Yale College COVID policy for performing arts

updated 1/20/22

NOTICE: In light of high numbers of COVID cases in the New Haven community and among Yale students, faculty, and staff, the university group gathering policy is temporarily suspended. Until February 21, 2022 all events, gatherings, and meetings of any size require advance approval or reapproval by the COVID Review Team or cognizant Health and Safety Leader. The COVID Review Team and HSLs strongly encourage all events, gatherings, and meetings be redesigned to be virtual or deferred and that only critical events, gatherings, and meetings seek approval or re-approval during this period. 

The CRT has approved the following exceptions to the current in person COVID restrictions in recognition of the unique curricular requirements of theater, music, and the performing arts in general.

In-person, individual music lessons through the School of Music may resume beginning January 25 after student participants have received two negative COVID tests in accordance with the return to campus policy. These lessons must take place according to all previously identified health and safety measures.

Small practice rooms in the residential colleges will be open to undergraduates for solo practice starting January 14 using all previously established safety parameters.

Small practice rooms in the Adams Center will be open to designated undergraduates for solo practice starting January 25 using all previously established safety parameters.

Yale faculty-led band, philharmonic, symphony, and other music-making rehearsals (e.g.: Yale faculty-led ensembles including Yale Symphony Orchestra, Yale Bands, and Yale Glee Club) may resume beginning February 7 after participants have received two negative COVID tests in accordance with the return to campus policy. These activities must take place according to all previously identified health and safety measures.
 
Performance rehearsals that are both curricular and faculty or staff supervised and have a plan approved by the COVID Review Team (e.g: selected Theater and Performance Studies rehearsals) may resume after participants have received two negative COVID tests in accordance with the return to campus policy. These activities must take place in previously approved rooms and according to all previously identified health and safety measures.
 
NEW: Student-led arts rehearsals may begin in person on February 7 with a capacity limit of 10, distancing, masks, and all previously established safety parameters (e.g. vaccination, testing, duration limits). The COVID Review Team continues to make a distinction between curricular and faculty-led activities versus student-led activities for the time being. Hence, the CRT requests that all undergraduate student-led rehearsals with more than 10 participants be postponed until an evaluation of the public health climate after the resumption of in person classes.
 

The Undergraduate Production team is available to production teams to help them strategize and adapt plans for spring rehearsal and performance.

As public health conditions evolve the COVID Review Team is approving ways to reactivate co-present performance activity.

The below permissions are suspended until February 21, 2022.

Information about fall 2021-2022 music lessons for credit program is here.

The permissions/parameters outlined below are updated when conditons permit/require change. Please review often. This outline represents an approved exception to the Events, Gatherings, and Meetings requirements, which generally limit aersolizing activities in groups. 

  • These  parameters apply to the following aerosolizing arts activities:
    • Dance
    • Orchestras and other instrumental activities
    • Comedy/spoken word/theater
    • A capella, opera, and other singing
  • Current parameters
    • Only asymptomatic vaccinated students, faculty, and staff are permitted to take part as performers in aerosolizing arts activities.
      • At this time New Haven community members and other visitors may not take part as performers. On-leave students are considered visitors and may not take part in on-campus activities.
    • Maximum of 20 performers may rehearse or perform together at a time. (Some exceptions for larger ensemles are in place with additional safety measures.)
    • Masks must be worn at all times during indoor activity.
      • Approved clear masks for actors can be purchased here. Expect supply chain delays.
    • Wind instruments must use slitted masks and bell covers during indoor activity. (Contact daisy.abreu@yale.edu for assistance purchasing slitted masks and bell covers)
    • Masks are optional, at the discretion of the participant, for outdoor activity.
      • For singing and wind instruments, there must be a 12’ space between the unmasked performer or ensemble and the audience. 
    • Performances may include up to 90 minutes of content without an intermission, and an optional intermission may be offered that does not count towards the 90 minutes.  If there are more than 90 minutes of content, an intermission of at least 15 minutes must be held near the midpoint, during which the stage should be cleared. The audience is not required to leave the venue during this intermission. Performances with content longer than 3 hours (180 minutes), please request a plan review using this form: https://cglink.me/2dA/s55819
    • For rehearsal activity, rehearsals may be up to 90 minutes between breaks. Allow a 15-minute vacant rest period between multiple uses of the same space to allow aerosols to disperse.
    • Activity must take place on campus and in approved spaces:
      • Outdoors
        • Spaces that require special permission include Beinecke Plaza, Old Campus, Cross Campus, and college courtyards.
        • Old Campus reservation request here.
      • Indoors, see attached list
      • Indoor spaces not on list will be reviewed by request – contact justin.deland@yale.edu to inquire about a space
    • Additional guidance for rehearsal spaces in residential colleges can be found here.
    • Performances to co-present audiences:
      • Must be planned with guidance and approval from an Undergraduate Production Technical Director
      • For venues in residential colleges: only asymptomatic, vaccinated, enrolled students, faculty, and staff are permitted to attend performances.
      • For venues on campus and outside the residential colleges (e.g. Off Broadway Theater, in classrooms): all patrons must be asymptomatic and vaccinated and proof of vaccination and ID must be checked at the door by Yale College Arts staff.
        • Production teams in non-residential college venues may welcome non-Yale patrons, if Yale College is able to provide staff to verify vacccination status at the door. Please contact daisy.abreu@yale.edu at least a week in advance to request vaccine verification staff for your event. Please plan as far in advance as possible for this option.
      • 6’ space to be maintained between masked performer/s and audiences.
      • Performances may include up to 90 minutes of content without an intermission, and an optional intermission may be offered that does not count towards the 90 minutes.  If there are more than 90 minutes of content, an intermission of at lesat 15 minutes must be held near the midpoint, during which the stage should be cleared. The audience is not required to leave the venue during this intermission. Performances with content longer than 3 hours (180 minutes), please request a plan review using this form: https://cglink.me/2dA/s55819
      • At this time, neither food nor beverages are permitted at performances and food is not permitted at rehearsals. When permitted, food and drink at Yale College performances must follow the Events, Gatherings & Meetings Policy and the Food and Drink Service guidance
      • Outdoor performances:
        • Must be in college courtyards or other gated (access controlled) spaces
          • Reserve space with Head of College office or other space manager
        • Performers + audience to not exceed 50 people
        • If audience cannot be managed in another way, students must stop performance to disburse crowd of over 50.
      • Indoor performances:
        • Must be in Yale College theaters or other spaces that have been reviewed and approved by EHS for sufficient HVAC functionality. 
        • For venues in the residential colleges: Only asymptomatic, vaccinated, enrolled students, faculty, and staff are permitted to attend performances.
        • All patrons must provide their ID to enter the venue. In some venues, all patrons must present proof of vaccination.
        • All advertising, the ticketing interface page, and signs at the venue should state that the performance is for vaccinated patrons only.
        • Masks are required for all performers and audience members.
        • Audience may not exceed 75% of patron capacity (# of existing fixed seats in venue or of fire compliance approved set up of temporary seating). Different capacity restrictions may apply in venues outside of Yale College.
        • Undergraduate Production House Manager (HM) is required. HM can be requested (at least a week in advance) from justin.deland@yale.edu.
          • ​Student production team must arrange supplemental ushers to assist UP House Manager.
        • ​Audience members attending event must be recorded using YaleConnect (instructions here), the Yale College Eventbrite system or other YC-managed system.
        • One ticket per patron.
        • When feasible, patrons waiting to enter the theater will wait outdoors.
        • The house will open 30 minutes before the show start time, so that patrons can proceed immediately to their seats, without needing to wait in a group.
        • Extra masks and hand sanitizer should be made avaiable at the venue.
        • ​1 hour rest period is required between performances in same venue.
      • ​To request a visitor as a production team member or to request a variance to the above policies, use this form: https://cglink.me/2dA/s55819
    • Performances to virtual audiences