.

​All Support Materials from AHS can be found HERE

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Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
375 Bermuda Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta  T3K 2J5

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