Health & Safety | Northern Sky Theater

Health & Safety


Jeff Herbst & Doc Heide in Belgians in Heaven. Photo by Len Villano

As of March 1, 2021

Dear Northern Sky Fans,

Normally, at this time, we’d be in the throes of season planning. One year ago, we were hard at work on lining up all the details for our ambitious 2020 season. It was to have included ten shows playing in both the park and at the Gould concurrently. Little did we know what would be before us by the time March hit.

And so now here we are, faced yet again with the uncertainties of what it will mean for any large gatherings to take place safely, making theater-planning a continual guessing game.

We keep asking ourselves the same questions:
1) When will it be safe enough for us to gather?
2) What can we reasonably expect to program?
3) How will we make sure that safety is in place for everyone involved—audience, volunteers, staff, artists?
4) How quickly will the vaccine be effective in giving us all more assurance that large gatherings are safer than they’ve been for the past year?

And, of course, all of these questions’ answers are, at this point, still unknowable.

So . . . what DO we know?

We know that we can’t present what we had intended to do in 2020 for this upcoming season for multiple reasons:
1) It was highly ambitious, and even at this early date we know that we can’t move forward with it.
2) The actor’s union isn’t allowing in-person performances of musicals yet. 
3) Right now, the state is only allowing 50 people to gather together in the park.

All of this added together means the 2020 season as planned is not possible.

We know that we are not cancelling the upcoming season.  Certainly not now before we learn a lot more. And our hope is that what we learn is that the vaccine is working and people are able to gather, at least in some fashion better than is currently possible. And if we can gather, we want to have something to share with you.

We know, from having experimented a bunch this past year, that we can be quite nimble and inventive. So, we’re exploring all kinds of options for a possible season: 
1) Presenting concert shows
2) The Jeff and Katie Show performed live
3) New material being written for the moment with safety protocols in mind.

Believe me, we’ve got our thinking caps on.

We know that presenting shows in our indoor Gould Theater this summer will be the biggest challenge we might face because even more safety issues would apply. Like every other theater in the country, we are keeping our fingers crossed, waiting to see how things unfold.

We know that announcing anything right now would lend itself to needing to be unannounced until we know more. Again, we’ll need clearance from the state, at minimum, to be in the park. And, again, so much depends on how quickly the vaccines take hold.

We hope you’ve been taking in our winter season (first ever!) and have been enjoying our social media presence. We are as creatively alive as ever. Trust me, no matter what happens, we’ll be in touch and we’ll all keep figuring this out together. We’re counting on you for that.

Be safe. We miss you.

Jeff Herbst, Artistic Director
Dave Maier, Managing Director