How Black Box Theatres Can Help with Social Distancing

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How Black Box Theatres Can Help with Social Distancing

July 30, 2020

flexible theatre

Recently, we’ve heard from some of our friends in the industry that they’re planning to use their black box theatres for productions when they’re able to reopen. If you’re not sure what a black box theatre is, check out this post.

Since the expectation that capacities will be limited, it won’t make sense to use the main room and some venues don’t have the space to have events outside. Different states will have different rules so make sure you follow your local guidelines for when you should have performances in your venue.

As for using a black box theatre, there are a few reasons why they are advantageous.

Smaller Space

Since the number of people allowed in a space will more than likely be limited, you won’t be able to fill the big room and the logistics required to operate in there won’t always make sense with a smaller number of people.

In a black box theatre, you’ll be able to fill the space as much as possible while maintaining social distancing between groups. The total number of people in the space shouldn’t exceed the maximum number allowed, whatever that number is for your state.

This smaller space will work better for smaller productions anyway because most national touring acts have suspended their tours for the time being. One of the benefits of a black box theatre is easy scene flexibility to host whatever type of event you need.

Flexibility & Versatility

Black box theatres are versatile and can be reconfigured to meet the requirements for any performance. The seating and staging are portable so they can be moved to any part of the room. This can help with social distancing by spacing the sections of the seating risers out. They should also be able to be broken down into different configurations to accommodate different sized events.

seating risers

The seating risers will help to maximize your available capacity by elevating your patrons and improving sight lines over just using flat floor seating. Even though you are trying to limit the number of your audience, you do not want to take away from a positive patron experience.

As we continue moving closer to reopening, it’s important to look at how your venue can proceed and do it safely. Regarding capacity limits and social distancing, please make sure follow your local and state guidelines and hopefully we can get back to a sense of normalcy soon.

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