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Actor’s Theatre Streaming Performances During COVID-19 Closure

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Actor’s Theatre Streaming Performances During COVID-19 Closure

by TeachThought Staff

From a press release

Actors Theatre of Louisville and Executive Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming are proud to announce the launch of Actors Theatre Direct: multi-channel, on-demand creative content to ensure that world-class theatre continues to thrive and enrich lives during this turbulent time.

The public health crisis around the spread of COVID-19 necessitated the suspension of Actors Theatre’s season, including nearly 100 planned performances as part of the 44th Humana Festival of New American Plays, originally scheduled through April 12. 

Robert Barry Fleming shares, “The decision to utilize the recommended social distancing strategies, and suspend the remainder of our season, remains an act of civic duty and is, without question, in the best interest of public health and wellness. It is also true, that for the individuals in any community, self-quarantine measures can be psychologically difficult and emotionally painful. As a staff, we quickly redirected all our creative energy to finding innovative, high-quality, virtual solutions to continue fulfilling our mission. Actors Theatre Direct is a key strategic initiative that allows us to do just that.”

A premiere in the Humana Festival gives a work and its creative team the opportunity for invaluable audience exchange and industry exposure. For 44 years, the Humana Festival has offered theatre lovers the chance to be the first to see groundbreaking new plays by some of the most talented voices writing for the American stage.

Therefore, the flagship offerings of Actors Theatre Direct are two full-length, filmed performances of the Humana Festival productions:

— Where the Mountain Meets the Sea by Jeff Augustin with music by The Bengsons, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody and featuring Allan K. Washington, Nathan Hinton and Shaun and Abigail Bengson. This play was commissioned by Actors Theatre.

— Are You There? by Vivian Barnes, Jonathan Norton and Gab Reisman, directed by Robert Barry Fleming, commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville and performed by the 2019-2020 Professional Training Company.

Virtual tickets are now available at ActorsTheatre.org/Direct. Tickets start at $15 and streaming will begin April 6.

Local audiences can create a complete ‘dinner and show’ experience at home with a special offer from Bearno’s Pizza. Bearno’s By-the-Bridge location will offer free breadsticks or cheese bread to those who mention “Actors Theatre” for a delivery or pickup order. Call Bearno’s By-The-Bridge at 502-584-7437.

Actors Theatre Direct will also feature free content, with a pay-what-you-wish donation encouraged, on Actors Theatre social media channels. Erica Denise, the theatre’s Director of Learning & Creative Engagement, shares, “We are committed to continuing our mission while simultaneously creating new and innovative ways to engage the community during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”

For press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Greenfield, Director of Communications, at 859.321.9811 or [email protected].

Listing Information

Actors Theatre Direct: multi-channel, on-demand creative content to ensure that world-class theatre continues to thrive and to enrich lives during this turbulent time. Details and FAQs available at ActorsTheatre.org/Direct.

Virtual tickets on sale now. Streaming begins April 6, 2020 and concludes April 20, 2020. Details about featured Humana Festival of New American Plays projects are below.

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Hashtags: #ActorsTheatreDirect  #LiftUpLou #ArtsAndCultureINKY

Bearno’s Pizza Offer: Bearno’s By-the-Bridge location will offer free breadsticks or cheese bread to those who mention “Actors Theatre” for a delivery or pickup order. Call Bearno’s By-The-Bridge at 502-584-7437.

For press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Greenfield, Director of Communications, at 859.321.9811 or [email protected]

Where the Mountain Meets the Sea
by Jeff Augustin
music by The Bengsons
directed by Joshua Kahan Brody
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville
in the Victor Jory Theatre

This music-filled play traces a Haitian immigrant and his son’s complicated bond, and their life-changing journeys across America.

Setting off from Miami, a Haitian immigrant named Jean takes a once-in-a-lifetime road trip out west. Decades later, his son Jonah heads east, following Jean’s route in reverse—and discovering he’s inherited his father’s love of Appalachian folk music. Separated by time, yet side by side, the two men trace their journeys and the complicated bond they share. With lyrical storytelling and live music, this play vividly imagines how a father and son who longed to connect might come to see each other at last.

Jeff Augustin’s plays include Cry Old Kingdom (2013 Humana Festival), The Last Tiger in Haiti (La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), The New Englanders (Manhattan Theatre Club) and Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout Theatre Company). Augustin is currently writing for The Morning Show on Apple TV+ and the limited series The Good Lord Bird on Showtime. He was a Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Horizons and Roundabout. He’s an alumnus of New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, The Lark’s Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Augustin is under commission from Manhattan Theatre Club and La Jolla Playhouse. He received his B.A. from Boston College and his M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.

Are You There?
by Vivian Barnes, Jonathan Norton and Gab Reisman
directed by Robert Barry Fleming
performed by the actors of the 2019–2020 Professional Training Company
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville
in the Bingham Theatre

Communication is as easy as a push of the button—but are we truly connecting?

From the cacophony of telephone party lines, to CB radios on lonely highways, to the glory days of online chat rooms, technology has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. But is it always for the better? In this collection of boldly original short plays, three writers and this season’s Professional Training Company explore the high-tech evolution of our social interactions. Are our devices getting in the way of quality, in-person time with our friends and family? Or could they be another pathway to intimacy?

Vivian Barnes is a playwright from Virginia and a proud former Actors Theatre Professional Training Company apprentice. Other Theatre: Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! at the University of California, San Diego. Additional Credits: Her play Jezebels was a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, as well as an honorable mention for the 2019 Kilroys List. Recently, she received Clubbed Thumb’s Open Application Commission. She is a second-year M.F.A. Playwriting candidate at the University of California, San Diego and a recipient of the San Diego Fellowship.

Jonathan Norton Regional Theatre: penny candy, Dallas Theater Center. Other Theatre: Plays developed and/or produced at PlayPenn, Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, InterAct Theatre Company, Kitchen Dog Theater, Pyramid Theatre Company, African American Repertory Theater, Undermain Theatre, Theatre Three, Soul Rep Theatre Company, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, South Dallas Cultural Center, and National New Play Network. His play Mississippi Goddamn was a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and won the 2016 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award given by the American Theatre Critics Association. Mississippi Goddamn was commissioned by the South Dallas Cultural Center Diaspora Performing Arts Commission Project. Norton is the Playwright in Residence at Dallas Theater Center. For more information, please visit nortonscriptworks.com.

Gab Reisman Regional Theatre: Underbelly’s Alice in Wonderland at ZACH Theatre. Other Theatre: Next Year People at Fusebox Festival, Flood City at Theater Alliance and The NOLA Project, Storm Still at Vortex Rep and Brooklyn Yard. Additional Credits: Reisman has received commissions from Clubbed Thumb, New Plays at Barnard, EST/Sloan Project and The NOLA Project. Her plays have been developed with Page 73, Sundance Theatre Lab, The MacDowell Colony, the Orchard Project, Ingram New Works Lab, National New Play Network and the Playwrights’ Center, among others. Publications include work in The Kilroys List: Vol. 1 and The GPTC Reader. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit gabreisman.com.

About the Professional Training Company

Now in its 48th year, the Professional Training Company (PTC) is the cornerstone of Actors Theatre of Louisville’s commitment to education. One of the nation’s oldest pre-professional training programs, the PTC is a one-of-a-kind immersive program designed to elevate early-career practitioners in the American theatre industry by teaching the business and art of being a theatre professional. Members of the Company work directly with Actors Theatre artistic, administrative and production staff leaders, as well as visiting guest artists, to receive hands-on training in their respective fields. The PTC is a diverse ensemble comprised of 39 talented individuals who are the next generation of American theatre.

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A Framework To Support Schools In Preparing For Coronavirus

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A Basic Framework To Support Schools In Preparing For Coronavirus

by TeachThought Staff

TeachThought is going to gather the latest news, data, resources, and recommendations for Coronavirus/COVID-19 and share that information here. We will continue to update the information as often as is relevant to support teachers, schools, and districts in responding to the virus.

What is the Coronavirus/COVID-19?

According to the CDC, “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.”

The Role of Schools In Preparing For Coronavirus

As a global entity, the concept and practice of public education gathers hundreds of millions of students together in small spaces every day. This makes it an easy way for viruses to spread, which is why on March 4th, 2020, Italy announced that all public schools would be closing until at least March 15th, 2020.

While schools face challenges every year in keeping students, teachers, and staff healthy due to viruses like the flu, the common cold, and other diseases, viruses, and infection, the Coronavirus represents a unique challenge due in part to misunderstanding of the virus (including misinformation, propaganda, fear, etc.) but also the fact that while not a ‘global super bug,’ it is indeed nearly three and a half times more deadly than the already deadly common flu strains schools experience every year.

“Schools, working together with local health departments, have an important role in slowing the spread of diseases to help ensure students have safe and healthy learning environments. Schools serve students, staff, and visitors from throughout the community. All of these people may have close contact in the school setting, often sharing spaces, equipment, and supplies. To prepare for possible community transmission of COVID-19, the most important thing for schools to do now is plan and prepare. As the global outbreak evolves, schools should prepare for the possibility of community-level outbreaks. Schools want to be ready if COVID-19 does appear in their communities.”

The role of schools, then, might include four main parts: Prepare, Communicate, Educate, Support

General Overview Of Recommendations For Schools To Prepare For Coronavirus/COVID-19

The following info is sourced in part from research overviews and summaries of data and information provided by the Center for Disease Control in the United States, the World Health Organization, and the US Department of Education.

Prepare

Have a clear and science-based plan for your school that responds to the most recent scientific data about the most urgent needs (i.e., public health and safety). This obviously includes everything from communicating with families and transporting students to curriculum and instruction delivery, online learning, and more.

Communicate

Communicate with families now to begin preparations for an outbreak in your school and community, then and update that message continuously with new information as it emerges. School and district websites and social media platforms like twitter and facebook are obviously effective methods of doing this but you will likely need a multi-facted approach as not every family is likely to be on a single platform where they can all access critical data.

Educate

Clearly communicate the evidence-based facts and data about the Coronavirus–the mortality rate and how that compares to the common flu, how the COVID-19 virus is spread, what they should do if they feel sick, etc. In other words, stick to science and medicine rather than worry, social media, news, and policies.

For example, the most evidence (as of March 14th, 2020) shows that COVID-19 is more dangerous the more common seasonal flu (with a mortality rate 3.4% compared to the seasonal flu which is around 1%) and so far seems to spread more easily spread as easily. This helps contextualize what’s happening biologically. Then, help the students (who are children and lack life experience) to frame that data as well–not over-reacting to it but also seeing it as a very real threat to the health and well-being of anyone in contact with the virus.

Support

Reduce potential transmission of virus and support teachers and students throughout the process with resources and information about how to stay healthy and what to do if they become ill.

Do whatever possible to limit the spread of the virus (from educating communities to closing schools when appropriate).

Encourage staff and students to stay home if they’re sick. Obviously this is complicated for teachers who may lack paid leave days at this point in the school year, and even more complicated for many families who don’t have access to childcare.

Everyone in the school should turn away from anyone around them and cover their mouth and nose with the crook of their arm when they cough or sneeze.

Teach students how to properly wash their hands and make sure they have the resources (e.g., soap, paper towels, etc.) and access to bathrooms to do so especially before eating.

Encourage students to keep their hands out of their ‘T-Zone’–their eyes, nose, and mouth. This is how the COVID-19 makes its way into the body. Make sure they understand that.

In the next post, we will provide more specific CDC recommendations for preparing for COVID-19 in your school and district.

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50+ Specific Recommendations On How Schools Can Prepare For Coronavirus

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Specific Recommendations On How Schools Can Prepare For Coronavirus

by TeachThought Staff

TeachThought is going to gather the latest news, data, resources, and recommendations for Coronavirus/COVID-19 and share that information here. We will continue to update the information as often as is relevant to support teachers, schools, and districts in responding to the virus.

What is the Coronavirus/COVID-19?

According to the CDC, “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.”

The following info is sourced in part from research overviews and summaries of data and information provided by the Center for Disease Control in the United States.

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For Schools Who Do Not Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19

Childcare and K-12 school administrators nationwide can take steps to help stop or slow the spread of respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19:

  • Review, update, and implement emergency operations plans (EOPs). This should be done in collaboration with local health departments and other relevant partners. Focus on the components, or annexes, of the plans that address infectious disease outbreaks.
    • Ensure the plan includes strategies to reduce the spread of a wide variety of infectious diseases (e.g., seasonal influenza). Effective strategies build on everyday school policies and practices.
    • Ensure the plan emphasizes common-sense preventive actions for students and staff. For example, emphasize actions such as staying home when sick; appropriately covering coughs and sneezes; cleaning frequently touched surfaces; and washing hands often.
    • Ensure handwashing strategies include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • Reference key resources while reviewing, updating, and implementing the EOP:
    • Develop information-sharing systems with partners.
      • Information-sharing systems can be used for day-to-day reporting (on information such as changes in absenteeism) and disease surveillance efforts to detect and respond to an outbreak.
      • Local health officials should be a key partner in information sharing.
    • Monitor and plan for absenteeism.
      • Review the usual absenteeism patterns at your school among both students and staff.
      • Alert local health officials about large increases in student and staff absenteeism, particularly if absences appear due to respiratory illnesses (like the common cold or the “flu,” which have symptoms similar to symptoms of COVID-19).
      • Review attendance and sick leave policies. Encourage students and staff to stay home when sick. Use flexibility, when possible, to allow staff to stay home to care for sick family members.
      • Discourage the use of perfect attendance awards and incentives.
      • Identify critical job functions and positions, and plan for alternative coverage by cross-training staff.
      • Determine what level of absenteeism will disrupt continuity of teaching and learning.
    • Establish procedures for students and staff who are sick at school.
      • Establish procedures to ensure students and staff who become sick at school or arrive at school sick are sent home as soon as possible.
      • Keep sick students and staff separate from well students and staff until they can leave.
      • Remember that schools are not expected to screen students or staff to identify cases of COVID-19. The majority of respiratory illnesses are not COVID-19. If a community (or more specifically, a school) has cases of COVID-19, local health officials will help identify those individuals and will follow up on next steps.
      • Share resources with the school community to help families understand when to keep children home. This guidance, not specific to COVID-19, from the American Academy of Pediatrics can be helpful for familiesexternal icon.
    • Perform routine environmental cleaning.
      • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, countertops) with the cleaners typically used. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label.
      • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down by students and staff before each use.
    • Create communications plans for use with the school community.
      • Include strategies for sharing information with staff, students, and their families.
      • Include information about steps being taken by the school or childcare facility to prepare, and how additional information will be shared.
    • Review CDC’s guidance for businesses and employers.
      • Review this CDC guidance to identify any additional strategies the school can use, given its role as an employer.

Childcare and K-12 administrators can also support their school community by sharing resources with students (if resources are age-appropriate), their families, and staff. Coordinate with local health officials to determine what type of information might be best to share with the school community. Consider sharing the following fact sheets and information sources:

  • Information about COVID-19 available through state and localexternal icon health departments
  • General CDC fact sheets to help staff and students’ families understand COVID-19 and the steps they can take to protect themselves:
  • CDC Information on COVID-19 and children
  • CDC information for staff, students, and their families who have recently traveled back to the United States from areas where CDC has identified community spread of coronavirus:

For questions about students who plan to travel, or have recently traveled, to areas with community spread of COVID-19, refer to CDC’s FAQ for travelers. Schools can also consult with state and local health officials. Schools may need to postpone or cancel trips that could expose students and staff to potential community spread of COVID-19. Students returning from travel to areas with community spread of COVID-19 must follow guidance they have received from health officials. COVID-19 information for travel is updated regularly on the CDC website.”

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How To Wash Your Hands Properly

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How To Wash Your Hands

How To Wash Your Hands Properly

by TeachThought Staff

Washing your hands is something we’ve all done since we were children.

As a result, it’s a mostly thoughtless reflex and process that hopefully works but—well, it’s hard to know for sure. Aside from visible ‘dirt,’ it’s nearly impossible to know exactly how clean your hands actually are.

According to the CDC, it’s not terribly complicated; it’s about washing your hands properly—every millimeter—thoroughly, then drying with a clean towel. (Then, further, not touching any contaminated surfaces like faucet handles or door knobs, afterward.)

The CDC explains, “Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

5 Steps For Washing Your Hands Properly

1. “Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. (See image above.)

“To date, studies have shown that there is no added health benefit for consumers (this does not include professionals in the healthcare setting) using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients compared with using plain soap 910. As a result, FDA issued a final rule in September 2016 that 19 ingredients in common “antibacterial” soaps, including triclosan, were no more effective than non-antibacterial soap and water and thus these products are no longer able to be marketed to the general public. This rule does not affect hand sanitizers, wipes, or antibacterial products used in healthcare settings.”

3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. (TeachThought Ed note: Be thorough and ‘big picture’ oriented when teaching this trick to children because, while useful, in our experience with younger students it can encourage them to focus on the song and ‘having sung the song twice’ rather than the actual cleaning process itself.)

4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.”

You can also see the video below for more information.

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