|Dear YAS Students and Parents,
It has been over three months since we made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person classes due to the current health crisis surrounding COVID-19, and I wanted to take the time to update you on the state of things at Young Actors Space.
Since March, we have successfully made the transition into offering 100% online classes. While this transition has required a learning curve from both our teachers and students, I can confidently say that they have blown our expectations out of the water. Our teachers, students, and parents have all had an enormously positive response to this new normal.
We look forward to the day when we can return to in-person classes – and we've had many people asking us if we have a return date scheduled. The health and safety of our students and staff remains our number one priority, and therefore we do not have a return date scheduled at this time. With the resurgence of cases and no clear end in sight, we feel that reopening anytime soon would be unnecessarily putting the health of our students and staff at risk.
However, we do have a plan. After much internal discussion among the staff, we've outline our return process into a Four Stage Action Plan for Reopening, which I would like to share with you today:
- Stage 1 - Current Stage. No in-person classes or coaching sessions. Services being offered 100% online.
- Stage 2 - Allowing in-person private coaching at YAS. Instructors will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at periodic intervals, and we will highly suggest that clients entering the building have been tested within the past two weeks. Clients will be scheduled with large intervals so only one is allowed in the building at a time, and the Space will be fully sanitized between clients.
- Stage 3 - Return to in-person classes, with smaller class sizes (<10 students); face masks will be required by both students and staff; no physical interaction will be allowed on stage.
- Stage 4 - Resume normal class sizes of up to 15 students with no limitations.
These internal guidelines may be adapted as we move through the stages, and we'll be sure to keep you up to date whenever we do so or move into a new stage. As far as timing, we will be taking cues for the industry on when it's time to enter Stage 2 – meaning when projects are auditioning regularly again and the demand for in-person coaching returns, so will we.
This past weekend, SAG-AFTRA, the DGA, and IATSE released a tentative plan for getting back to work, which included this statement regarding casting: "Unless otherwise required for a particular reason, use remote casting sessions and callbacks with live broadcast capabilities." Our online classes have already been preparing our actors for these new protocols.
For the rest of the stages, we have no time-frame. That will entirely depend on the trajectory of this disease and how it spreads, if a vaccine is developed, if testing becomes more efficient, and a myriad of other factors that we cannot anticipate.
But we do know this – we will not return to in-person classes until it feels absolutely right to do so. No acting class is worth risking someone's health. Stage 3 could happen this year, it could happen in 2021 – only time will tell, but we promise to continue keeping you updated along the way.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to respond to this email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
From all of us at Young Actors Space, we hope that you and your family are staying safe, happy, and healthy.
Artistic Director, Young Actors Space