The Stratford Festival is a classical repertory theatre that presents an annual season ranging from Shakespeare and other classics to Broadway musicals and premières of new work. Between April and November of each year, the Festival presents a dozen productions in its four venues and welcomes 500,000 visitors to Stratford. The playbill is complemented by the Stratford Festival Forum, a season-long program of lectures, panels, special performances and other activities designed to illuminate the productions, explore themes of the season, and stimulate discussion and debate. In 2015, under the leadership of Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and Executive Director Anita Gaffney, the Stratford Festival embarked upon a 10-year initiative to capture the entire Shakespeare canon in spectacular HD, bringing the work of this renowned company to audiences around the world.
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This project involved three key areas which will contribute to the Stratford Festival being able to safely reopen in 2021:
1) Health & Safety Consulting - The Festival hired Sellery Health & Safety Consulting, a Stratford based specialist in event health and safety, with a particular focus on theatre and other live events in August, 2020. Janet Sellery delivered a set of best practices research on the re-opening of our theatres under COVID conditions in September 2020. This included both legal requirements and practical recommendations from the live event and other related industries, from around the globe. The Festival has found this to be an extremely useful tool, which has provided the foundation for the development of our re-opening safety plan, which is in draft format.
2) Contactless Technology - In an effort to provide as many contactless services as possible, the Festival purchased 10 contactless ticket scanners for its venues. The ticket scanners will be put into service in our 2021 season.
3) Retrofit Call Centre - The Festival's call centre needed to be retrofitted with plexiglass barriers between work stations in order to provide the required physical distancing between staff. This was a necessary step in being able to increase the staffing in the call centre in preparation for going on sale for our 2021 season.
• Provided health and safety consulting for staff
• Provided contactless ticket scanners for future use at venues
• Allowed retrofitting of workstations in Call Centre providing required social distancing for safe working conditions
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