We have been working nonstop since early this year to ensure that the 2020–2021 25th Anniversary Season would be a wonderful time of celebration at the Arts Center.
For months, we've been readying the facility with dozens of safety improvements: Merv 13 air filters, plexiglass barriers, air circulation and ventilation, sanitation, fogging systems to follow each performance, 36 wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations, theater seat sashes to denote social distancing and reduced capacity, and more. Our comprehensive plan adheres to stringent theater industry safety standards and guidelines, as well as those recommended by the CDC, OSHA, and South Carolina DHEC. We are proud of what we've accomplished to this end — and are more than ready to welcome you back.
However, some elements are simply beyond our control. After several months of the Arts Center submitting filings and documentation, Actors' Equity Association (AEA) recently emphasized that our area (Beaufort County) would need a maximum COVID-19 positivity testing rate of 5%, in order for us to be granted permission for equity actors to work in an Arts Center production. Our county is currently right around 11%, but thankfully on the decline.
In addition to the 5% positivity threshold, some of AEA's recent additional requirements were beyond the scope of the Arts Center's ability to comply. New guidelines related to work/housing mandates are that not only actors, but also the majority of our staff members, must all live together in isolated housing for up to 10 weeks during the rehearsal and performance period. Ultimately, even if these conditions could be met, the AEA stated that approval for moving forward with Kinky Boots was still "uncertain" given our area's current positivity rate.
A word of clarification: Actors' Equity Association only dictates our Theater Series productions, not our Great Performance presenting artists brought in for one-, two-, or three- shows.
An Updated 2020–2021 Theater Season.
In response to the AEA mandates, we have shifted Kinky Boots to the spring timeframe (APR 21 – MAY 23), and will still offer Noises Off (FEB 2 – 28), in its original winter slot. The summer will remain the crowd-pleasing Mamma Mia(JUN 23 – AUG 22)! We now hope to offer you Rock of Ages next season, in 2021–22.
The Curtain Will Rise.
We promise to make this fall and your entire holiday season a joyous time at the Arts Center. We have exciting presentations currently being booked for November and December: comedy, musical performances, and seasonal shows that will brighten your spirits and cheer your heart.
Further, we are thrilled to launch Arts Center's SecondStage, a new virtual format for additional Arts Center productions. Expect the unexpected with thought-provoking stories, exciting titles, and original works that will be recorded on-site and available for streaming right into your home.
We are excited and beyond ready to welcome you back! We appreciate your support and your understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters.
Stay tuned to your inbox and our website for more information and additional offerings coming soon!