covid-19 and 18th & union: the reopening
"I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way."
-Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park
18th & Union has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. After six challenging months, we’re reopening with three solo productions in September and a full slate of world premiere plays in October.
18th & Union is carefully and proactively following all public health recommendations. We’ve made improvements to the physical venue, acquired equipment to support live streaming over the internet, and set up health and safety protocols for artists, audience members and others who will access the space.
Health and Safety Protocols
We’re developing and documenting clear guidelines for distancing, cleaning, and ensuring that we’re operating safely, with the goal of protecting our staff, guest artists and producers to the greatest extent we can. The number of people in the performance space at any given time is limited to comply with the county and state health department mandates. Our Fall shows will have casts of just 1 or 2 supported by a lean production crew, and our approach to rehearsals, including tech and dress rehearsals, will be redesigned to minimize health risks related to the virus.
While not required, we chose to install a new ventilation system in the performance space to increase the safety and comfort of all artists and guests at 18th & Union. It’s quiet and effective, running at a CFM (cubic feet/minute) rate that will replace the air in the space about every 5 minutes.
Air Conditioning Throughout
We’ve added AC in the lobby and dressing rooms, increasing everyone’s comfort in the warmer months of the year.
Ready to Live Stream
Since we don’t know when we’ll be able to welcome audience members back, we’re relaunching with performances that will be viewable over a live stream on Zoom. We’ve acquired the audio/visual equipment and have been steadily learning what we need to know. As always at 18th & Union, tickets will be offered on a sliding scale to accommodate different budgets while also valuing the work of our partner artists.
When public health authorities indicate it’s safe, we’ll begin to sell tickets for watching shows in person, while continuing to offer a live stream option. In this way, we will be able to accommodate multiple preferences for viewing, and to pivot quickly if public health recommendations change without warning. Even if we are required to go back into a more restrictive lockdown, the shows will go on with performers streaming from their homes.
How Did This Happen?
All this is possible thanks to generous support from many who helped us get to this point. Our landlords provided a partial rent abatement and helped us add the new AC and ventilation systems, and we received a significant gift from The Raynier Foundation, along with many vital individual donations. These financial resources were critical in helping 18th & Union survive the past 6 months of closure and add the improvements we needed to reopen.
Want to be part of the reopening team? Click here to donate and support 18th & Union.