17th March 2020 (Email #2)
I hope this finds you and your families well. I also hope that many of you had some very happy children at the weekend after the Cast of The Grimms was announced! (If you missed this, just visit www.stawww.org/blog).
Below is an update with information we have at the moment and what we intend to do moving forwards.
Before we get in to that, I would just like to personally thank each and every one of you for the abundance of positive support in light of this sudden cancellation. The world feels a bit mad at the moment, but knowing that we have such a strong, supportive network of families who understand the value of what we’re doing and having to do in light of the circumstances, is very uplifting – so thank you once more.
What we know:
The BCU have informed us that they intend to remain closed to outside hires until the end of March. They have advised that this will be reviewed in early April and may continue into the foreseeable future.
The hires team have assured us that they will keep us updated as the situation progresses and we will be monitoring this as best we can in the coming weeks. Communicating with you on a need-to-know basis. Please wait for us to contact you – if we haven’t been in touch it’s because the situation hasn’t changed.
The performance venues that we hire (The Crescent and the MAC) have both informed us that they intend to remain open to the public until they are advised otherwise by our local authority – please see below for an update on this point.
What this means:
As you know, we have been forced to close for the remainder of our Spring Term. As far as possible – BCU allowing – we intend to return to our standard operations for the Summer Term. If BCU prove to be unwilling to open their doors but the situation has improved we will be looking for an alterantive venue to start our operations again.
Events like the Showcase are still going ahead and we may, within the coming weeks, attempt to hold a Photosale to replace the one displaced from last Saturday. Following this point, if this proves to be unfeasible, we will research into ways of conducting a photosale online with a virtual marketplace. Failing both of the above, we will be rescheduling for the event to take place within the Summer Term.
Things to consider:
At the time of writing, the Showcase is still going ahead, however following the notice of reducing public gatherings the mac are holding an emergency meeting of their board of trustees to decide what to do moving forward. In the event that the Showcase needs to be cancelled, we will let you know immediately.
On the above
The UK Government’s response to public gatherings without formally forcing arts organisations (who rely on public gathering to trade) to close is directly affecting small to large-scale theatres, drama groups and arts based organisations across the country, of which Stage2 is one of! If you have any time whatsoever, please add your voice to public opinion polls like here. Helping your local theatre or community arts centre now will ensure the continuation of these services after the Covid-19 mess.
The Grimms cast packs are going to be delivered to your home addresses (or given to you at LAMDA lessons) throughout the week. If you haven’t received this by this Saturday please let me know.
In the event of:
The Showcase being CancelledWe will alert you via this platform as soon as we are informed that this needs to happen. We will attempt to move the date to a more convenient time and refund anyone who can subsequently not make the new date.
BCU remaining closed for longer than currently expected.We will notify you via email as soon as it becomes likely that we will have to postpone the start of term.
For members in the Cast, with a show in July and not many Saturdays to rehearse – we may schedule separate rehearsals with Cast that take place at either the Stage2 Office OR at a separate venue. This will be to get a head start of blocking for when we do start running again. This will only be done with complete assurance that no individual poses a risk to others or puts themselves at risk by attending.
The Crescent closing – meaning the cancellation of The Grimms.In the unlikely event of this happening, we will liaise closely with the Crescent to move the event to a logical point further in the year. We will ensure that paid for tickets are refunded or transferred to the relevant rescheduled date.
Please bear with us over the coming weeks as we try to adjust to the circumstances. Drama and Theatre is quite hard to apply electronically, but we’ll be thinking of ways to engage with you and your young people in an online platform in the meantime.
If you have any questions or suggestions for us that are outside of the above, please respond directly to this email.
For those of you who are occupationally affected by the shut downs currently happening (and suddenly have more time on your hands), I would recommend signing up to a local Covid-19 support group (there are lots on Facebook and online).
There are many people within the community who have been made more vulnerable by the situation, and if you are able to provide resources, energy and/or time (even if it’s a phone call to an elderly person) to help your neighbour now’s the time to do it.
I hope that the above makes sense and is clear of our intentions moving forwards.
Best wishes and please stay safe!
13th March 2020 (Email #1 – sent to all current members)
As many of you will be very aware, the current situation re: the spread of the novel Covid-19 virus, continues to worsen here in the UK. Previously, our stance has been to continue operations until told to cease by the local authority or by any one of our venues.
It is my unfortunate task to inform you that as of today, the BCU (the building we meet in on a Saturday) has made the decision to cancel all future bookings until further notice. This means that we will not be running tomorrow or any Saturday for the remainder of the Spring Term.
IMMEDIATE ACTION – PLEASE RESPOND
Please can you respond to this email as soon as possible, stating that you have read and understood that Stage2 will not be operating for the remainder of the Spring Term. We will use our email list to send further updates (see below).
We would welcome any support you can provide in the speedy distribution of this information, checking in with your friends and fellow parents that they have also received this message.
If we have not received confirmation from you by 6pm we will endeavour to phone you this evening to ensure that the message has been received – this is in-line with the procedure for our “inclement weather policy” – it is important to us that clear information is received by everybody.
MOVING FORWARDS – LONG TERM ACTION
After today, we will ensure that you are alerted to any and all future updates via the email address that this email has been sent to/we have obtained via phone. If you would like to request that it go to a separate email address or include another parent or family member, please let me know when you respond to the first immediate point.
Summer Term and Term Fees
We know that for many parents and families this cancellation may pose a big inconvenience – we cannot apologise enough for this. This decision was presented to us today and we are respecting the BCU’s plan of action in order with immediate effect, to protect the wider public as well as the safety and health of your children (and you)!
We are currently liaising with our Board of Trustees RE: Payments and Refunds for the Spring Term and monitoring the situation closely for the Summer Term. We still intend to continue operations for the Summer Term and are liaising with the BCU about their proposed closure into April.
Showcase Evening (24th March)
We have spoken with the MAC and the venue intends to keep its events open to the public until informed otherwise by the local authority. We intend to continue our private LAMDA Tuition and the event itself.
If you are fearful of public gatherings and the potential health risk they pose and no longer wish to attend, we would ask that you inform us in writing as soon as possible. If you are also requesting a refund of ticket money, we would ask that you include this in writing as well.
We have been in communication with our Board of Trustees about this as a separate matter and will be contacting the individuals who are participating today.
Casting for The Grimms
As stated, we still intend to go ahead with the Summer Show and we don’t want to disappoint people who have put in the hard work and commitment to audition. I intend to live-stream/announce the Casting tomorrow on Social Media, and send scripts and paperwork in the post following this, so please tell your children to tune in!
We are doing our best to manage this unique situation and want you to know that your children’s safety, health and happiness is always of paramount importance.
If you have any questions at all in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to ask me via email or over the phone – 07961 018841 or 07790464288
PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE EMAIL RECEIPT ASAP