The security measures within the rehearsal studio had been intensive. Upon arriving every day, contributors zipped their private belongings into assigned garment luggage, together with the face masks worn throughout their commutes. The manufacturing offered a brand new masks every day, to be worn all through rehearsal. No consuming was permitted within the room. No sharing telephone chargers. The schedule included common “airing breaks.”
During my first week of quarantine in a Tokyo resort, I attended rehearsals by way of Zoom. The choreographer, Ste Clough, was already within the studio, however the remainder of the overseas inventive workforce remained sequestered, back-channeling over WhatsApp. Over the course of the week, we minimize 15 minutes from the present, changed a music and juggled notes coming from a number of instructions. We staged the primary half of our intermission-less musical.
Then, the morning of my eighth day in quarantine, I obtained a name from a producer. One of the actors was experiencing signs and had examined constructive for Covid-19. Rehearsals had been on maintain. Those uncovered — 19 solid members; numerous producers, stage managers and manufacturing assistants who had been within the room daily; in addition to those that had merely stopped by, together with our orchestrator and a vocal coach — had been being examined that afternoon.
The extra optimistic amongst us shared the hope that the outcomes would validate the precautions taken, permitting work to begin once more in two weeks, after everybody in shut contact with the troubled actor had waited out their quarantine interval.
The subsequent afternoon, at a Zoom manufacturing assembly, our lead producer relayed the outcomes. Seven positives. Five onstage, two off. Our efforts could have restricted, however actually didn’t stop, the virus’s unfold. It was changing into more and more troublesome to adapt to the continuously altering circumstances. “Sometimes,” she stated, “the bravest thing to do is walk away.”
If we had been to renew, I acknowledged, it must be with the fewest attainable folks within the studio. And, I needed to admit, I wasn’t positive I used to be going to really feel protected being certainly one of them. As the equipment for rehearsing remotely was already in place, I made a decision to return to New York.