Dear Center supporter,
I’m sure you’re wondering just when our stages are going to reopen so we can all return to enjoy the magic of the performing arts – live, in person and together – the best way to experience them!
It’s been more than three months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of our city’s arts venues, including the stages at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. I’ll share some insight on the process so you can understand our timing, because reopening a major performing arts center after three months of being closed, doesn’t happen at the flip of a switch.
- Foremost is always safety. This means enhancing cleaning protocols, adding additional equipment, charting patron flow while socially distancing, and more. We create strategies with patrons in mind, then do it again for our staff and volunteers, and then backstage for artists and crew, working through every scenario.
- Our governor has established guidelines for reopening fine arts performance venues. These include capacity or space restrictions, so this means creating or rearranging seating maps in each venue. It’s like assembling a big jigsaw puzzle to make it all work!
- We will start in our outdoor venue, Strauss Square, in early September. Numerous studies show that audiences will be more comfortable attending performances in open-air spaces. We’ll keep seating well below capacity so you and your family can sit on blankets on the lawn – with plenty of space between groups – and safely enjoy the show under the stars.
- Live and local. We are going to be featuring some of the best local arts organizations – dance, music, theatre, even local bands! We are deeply discounting costs so these artists can afford performing again for Dallas audiences, and seeking donors to help us make this work! (Let us know if you’d like to help!)
- Why September? It’s not as far away as you think! First, we are getting our new protocols, training and policies tested and in place. Artists need time too. Selecting works for an outdoor space, casting, staging, marketing, ticket sales and more. Many are just now rehearsing again. They may have to create new works with fewer artists, or re-stage productions with everyone farther apart.
- After we’ve done this in Strauss Square, we’ll create similar strategies for our major indoor stages. We plan to have the Winspear Opera House open in October with dance companies presented by TITAS/Dance Unbound and other presentations. And the Wyly Theatre won’t be far behind!
As you can see, it’s not as simple as unlocking the gate! Stay tuned. We’ll have more news soon on who will be appearing on our stages, and how you can purchase tickets to join us live, in person and together!
Please stay healthy and safe,
President & CEO
AT&T Performing Arts Center