Message on the coronavirus (COVID-19)
"We are truly in unprecedented times."

Dear Theatre Colleagues, 

It is difficult to put into words how to accurately capture what has happened to our teaching colleagues, our students, our communities, and our families who have been affected by the COVID-19 situation. We are truly in unprecedented times. The road ahead will continue to be rocky before we again reach a smooth way forward. Please know that the ITA is here for you, thinking of you, and will support you as you navigate these difficult times personally and with those you serve.

As many of us are now called upon to transition into a flexible distance learning environment, please try to take advantage of the support and resources from our partner organizations: 

The Education Theatre Association (EdTA)
Theatre Communications Group
American Alliance for Theatre and Education
American Association of Community Theatre
The League of Chicago Theatre.

From Digital Theatre: 
For ten years, we've been working with colleges to facilitate remote learning. Digital Theatre+ is used to encourage home research, flip the classroom, and even for rural access to the arts.

With many colleges now suspending classes and developing contingency plans for remote learning due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are in a position to help and we’d like to offer you some free access.

The below credentials will be good through March 29th. Please share this with your students as we'd love everyone to benefit.
Username: dtremote
Password: dtremote

From EdTA: Licensing Updates: Streaming Rights, Postponements, and Cancellation Options
Music Theatre International (MTI) reports: “At this time, we can offer a limited license to stream certain shows for amateur productions that were licensed before March 12, 2020. Complete an MTI Emergency Video Recording/Streaming License form.” See MTI’s website for more details.
Concord Theatricals reports: “Requests for recording or livestreaming are being handled on a case-by-case basis. Requests will be shared with the author’s representatives who are the ones who make the decision.” View Concord’s FAQ.
Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) reports: “Please be in immediate email or phone contact with your TRW licensing representative [regarding changes or cancellations]. The rights administered by TRW on behalf of the authors and copyright owners do not include broadcast/transmission/streaming and therefore we are unable to license or authorize this usage.” Read more.
Playwright Don Zolidis, author of some of the most popular short plays, including 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, and The Audition, has granted permission for his work to be livestreamed. See Zolidis’ March 9 post in the EdTA Community Open Forum.
Many companies, from costuming to ticketing, are offering flexibility. Reach out to those companies directly for solutions to your specific circumstances.

If you were planning to take those you serve to see live theatre, please contact the theatre and take advantage of the flexible exchange policy that each theatre is employing.

Finally, it is devastating for everyone involved – teachers, students, families, communities – that work in progress has been cancelled. So much time and effort is put into our art in order to share meaningful storytelling with our audiences. The fact that our hard work may never be seen is truly very hard to absorb. It is even more important at this time that we support each member of the ITA so that you can be the rock for those you serve. We want to make sure you know that we are here for you to give you what you need for that to happen. Please reach out and let us know how we can help. 

My dear friend Peggy O’Brien, Director of Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library shared this with us:

Even though sadness is only one element in these days, we turn to The Once and Future King and leave the last, best words to Merlin, living backwards—from old age to youth—as he advises the young King Arthur:

“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you.”

You are all in my thoughts and in my heart.  
Sincerely yours,
Kevin Long, ITA President 

Illinois Theatre Association
113 Fairfield Way
Studio 107
Bloomingdale, IL 60108