April 28, 2021MEREDITH – The Interlakes Summer Theatre is returning to the Inter-Lakes Community Auditorium this summer with a safety proposal and approval from the school board.
The Inter-Lakes School Board reviewed a proposal to allow the ILST to return for the summer season during its April 13 meeting.
Superintendent Mary Moriarty said the district received a request from Interlakes Summer Theatre to use the community auditorium at Inter-Lakes Middle High School for is summer season. Last year the theater company and its related educational company canceled its season last year due to the pandemic. The theater is ready to start up again for this summer, adhering to the state's pandemic-related guidelines.
According to the proposal, everyone in the theater, with the exception of the performers, would have to wear masks. Seats would also be limited to allow for social distancing. The theater normally seats 422 people, but 100 people would be allowed in for a show. Sections of seats would be blocked off, with no one sitting behind another person. People buying tickets would have to go by a seating chart.
Moriarty also said ILST artistic director Nancy Barry has a plan for doing temperature checks on people before they are seated.
The new season would run from the beginning of June through the end of August. The theater would be utilizing the auditorium as well as the cafeteria and a classroom.
The theater will have access to the box office on the weekends and limit any contacts.
Moriarty said everything would also be evaluated to make sure all the requirements are being followed.
"How they behave reflects on us as a school district, that is something we want to make sure we are sending the mess that we take mitigation strongly," Moriarty said. "Kudos to every member of the school district because we have been able to contain that, but we have ppl who are guests and using the facility to also have that same level."
Moriarty also said Barry works regularly with seniors and has received COVID-19 training.
Cleaning protocols will be maintained, through the district is looking for some custodial help during the summer. Due to the pandemic, Moriarty said members of the custodial staff are exhausted and haven't been able to take time off. She said they want to make sure these staff members can get some time off, so the district is looking for temporary custodians to help out over the summer.
"That's why I feel strongly having the box office open while we're in school Friday and Saturday gives people time to clean before have students," Moriarty said, saying this way they can partition off part of the building for summer programs.
Moriarty said IL's summer school is running from July 12-Aug. 12. She said there will be a lot of students and adults in the building, but efforts will be taken to try to keep everyone separated.
"I think we are in a place that with our mitigation, with relationships I think we can hopefully go into that balance it," Moriarty said, "and I guess everybody would also need to know things could change on a dime. I think we've all learned that."
Requests to use the facilities are typically approved by facilities director Brian Swanker. Moriarty said the district is at a place where it has learned to mitigate the risks and said if the board is comfortable with this, they can return that authority back to Swanker, who would also work with assistant superintendent Trish Temperino.
The board unanimously approved the proposal and giving the responsibility for review to Swanker, Moriarty, and Temperino.