“At Wild Rice, founder and artistic director Ivan Heng is also toting up the costs of a return to phase two (heightened alert). Faghag, which sold out its extended run, employs about 40 people on and off the stage. Heng, 57, is upset over what he calls an "undiscerning" and "blunt" restriction on live performances: "The live singing we are doing is quite different from the live singing in KTV lounges." During the run of Fag Hag, Wild Rice spent about $50,000 on pre-event testing for audience members, an expenditure which is not covered by grants. "We accept the cost because there are so many jobs and livelihoods at stake." About 45 to 50 per cent of Faghag's audience members were already vaccinated and some 60 tests were carried out every night. Heng says theatre audiences have observed strict social distancing since venues reopened. "People queue to be admitted, they are masked and seated during the performances. They are not wandering around. The performers have already been vaccinated. "It is quite important to note that for our industry, because we have taken such stringent measures and strict safety protocols, we have not had a single Covid case since we reopened.” Thank you Ong Sor Fern and The Straits Times
Posted 1 week ago
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