Theaters take action despite coronavirus… Edouard Philippe announced in a press conference on May 28 as for the phase 2 of the containment exit plan that theaters and show venues can reopen from June. For venues in green areas, they can reopen from June 2. But for those in orange area, they can reopen from June 22nd.
Following French President's address on June 14, theaters and show venues set in Paris and all other departments in Île-de-France are ultimately able to reopen from June 15 as the entire country - excluding Mayotte and French Guiana - goes "green" starting from this very day. Yet, in his address, Emmanuel Macron let people know that gatherings will be highly supervised for "they are the main occasion for the virus to spread" he recalled.
A date expected by many directors and venue owners who took action and were already working on resuming work in September. A period named by most venues and that seems rather logic since in the summer, very little shows are generally performed. And the cancelation of the Festival d'Avignon probably ended convincing people.
Venue managers and producers told to our peers at Le Parisien about the matter. Starting with Jean-Marc Dumontet, managing six venues in Paris such as the théâtre Antoine, the Point Virgule and even Bobino. He said they were working “for September”. But with what show? First show already planned, Plaidoiries, a one man show by Richard Berry, performed from September 24 in one of the venues, the Théâtre libre. “I’m looking forward to the reopening of restaurants, it will be a wake-up call, the symbol that life goes on” the producer tells Le Parisien. A genuine boost for theaters relying on spectators’ habits.
Even though most of them are already planning shows for September, other are also expecting to start again this summer. This is the case, for instance, of l'Européen, hoping to reopen for July 15th if they are allowed to. “We must demystify the situation and, with all the health precautions, try and make things change” the theater manager Sébastien Beslon explains.
A reopening, whether in July or in September, that leads to several organization issues: fewer seats in auditoriums, masks for the audience, mandatory hand washing, disinfecting seats, temperature checks…. As many constraints that will have to be managed, or protocols to set up, and as many questions establishments have.