The Central Square Business Improvement District (BID) has responded to the void of cultural activities in the city with Starlight Square, a temporary, outdoor installation that is home to the Central Square Cultural District Partners: Central Square Theater, The Dance Complex, and ImprovBoston. Additionally, the Community Arts Center, Margaret Fuller House, the local A.M.E. churches and other arts and educational groups are participating in programming at Starlight Square. Starlight Square is the only greater Boston outdoor performance space that has been specially designed for the MA guidelines for physical distancing and to minimize the risk of COVID-19.
This unique outdoor space will run from August 11 to October 31, 2020. All performances run between 60 and 90 minutes with no intermission. All Cultural District Partner events are free.
Our Priority: We Must Keep Each Other Safe
1. Audience Ticketing & Reservations
Pre-show emails to all ticket-holders will be sent out 48 hours prior to each performance, giving patrons a detailed outline of what they can anticipate upon arrival. This will include a Social Contract, calling upon them to have personal accountability on doing everything they can to keep those around them safe. All patrons will be required to wear a mask at Starlight Square except when drinking or eating once they are at their designated seats. Patrons will be seated in pods (the total number of tickets in a specific order). Pods are sociallity distanced from each other with at least 6-feet in between. Starlight Square has accessible and companion seating which is available for reservation online.
Our box office will be available by phone Tuesday – Friday from 12pm – 5pm, and at Starlight for day-of ticket reservations, starting one hour prior to the event beginning. The box office will close once the event begins. Some tickets are held for “walk up” patrons for each event. The box office will be equipped with a plexiglass barrier between the patron and the associates. We will have a single associate working at a time. Both cash and card will be accepted. Patrons will be assigned seats into pods (the entire party reserving tickets together). Location of pods are at the discretion of FOH staff according to party size and any accessibility needs.
We will be taking advantage of the “Check-In Mode” feature from our ticketing service to keep track of who has arrived, rather than scanning tickets, this protocol allows us to eliminate physical tickets and reduce contact between staff members and patrons as well as unnecessary contact with surfaces by all involved.
Starlight Square will be equipped with two entrance points and three exit ways. A CST staff member will be at each entrance door. With the house left entrance also acts as an exit to concessions and bathrooms during walk-in, the staff member will be ensuring no paths are crossed in the doorways. Starlight Square will have 4 hand-washing stations, hand sanitizer and wipes in the locations the hand-washing stations are not (ie: box office, dipjar table, concessions table), also requiring masks to be worn by all staff and patrons entering the performance space. Anyone refusing to wear a mask, and abide by other precautions will not be welcome inside, and/or asked to leave. Starlight Square is committed to abiding by all CDC and Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 guidelines.
To further ensure this, we are implementing staggered arrival times in which patrons can select their arrival and check-in time when purchasing their tickets. We will have two options of arrival starting a half hour before the start of the performance. These will be in intervals of 15 minutes, with 25 people max per interval. This will keep lines short, and proper spatially distanced, designated by thick pink lines on the pavement. Any folks that have not RSVP’d will be identified at the gate before reaching the box office, so we can direct them to a separate waiting area until we are ready to get them in.
To keep up with managing social distancing during the exit of patrons, we will be releasing patrons by their sections and rows, to get folks out in a timely, safe manner.
To keep up with contact tracing, along with having the primary individual’s contact information, we have also configured “plus one emails,” giving the person making the reservation the option to provide their guest’s information.
2. Physical Distancing of Audience Members to Performers:
At no time will performers be less than 8 feet from patrons when entering and exiting the stage. Audience members will be at least 10-feet from the performers (when performing) at all times. If the performance includes singing, audience members will be at least 25 feet away from the nearest performer.
3. Front-of-House Staff
All Front of House (FOH) staff will be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.
FOH are required to wear masks when in any public space and during their commutes, in addition to weekly testing. If a staff member has suspected they have been exposed to COVID-19, they may not come in for upcoming shifts and must quarantine themselves until they can get a test and a negative result. FOH will also be required to have their temperature checked, via an EXTECH IR200 Non-Contact Forehead InfraRed Thermometer prior to starting their shift at the Temperature station at Starlight. Any FOH staff member exhibiting symptoms (coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste, etc.) and or a temperature above 100°F, or will not be allowed in the space.