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University of Virginia UVA Arts & Sciences Default

Performing Arts Mask Policies Update

Oct 22, 2021

The updates below are part of UVA’s ongoing effort to protect public health, while offering students, faculty and staff as much flexibility as possible. This information was announced on October 22 via email from Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis. Aside from the exceptions described below, all other policies remain in effect at UVA and UVA Health.

These provisions apply only to performance classes in these fields.  In other words, classes on the history of music or drama theory would not be covered by this policy.

 

Students participating in for-credit drama, dance, and instrumental music activities will have more opportunities to practice and perform indoors.
 

 

As the weather turns colder, students who are participating in for-credit activities in drama, dance, and instrumental music will be permitted to rehearse and perform indoors, provided they are following certain public health requirements. Individual courses and activities will be subject to specific requirements, Examples of which include wearing masks and physically distancing when not actively rehearsing, wearing clear masks at final rehearsals for drama activities, and fitting brass and wind instruments with appropriate bell covers where possible. Final drama performances will not require masks for performers as long as the audience is masked. 

As a result of these changes, the Cavalier Marching Band, which is a for-credit activity, will be able to play in the stands at Scott Stadium.

The marching band is working to implement similar public health measures like obtaining bell covers for wind instruments and will return to playing in the stands during football games as soon as possible.

 

A.   Music

Curricular, For-Credit Musical Performance Activities (does not apply to 1-on-1 lessons, where current policy allowing removal of masks under specific circumstances will remain in place):

Indoor singing must continue to be fully masked

  • Players of non-wind instruments must remain masked when indoors
  • Wind instruments may be played indoors, with the following mitigation measures in place:
  • Playing should be limited to indoor spaces with adequate ventilation
  • Wind players must be spaced at least 10 feet from others
  • Wind players must wear masks designed for wind instruments
  • Appropriate bell covers (MERV-13) must be worn on all brass and woodwind instruments for which they are available
  • Playing of wind instruments in an ensemble setting must be limited to no more than 50 minutes at a time 
  • Any member of the ensemble who is not comfortable participating under these conditions must have the ability to opt out without any adverse impact on their ability to receive course credit
  • For indoor performances involving wind instruments or singing, audiences must always be masked; as an additional precaution, at least the first two rows of the performance space’s seating should be kept vacant to provide further distancing between the actors and the audience

 Cavalier Marching Band, playing in the stands at games

  • Wind players must wear masks designed for wind instruments
  • Appropriate bell covers (MERV-13) must be worn on all brass and woodwind instruments for which they are available
  • Any member of the ensemble who is not comfortable participating under these conditions must have the ability to opt out without any adverse impact on their ability to receive course credit
  • Players of non-wind instruments must remain masked

 

B.   Drama and Dance

Curricular, For-Credit Activities:

  • Performance classes in Drama may take place indoors and without masks, with the following limitations and mitigation measures:
  • Performers may conduct performances indoors without masks, provided they maintain 6 feet of social distance wherever practical
  • Performers may conduct final rehearsals indoors with appropriate clear plastic mask
  • Performers must wear masks when they are not actively rehearsing or performing
  • All other participants in the rehearsal or performance must remain masked at all times
  • Indoor, unmasked rehearsal or performance is voluntary and may not be required as a condition of course credit
  • Unmasked theatrical performances and rehearsals should be limited to indoor spaces with adequate ventilation
  • For indoor performances, audiences must always be masked; as an additional precaution, at least the first two rows of the performance space’s seating should be kept vacant to provide further distancing between the actors and the audience
  • Performance classes in Dance may take place indoors and without masks, with the same mitigation measures as listed above for drama/theater, with the exception that the maskless option is available for all indoor rehearsals as well as performances, due to the strenuous physical nature of the activity