Minimum Standard of Care
The B. Iden Payne Awards Council has determined that, in order for a production to be considered Outstanding, it must protect the safety of its artists and audience members. Beginning in the 2016/2017 Season, productions that do not meet these standards will be considered ineligible for some awards.
We recognize that companies who are renting space from other organizations might not be able to meet these obligations. These exceptions are noted with an asterisk (*).
- Emergency exits should be clearly marked and accessible. At least one exit should be provided for every fifty people in the space, including performers, and should be within 75 feet of the audience.
- If any kind of fire is used onstage, fireguards and fire fighting equipment should be immediately available to completely douse the flames.
- Patrons must be notified of special effects, including fog, haze, incense, strobe lights, smoking, smoke, or gunfire or other loud noises.
- Objects should never be thrown at the audience without explicit disclosure and some ability to opt out (i.e. A designated “splash zone.”)
- If the temperature of the space (including outdoor performances) is in excess of 80 degrees, the audience shall have access to drinking water free of charge.
- For outdoor performances, audience and backstage areas shall be mowed, and containers of standing water should be emptied. Insect repellant shall be provided.
Stage and Lighting Safety
- Open trap doors and pits should be adequately marked, or a spotter should be in place.
- Grooves in the floor should be clearly marked.
- Platforms and flats should have adequate resiliency. No sagging or warped platforms.
- Performance floors should be kept dry and free of slippery materials.
- Performance floors should be free of splinters, nails, or worn-out or warped floorboards. *
- Platforms or floor openings in the performance space and audience areas with drops over 6 feet should have standard railings or be clearly marked with glow tape.
- Cables should be routed, taped down or covered to avoid people tripping over them. They should not be nailed, stapled, or tacked to wood or attached to metal pipes or other metal materials.
- Worn and frayed electrical cables should not be used. Electric cables shall be kept away from sharp corners or doors that can pinch or injure them.
- All lights must be safely secured to the grid using appropriate pins, clamps and safety cables (not tape). The grid should be adequately secured to the ceiling.
- The tech booth should be of solid construction, with an easily accessible exit for the crewmembers therein.
- All stage combat should be choreographed or arranged by a trained fight director. The fight director should have specific knowledge of the requested type of fight or stunt.
- Stage combat choreography should take into account the skill, training and physical limitations of the artists.
- There should be ample space for the fight choreography, maintaining the safety of the performers and audiences.
- Live blades should not be used onstage. All edges should be dulled properly for the safety of actors and audience members.
- The floor surface and footwear should allow for safe footing for the performers.
- At no time should stage weapons be accessible to the public.
- When using a fireable weapon, firing lanes shall be kept clear (not directly pointed at anyone.)
- Firearms, whether they’re fireable or not, shall not be pointed at the audience.
Artists’ Bill of Rights
In addition to these observable elements, the B. Iden Payne Awards Council may determine that a show is or some of its participants are ineligible if violations of the Bill of Rights are determined. You can read more about that, and our process for determining violations here.
What happens next?
If a member of the B. Iden Payne Awards Council observes that these standards are not being met, they reserve the right to leave the production, especially if they feel like their safety is compromised.
A member of the Council will reach out to the Producers of the production with the specific issue that was observed. The Producers are encouraged to remedy the issue(s), and, if there are six performances remaining, the production will remain eligible.
Productions that do not correct the problems will not be eligible for B. Iden Payne Award nominations.