Author Topic: Calling a show for heat  (Read 2445 times)

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SMMeade

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Calling a show for heat
« on: Aug 13, 2016, 07:44 pm »
Hi all,

Something I've been curious about this summer since working outdoors- when do you call a show because of the heat? Has anyone here done it? How? I can't seem to find a specific temperature cut-off in the rulebook I'm using, but I know in the Outdoor Drama one, it says for every hour of rehearsal when the temp is above 90 F you need to give a ten. But that's the only rule I can find that's not pretty vague. Is it a "talk to your producers/call Equity" based on your feeling type of thing?

megf

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Re: Calling a show for heat
« Reply #1 on: Aug 13, 2016, 08:20 pm »
I suspect this falls in the same bucket as snow cancellations. Those choices are subject to local laws and procedures, and rulebooks can't really supersede those laws (e.g., are school buses canceled for the whole county? Yeah, you'll probably cancel that 10am matinee). Talk to your General Manager about what the practice is, in the city or town where the show is taking place.

Also, since I notice in your forum profile that you're with a company in the northeast -- it might be prudent to inquire about air quality issues. Heat is one thing, but air quality warnings that last more than two days (like... now) can be particularly scary for folks who are have (chronic or other) respiratory conditions.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Calling a show for heat
« Reply #2 on: Aug 14, 2016, 12:49 am »
well, when it ceases to be safe . . .

if the deputy says we aren't doing it . . .

these are all times to get AEA and your GM in involved.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

VSM

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Re: Calling a show for heat
« Reply #3 on: Aug 14, 2016, 11:33 am »
or - when the first person, cast or audience, passes out!
Ordo ab chao

BayAreaSM

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Re: Calling a show for heat
« Reply #4 on: Aug 15, 2016, 01:27 am »
I've had audience members suffer from heatstroke when working in outdoor theater - but that didn't stop the show. In 6 years of outdoor Shakespeare, I haven't experienced calling a show because of heat.

We've always had modified plans for blocking (no sitting on the hot deck), costumes (removing certain pieces, adding ice vests under shirts) and bare feet (having an alternative). And tons of water stations & ice backstage/in the wings.

There is a lot to consider regarding weather when outdoors - rain, heat, cold, wind, wild animals. The company I worked for had a general rain policy (based on how high the rain bounced off the deck) but didn't have the other policies. These would tend to get worked out on a case by case basis. Talk with your deputy and always check the weather in advance. If it looks like it's going to get hot in the coming days, pull people in for a discussion to try to plan ahead.

I will say, working with AGMA ballet dancers, our contract (which was company-specific) had rules regarding minimum and maximum temperatures. Unfortunately the contract contradicted itself, one time saying I (as the SM) would decide if the show would go on if the temp exceeded the contract max, as long as we paid a fee to the dancers. Another part said that AGMA had to approve whether or not the show went on. Thankfully we never hit that limit - we got close in the studios one year, but never exceeded the limit.

However, we did get below our minimum temperature while on tour. It was winter in Spain and the windows in the theater were broken. We couldn't fix the windows (they were already covered with cardboard and tape) and no matter how many translators I went through to explain that we had to get the stage above 23*C, the theater wouldn't budge. And we weren't allowed to cancel the show. And no, I don't think my dancers ever got paid for that break of the contract.

RuthNY

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Re: Calling a show for heat
« Reply #5 on: Aug 15, 2016, 03:08 pm »
I've always been under the IMPRESSION that if it is too hot (or cold), and the Deputy, speaking for the Equity Company, says that the company does not want to perform under those conditions, that Equity must be contacted immediately. If it's after hours, then the emergency number should be called.

I have understood from Business Reps. that unless members' health/lives are in jeopardy, a company may not refuse to perform. If a company (or an individual) refuses to perform without the permission of AEA, it may go very badly for them down the road. As one Rep. told me, "If they refuse to perform because they say their health is in jeopardy, they had better be right."

(I do not speak for the union or any employer. My words, memories and opinions are my own.)
« Last Edit: Aug 15, 2016, 03:11 pm by RuthNY »
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SMMeade

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Re: Calling a show for heat
« Reply #6 on: Aug 17, 2016, 05:06 pm »
Also would like to state for the record that this was a theoretical me and the SM were tossing around-- not something we actually wanted/needed to do. Thanks for all the comments, all! Pretty much what I thought, though Ruth, those comments from Equity are rather interesting.

iamchristuffin

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Re: Calling a show for heat
« Reply #7 on: Aug 18, 2016, 11:57 am »
This won't answer your question in the slightest...

In the UK, temperature in the workplace must be 16 deg Celsius (or 13 for 'rigorous physical effort) or higher by law. There is no upper temperature, but the employer/company "has a duty to determine what reasonable comfort will be in the particular circumstances."

http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/law.htm

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